Unsere Lebkuchenherzen

{Our gingerbread hearts}

On our recent trip to Germany, Boris and I had the pleasure to once again meet up with our Lebkuchenherz {gingerbread heart} supplier, Zuckersucht.

Oktoberfest Brisbane has worked together with Zuckersucht since the 2009 festival, to ensure that we provide the most authentic and best quality Gingerbread hearts to our festival every year. Guten Appetit!


Zuckersucht GmbH was founded in 2000 by Bernd Dostler and is today one of the most innovative and high-performance manufacturers in the sweet promotional product segment in Germany. Their objective was to ensure that their products are quality, hand-made products, that defied the overall approach of mass production, in the sweet promotional gifts industry.

The saying “not possible’, doesn’t exist at Zuckersucht. Unique items are produced and refined every day by the master craftsmen in the finest quality. All production is carried out in the specially designed modern facility, where micro-orders of only one piece are produced along side the production of over 100,000 pieces.


“Our loyal and satisfied customers include very small companies to some of the largest companies in Germany and abroad. They all rely on our individual customer service and products.” – Bernd Dostler

Their popular gingerbread hearts are a classic. In 2009 they introduced a powerful chocolate production, which promised great growth with unique new products. With the strictest hygiene regulations, selected raw materials from the region, including the use of Fairtrade chocolate, seamless traceability and internal quality management, Zuckersucht ensure their customers the best possible quality.

Due to the Zuckersuchts’ high standards, it is no surprise that they have won numerous awards in Germany. Check out our photos from our visit and have a close look you’ll see that they won the Golden Prize for their Lebkuchenherzen {Gingerbread Hearts}!


Von unserer Familie zu deiner


Kim Zoulek
Festival Director & Creative



Just in time for Easter – Hefezopf!


How to make Hefezopf {yeast braid loaf}

We are now full swing into Autumn, and in our opinion one of the best periods in Brisbane! The weather is still warm, but not quite as hot and steamy as the summer months and Easter is on our doorstep.

Hefezopf {yeast braid} is a traditional Easter bread in Germany. This is a recipe from my mother, Mama Schnucki, who made this every year at Easter.

Growing up, Easter was always one of my favourite holiday periods and any time I make Hefezopf now, it is a nostalgic experience.

TIP: I always make a double batch for home and to share with the office.

Let’s get started!

I have included the Ingredients and Method below, but following is a helpful, step by step guide. Follow along with me.

We start with the Dampfl (see Method below for details on what a Dampfl is).

Add 2-3 tablespoons of flour in a bowl, and create a crater in the middle.


Then add 30-40g of yeast in the middle.


Heat up the milk so it is lukewarm and add 2-3 tablespoons of milk to the yeast, just so it is covered. Set aside for 20 – 30 minutes to prove.


In the meantime add butter (room temperature is best) to a bowl and with a electronic mixer mix it into a smooth cream. Add the sugar and the lemon zest.

hefezopf_21 hefezopf_22

Add the eggs to the bowl. I always like to add two extra egg yolks for a nice yellowy colour.


With your electronic mixer mix until just about smooth.


Have a look at your Dampfl, it would be bubbling by now and would have grown in size, it should look like this.


In a bowl add your flour, create a crater in the middle and add your butter egg mixture and your Dampfl.


I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, so I do this next part by hand, mixing it all together in a smooth bowl. Traditionally we add raisins and 1-2 vanilla beans as well. Knead mixture and slowly keep adding the lukewarm milk, you don’t want the dough to get too wet. You will know once it is done as it will no longer stick to your fingers or bowl.


Cover with a damp cloth in a warm area and leave to rise for 1 hour.


After 1 hour you will see the difference. Now lightly coat your work area with flour and place your Hefezopf dough on to it and cut into 3 then 6 even parts. I like to use a scale to make sure they are all the same weight.


Roll out all pieces into 6 even long and thick strands.


And start braiding, middle first then the outside in and so on and so forth.

hefezopf_12 hefezopf_11

Keep braiding all the way to the end and tuck the ends neatly underneath.


Now this looks pretty cool, however I realised that my braid will now no longer fit in the oven, so I had to make two, one for home one for the office.


Here we have worked the dough pretty hard, so we will cover it once again with a damp cloth and let it rise for another 20 – 30 minutes, or until it has risen 1.5 – 2 time bigger than its original size.

While this is rising, pre-heat your oven (see ‘Method’ below, for details).


Place the risen Hefezopf on a baking dish covered with baking paper and glaze with egg yolk. For a Hefezopf this size you might need up to 4 egg yolks.


Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.


Once it has cooled down, feel free to decorate it with some Easter eggs and bunnies.


Coat with butter and serve with coffee or tea.



  • 1kg flour
  • 30 – 40g yeast
  • 160g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2-3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 160g sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 500ml lukewarm milk
  • Lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • Two handful of raisins
  • 2-4 egg yolk, lightly beaten (room temperature)


Dissolve the yeast with 2-3 tablespoons lukewarm milk in a large mixing bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons of flour, beat at low speed with an electric mixer until smooth and soft. You have now created the yeast mixture for your Hefezopf {yeast braid loaf}. This mixture is called a Dampfl. Place the Dampfl to the side in a warm location for 20 – 30 minutes to prove.

While the Dampfl is resting, beat the butter with electric mixer until smooth, add the eggs, sugar, salt and lemon peel mix well.

Place remaining flour in a large mixing bowl, create a crater in the middle, place butter mixture and Dampfl once it finished proving in the middle. Knead mixture, slowly keep adding milk again and again until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.

Once the dough no longer sticks to your hands place, set it aside for 1 hour in a warm area, covered with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out until the dough has doubled in size.

When the dough has risen to twice its size that it was originally, dust a work area with flour and take it out of the bowl and divide it in to 6 even parts. With your hands roll out these 6 pieces into 6 evenly thick long strands. Here a step by step guide of how to braid with 6 strands:

  1. To begin, hold the 6 strands so that there are 3 in each hand.
  2. The outside right strand is the first to be moved. Bring it over the middle right hand strand, under the inside right hand strand and transfer it to the left hand.
  3. There are now two right hand strands and four left hand strands.
  4. Now it is the outside left strand that will be moved. Bring that strand under the adjacent strand, over the next strand, and under the inside left strand. Transfer it to the right hand.
  5. Note that there are again 3 strands in each hand. One cycle of the braid has been completed.
  6. Continue step 1-5 until the end and tuck the ends neatly under the now completed Hefezopf.

Cover a baking tray (that is large enough) with a baking paper and place the Hefezopf on it. Cover the Hefezopf with a tightly wrung out damp cloth and allow to it to rise for the second time. It will take about 20-30 minutes and the dough should be 1.5 – 2 time bigger than its original size.

In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Once the Hefezopf has risen, glaze the dough evenly with the beaten egg yolk. Decorate the dough with nib sugar (Nib sugar is a product of refined white sugar. The sugar is very coarse, hard, opaque white, and does not melt at temperatures. It is typically used for baking.) I personally don’t use it.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

TIP: the more eggs you add to the dough the nicer the colour of it will be, however make sure to ever so slightly increase the flour.

Von unserer Familie zu deiner


Kim Zoulek
Festival Director & Creative

Sharing is caring!

We hope that our recipes inspire you and we want to see your own creations! Please feel free to share images of your Hefezopf on our Facebook page HERE. Every creation from our family recipes that you post, will go into the draw for 2 tickets to Oktoberfest Brisbane 2017 (a winner will be drawn at the end of every month).

Fassfabrik Schmid

During our recent trip to Germany, Boris and I visited the last remaining cooper factory in the region, which is located in Munich-Laim.
(A cooper is maker or repairer of  barrels and casks).

Fassfabrik und Fassgrosshandlung Schmid {wholesale barrel and cooper factory} opened in 1914, and to this day is still a family run business, operated by the Schmid family. They produce and repair beer and wine barrels, as well as buckets made of oak wood. As they are a company steeped in tradition, there is great importance in the careful selection and processing of wood for their products.

Set amongst modern apartment buildings, the tradition of this centuries-old craft, and company still remains housed in the original traditional dwellings from which the company was originated.


We had the pleasure of meeting Willhelm Schmid who was kind enough to take us through the barrel factory and who is on the board for the Schäfflertanz group (see the recent blog from our official clothing partner Schnucki HERE). We hope you enjoy the photos and some history about the Schäffler below.

cooper-factory-barrels_08  cooper-factory-barrels_01

The Schäffler {cooper}, carries out a centuries-old traditional craftsmanship, which exists from circa 7th or 8th century. The task of the Schäffler is to make and repair wooden vessels of all kinds.

“Many used beer, wine and liquor drums are processed with us to be repurposed into water drums, planting buckets and also to furniture for restaurants and interior decoration and for other decorating purposes.” – Willhelm Schmid


The Schäffler was one of the most important craft trades in earlier centuries. There were no plastic buckets and jars. All these containers were made of wood. After the war the State of Bavaria had 1,800 members of this trade. Today, there are only a few companies that satisfy the much reduced demand for these wooden vessels.

cooper-factory-barrels_09  cooper-factory-barrels_07

Click on the image below, for a great interview with Wilhelm Schmid, that takes you through his factory.


Von unserer Familie zu deiner


Kim Zoulek
Festival Director & Creative