"The most important thing, says emma hackel "the most important thing is the clarified butter and the firmness of the dough!" More does not have to be considered with the kuchlabacken. But not less. Downstairs in emma hackel's house in the thurnau suburb of rottlersreuth is the "bakery stump. Now it's busy again before weeken sunday. Traditionally, kuchla are baked for communions, confirmations, and weddings. Then there's a lot going on for emma hackel and berthilde zapf. They bake depending on the occasion and order.
On the garage door there is a rough "kuchla bakstumm" sign on a sign. The sweet smell of lard fills the room next to the garage. Since three o'clock in the morning, the two women have been baking twice a week. "We prepare the dough in the evening", berthilde zapf tells. The yeast dough is then formed into balls early in the morning – actually in the middle of the night. "Turn out" means that. Berthilde zapf can even do this with both hands. Learned is learned! Handed down from the grandmother.
"After that, the dough has to rise, says the 68-year-old. One and a half hours. This must be, emphasize the bakers in the room registered as an enterprise. Time for a chat or a cup of coffee remains then. Whereby: "we are not mubig", emma hackel emphasizes.
The 72-year-old has been baking kuchla with berthilde zapf for almost 40 years. For 30 years in emma hackel's garage. They must have made 100,000 pieces in that time. Berthilde zapf remembers well how they used to bake all week and how on friday they had to wash the curtains. In the past, people used to bake kuchla in their homes for family celebrations – on a wood-burning stove. "It was difficult to control, says berthilde zapf. The lard must always have the right temperature.
Flour, butter, arrack and rum
And it was not seldom, say the bakers, that the men came and loved to print a kuchla heib out of the fat with a beer – this is partly still the case today. Emma hackel makes a face: no, it's not for her. She likes the kuchla best when they are frozen immediately after they have cooled down. "And then bake again – delicious!"
Back to the dough. The two women don't want to reveal the exact recipe, but they say flour, butter, arrack and rum are important – but not too much sugar! And: "not too few eggs!" The recipe below is in any case too "dry" for the bakers.
When the dough has gone as a ball, it is beaten flat so that no more air is in it. And then comes the specialty of emma hackel. She can shape the dough like no other so that it rises already and does not rub in the middle of the kuchlas. Then into the fat. And important: let them cool down afterwards: "otherwise they will collapse!"
This is how the treat goes. Emma hackel and berthilde zapf make 360 baked goods in one baking day – in the past they made 900. From ten o'clock the first pick up their kuchla for delivery. Then it's closing time.