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What is Mandel Bread?

Whole-wheat flour can offer more flavor.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 June 2014
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Known throughout Germany as Mandelbrot, mandel bread is a traditional old world bread that is distinguished by a tough exterior that is paired with a wide range of ingredients to create a tasty treat. Popular in a number of cultures, mandel bread is similar to the hard bread Italian biscotti, and can be served in many of the same settings. The basic recipe for mandel bread can be made into a loaf that is sliced into sections, or prepared as small cookies.

The list of ingredients that can be used to enhance the flavor of mandel bread include such sweets as chocolate bits and dried fruits. Crushed nuts are also a popular addition to mandel bread, along with distilled extracts like vanilla, lemon, or butter rum. In a manner similar to biscotti, mandel bread can be prepared with added flavorings within the mixture, or as a topping or garnish on the exterior of the finished product.

Mandel bread is an excellent choice when a simple yet elegant dessert is desired for an evening meal. Thin sections of mandel bread are also often served as part of afternoon coffee or tea. Because mandel bread requires no additional sauces or dips in order to be enjoyed, the section of bread can be dipped into the coffee, or simply enjoyed as a side item. The hard texture of mandel bread allows the treat to absorb the liquid and still retain a crispy quality, which many people find desirable.

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While mandel bread is usually made with bleached flour, there are several variations that are considered acceptable. Whole-wheat flour can provide an additional layer of flavor to the bread, while persons who wish to avoid wheat altogether may consider using rice flour instead. When preparing mandel bread for Jewish holidays, it is possible to substitute potato starch and matzo cake for the flour, and still produce a tasty bread with the correct texture.

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StreamFinder
Post 3

Did you know that some people eat mandel bread during the Jewish holiday of Passover as well? I'm not sure how exactly Passover mandel bread differs from regular mandel bread (aside from the potato starch, of course), but my Jewish friends always make a few plates during Passover.

I like to eat it all year round though -- I don't think I could only do with mandel bread once a year. My favorite is the cinnamon mandel bread, but my friends Bubbe makes a mean chocolate chip and pecan mandel bread too.

What are your favorite kinds of mandel bread?

lightning88
Post 2

Can you post a mandel bread recipe here? I just had some cinnamon mandel bread from a street vendor at a festival in my city, but now the vendor has moved on and I can't find anything remotely like mandel bread any where in my city.

So can somebody post a cinnamon mandel bread recipe here for me, or really any kind of mandel bread recipe? I'm pretty experienced with baking, so you can make it as complicated or simple as you like.

Just tell me how you make this wonderful, wonderful bread and I will be over the moon.

Thanks!

CopperPipe
Post 1

Oooh, mandel bread! I love this stuff. My grandmother is a first-generation German-American, and she makes chocolate chip mandel bread that can make your tastebuds sing.

It is just so delicious, and I can't ever go through a holiday without having some of her mandelbrot (she likes to use the old term).

Apparently, she uses a really traditional recipe that her granmother passed down to her, so you know it's got to be good. Sometimes she even makes mandel bread cookies out of the recipe, which was more my speed when I was younger -- now I tend to prefer the more traditional cake.

If you have never tried mandel bread, than by all means, find a European or German bakery and get some of that stuff! It's amazing, you will be hooked for life.

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