This is how you grow, care for and bake a Hermann dough

A Hermann dough can be used to make a delicious sponge cake with various other ingredients.
A Hermann dough can be used to make a delicious sponge cake with various other ingredients. imago/agefotostock

Anyone who enjoyed baking in the 90s will remember this cake batter with a nostalgic look! Do you remember “Hermann”? Behind this name hides a special type of sourdough, which is prepared and grown from flour, yeast, sugar and water. Then the “Hermann” has to be fed again and again with new ingredients – and after ten days he is split up and processed into a delicious cake. But: How do you breed a real Hermann?

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Prepare, feed and bake a Hermann: THIS is what you need for this

The principle caused a sensation in the 1990s. Because: When Hermann is finished, he is divided into four parts. One becomes a new Hermann, one is made into a cake and two are given away – so it was not unusual for Tupperware containers or glasses with fresh Hermann dough to be passed on to friends.

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In Germany, the Hermann experienced its breakthrough in the 1980s and was particularly popular in the 1990s. Usually, the dough was always passed along with care instructions describing how to work with the sourdough. Consequently, he had to be stirred every day and fed every five days so that he multiplied. But: How do you make the chain cake yourself?

You need: 100 grams of flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of dry yeast, 150 milliliters of lukewarm water.

And this is how it works: The ingredients are mixed in a bowl of glass or plastic with a lid (it should not be too small, but should hold about two liters!) until a smooth mass is formed.

Recipe for Hermann Cake: This is how the dough approach is guaranteed to succeed

This dough needs to rise at room temperature for two days – it usually bubbles comfortably after a short time. However, the lid should only be put on loosely – under no circumstances should the container be closed tightly, risk of explosion!

When two days are up, Hermann goes into the fridge. Now it has to rest for a day, then it is stirred on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day. Important: Never use a metal spoon, only wooden or plastic! On day 5 it is fed – this means: Stir in 100 grams of flour, 150 grams of sugar and 150 milliliters of milk. Mix well. On days 6, 7, 8 and 9 they are stirred once and fed again on the tenth day. Then the dough must be divided into four portions of 200 grams each. Two are given away, one is bred, one is baked.

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And this is how it works, for example: A cup of Hermann’s approach is mixed with two eggs, a little more than a cup of sugar, a packet of baking powder, two cups of flour and half a cup each of butter and oil. Enhance with ingredients such as chocolate sprinkles and raisins as needed. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes until the cake is cooked – the classic test with a wooden peg helps.