Breakfast like a King

…. or like an Emperor

The Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph of Habsburg, enjoyed already this exquisite piece of breakfast bread, the “Kaisersemmel”. Crispy on the outside, on the inside fluffy and moist, must be a hand-knitted Kaisersemmel.

This exquisite piece of wheat bread is to this day the medal of honor for any baker. When I learned the trade some thirty years ago, we apprentices where not allowed to operate the machines the would mass produce them, until we where able to make the by hand. 
Today you will be hard pressed to find a baker in Vienna who still produces this and other breads by hand. In Vienna, by law it has to weigh 46g after baking and the price was regulated for a long time.

There is one Baker in the center of the old city, that still makes all sorts of “hand-made” goodies.

Bäckerei Arthur Grimm
Kurrentgasse 10, 1010 Wien
Tel.: +43 1 533 13 84 – 0
Mo, Di, Mi, Do, Fr: 07:00 – 18:30
Sa: 08:00 – 13:00

Leonard Lambacher started the bakery “Zum großen Ofenloch” in 1536. 1840 it became the Imperial and Royal Court-Bakery under the leadership of Anton Wittmann. Today Arthur Grimm is the only bakery left in the city center of Vienna, that produces it’s own bread.

Already in the window you’ll find a basket of Kaisersemmeln inviting you to enter and explore.

The time I arrived it was close to lunch time. The counter rather sparingly filled with bread of the day. But the lingering smell of fresh bread, caramelized wheat flour and simple cookies was enough to get a few pieces and head off.

My personal favorite is the “Salzstangerl” or “Saltstick”. This crooket stick of dough covered with rock salt and caraway seeds is an indugense for any time of the day, and no baguette would come even close to this taste sensation.

Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

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