Danish Language Blog

Cakes in the Making Posted by on Apr 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

This is a continuation of yesterday’s interview with the baker Lars.

Brød, brød, brød… 🙂

Do you know all your recipes by heart?

Yes, in my section I do. There are two sections here at the bakery: one for rugbrød (rye bread) and wienerbrød (Danish pastry) and everything with gær (yeast), and another one for cakes. I’m at the yeast section.


Before the interview you told me you’d once been working in the USA?

Yes, that’s right, in 2006 I was working for a Danish baker in Saint Louis, Missouri.

The local base ball team, the Saint Louis Cardinals, sometimes played as much as seven home matches in a row. We made a VIP buffet; man, we were busy! It was like a 12-hour day.


How did the Americans react to Danish rugbrød (rye bread)?

Well, we couldn’t actually sell any bread at all – the department stores catered to that need. We made our living by selling luxury cakes and sandwiches.

The bakery had a café, and one evening we invited our customers over to a taste of rugbrød with herring and leverpostej (Danish-style liver pâté). They loved it! But we couldn’t make them eat it on a regular basis, though. They had their burgers and sandwiches.


Do you know why there’s a roll called a håndværker (tradesman)?

In the good old days most of the bread was white. But now the bread has to be coarse. People don’t want the white bread any more, it’s not healthy enough. The håndværker came in the 1960’ies, I guess.

I don’t know why they called it that… There must have been a baker with a fun idea somewhere. Many things appear just like that. We have a cake called the ”Allan cake”. That’s because some journeyman baker once made a mistake: He made all his cakes too small. Instead of scrapping them, though, he split them at the middle and layered the halves with chocolate cream in-between. That baker’s name was Allan – and in that way a new cake was given to the world.


What’s your favourite cake?

If we’re talking about morning cakes, I personally prefer a snegl (snail). Otherwise I’d say strawberry pies and things like that. We don’t make flødekager (traditional creamy cakes) any more. I guess we’ve become too obsessed with health these days.


What are your wishes for the future?

I hope that people will still go for quality – even if it’s cheaper to go to a department store like Bilka and buy 10 rolls and a pie for 40 kroner. I understand that people have to save money – that’s why we bakers need to improve our skills! We are going to live on our specialities, by making something that is unique and different.

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.