German Bakers Academy – Exporting German bread culture to Iran

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The "Akademie Deutsches Baeckerhandwerk Weinheim" (German National Bakers Academy in Weinheim) offers further training in English for participants from 27 nations.

iMOVE interview with Bernd Kuetscher, Director, German Bakers Academy, August 2016.

iMOVE: What is the name and background of your organisation?

Kuetscher: The "Akademie Deutsches Baeckerhandwerk Weinheim" is the national technical school for all the bakers' associations in Germany. As such, it is the leading authority on German bread culture and all the other bakery products that are typical of Germany and of Europe in general. It is located inside the elegant "Waldschloss" of Weinheim just 66 kilometres away from Frankfurt international airport. In 2015 alone, 3000 students from 27 different nations came to Weinheim to develop their baking skills. Some of these arrived in seminar groups while others registered individually via our website (, which also offers access to the courses that we run in English. In addition to the official course languages of German and English, we also offer translations of many of our seminars. For instance, our recipes are also available in Russian, Japanese and Chinese.

iMOVE: How did your collaboration with your Iranian partners come about?

Kuetscher: Every three years, we work together with the central association for the German bakery trade ("Zentralverband des Deutschen Bäckerhandwerks") to put on iba – the international leading trade fair for the baking industry that is held in Munich. It was here that Germany's bread making heritage captured the attention of some representatives from the Iranian bakers' association and, as a result, groups of students from Iranian bakeries have been regularly attending the Academy since as far back as 2007. So far, 135 Iranian students have passed through the doors with a view to acquiring new knowledge.

sliced bread

iMOVE: Why, in Iran of all places, should there be so much interest in the art of German bread making?

Kuetscher: With more than 75 million inhabitants, Iran is one of the 20 most populous (and largest) countries on Earth. Bread has traditionally been consumed there in large quantities. The market is dominated by flatbreads such as Lavash, Sangak, Barbari and Taftoon, with the vast majority being baked at home or in very small bakeries. However, the market share of larger high-capacity bakeries is increasing, partly because the state has decided to invest in expertise and the food supply infrastructure in light of the growing population. The average age in Iran is 27. Younger members of society, especially those living in the towns and cities, are increasingly asking for leavened bread that has a lovely loose texture but is still very substantial – just like the loaves that are predominantly available in Germany and which are viewed as being particularly wholesome and tasty. However, the local traditional bakers are not familiar with how to make it and so they need to acquire the appropriate qualifications.

iMOVE: What kind of further training is currently being offered to prospective students from Iran?

Kuetscher: At the end of July 2016, another group of 23 from Iran arrived in Weinheim, where they spent a week learning how to make the varieties of bread that are typical of Germany. The course focused particularly on leavening techniques that rely on yeast and sourdough, on baking with rye and on techniques for keeping the bread fresher for longer. The course even covered how to make gluten-free and wholegrain breads. All the training combined demonstrations with hands-on practical work. One aspect that is especially important in the bakery sector is the need to "grasp" the texture and properties of the doughs as well as the artisanal techniques involved. The seminars themselves were complemented by tours of bakeries. The members of the group were housed in the Academy's very own guest house, which has been furnished to hotel standard and has more than 80 beds. Given that this is not sufficient to accommodate everyone when five seminar groups are all running in parallel, the Academy has cooperation agreements with various Weinheim hotels.

The president of the central association for the German bakery trade, who also happens to be the chair of the National Academy, insisted on welcoming the Iranian group in person as part of an on-site board meeting. We have felt a strong bond of friendship with our partners in Iran for many years and we are extremely proud and grateful that the German Bakers Academy in Weinheim – as an ambassador for the German art of baking – is increasingly helping to improve the supply and quality of bread at an international level.

Portrait of Bernd Kuetscher

Bernd Kuetscher, Director
German National Bakers Academy

Participants at a seminar
Participants of the training


Visit the Academy's Youtube channel 


German National Bakers Academy
Im Waldschloss / Gorxheimer Talstrasse 23
69469 Weinheim an der Bergstrasse
Phone: +49 06201 107-0

Contact person:
Bernd Kuetscher, Director

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© photos: German National Bakers Academy in Weinheim