Soluna Brot und Öl - Bakery

My Twitter friend misterrios told me about this place and then when I read about it on Berlinrefied I knew I had to go pronto! Little L and I hopped in our right hand drive Smart and drove down to Kreuzberg.

Gneisenaustrasse is a pretty tree lined street with cafes and quirky little shops.  I went into a design shop (it seemed like a young designer co-op) adjacent to Soluna and gave the girl behind the till a big toothy smile, she just looked at me - totally dead pan, not even an eye lid flutter.

Then I went into Soluna and did my whole “Do you speak English?” spiel.  Different girl, same dead pan expression!

Sometimes I get the feeling that if your face is piercing-less, your clothing matched, or if you don’t have a haircut that features big chunks missing from conspicuous places - you are just not welcomed in some shops in Berlin?  Maybe I come across as Bourgeois (my actual Bourgeois friends must be keeling over at the moment, kicking their feet in the air and hooting with laughter at the thought of that)?  Whatever, there is no denying that little L, myself and my beige rain coat were not met with open arms in Kreuzberg.  It’s extremely irksome, my exterior appearance in no way hinders my ability to appreciate good bread.  If anything I am in a better position than most people who wear Birkenstock Clogs outside their home, because I have had access to some of the best places that dot our green little globe.

Hold on, hold on! Before you delete the bookmark of my blog with a disgusted sneer on your face!  I have done my time!  I waitressed at a Deli in Primrose Hill, which hands down has the highest concentration of bored rich women willing to make you squirm just so they can show off to their gaggle of girl friends.  And I have suffered, I have had to make the same woman her coffee 4 times because it wasn’t hot enough or be lectured by the boyfriend of another when after insisting that her Cappuccino be “bone dry” complained that I hadn’t given her enough milk.  Dry means just foam not milk you silly cow!

So yes, I have been the girl on the other side of the counter - as a result I go to great lengths never to make the person on the other side feel uncomfortable.  It’s a conundrum.  I am considering getting a clip on piercing and maybe some hair pieces but then I might look like a female version of Inspector Clouseau

So the bread.  The New York Times wrote about it (something Soluna proudly proclaims with a laminate of the article in its front window).  According to the Times, Michael Hoffmann (Margaux) proclaimed it to be the Ferrari of the bread world (really? surely he meant Bugatti? Ok, delete my bookmark!).

Peter Klann has a huge following.  But I’ve eaten a lot of bread - even here in Berlin.  I’ve tried the famed Hofpfisterei stuff that is trucked down from Munich. And the bread from Manufactum’s Brot & Butter. And Poilane of course (snore!).  I am even lucky enough to try Misterrios own home made bread using his starter that smells of peach (when I had a starter, it smelled like feet)!  I have eaten my way through a fair number of bread baskets at 3 starred Michelin joints.  Looking at the little bread CV I have put together, I would say, I am in the position to pass judgment on Peter Klann’s bread.

So how was it? Pretty damn good!  If I were Rob Fleming (Nick Hornby’s protagonist in High Fidelity), this bread would definitely make it into my “Top Five”.  I bought the 70% sourdough and if I hadn’t been so greedy, I would have a photo here to show you - alas we gobbled it all up, my camera never stood a chance.  I was slightly alarmed by the extremely dark exterior (I have a lot of fillings and didn’t want to lose any of them).  Worries in vain, the crust was soft and chewy - almost sticky and full of flavor!

I read later in the New York times article, that Peter Klann thinks his bread improves over time.  He went as far as to say that it’s best eaten 3 days after baking.  I only had a little wedge left by day 3 but I have to agree with the man.  That is one good loaf!  Worth taking a detour to Kreuzberg and clipping on that nose piercing!

Note: June 2011.  I’ve been to this place about 12 times now and I feel like the service has gotten a lot better.  Or maybe it’s me, maybe I ‘get’ the Berlin vibe more now than before.  Still think it’s the best sourdough in the city. 

Soluna Brot undÖl
Gneisenaustrasse 58,
10961 Berlin
T. 030 505 98 405
Mo-Fr 13-19
Sa 8-16

13 Responses to Soluna Brot und Öl - Bakery

  1. Thanks for sharing. And the fashion warning. I tend to fit into any Berlin neighborhood (as long as I know beforehand where I’ll be going). But this might not be enough for hardcore-Kreuzberg. I like the idea of clip-on piercings… ;-)

    After all they seem to have overcome their pre-judice towards ‘Normalos’ and let you take pictures… I’m curious now and add Soluna onto my to-visit-list.

    • I took the pictures with my iphone. The great thing about going out, toddler in tow, is people never know if you are taking pictures of your kid or their shop. I will let you borrow her if you want. : )

      • Julia says:

        Erm, actually you need to ask people’s permission before you publish a photo of them. If someone doesn’t like to be published but has been, you might face a “Einstweilige Verfügung” and possibly a fine.

      • Julia says:

        No, I’m not pictured - but I’m a journalist :-) Your blog would only be private if your readers needed a password to read it. Many people don’t know about these things and actually, you can’t blame them. But with the internet making it so easy for everybody to publish, I think at least some basic “media education” at school would be helpful.
        This said: I really like your blog!

  2. Would have loved to try this bread, sounds amazing!

  3. I do envy your nearness to some wonderful bakeries, though it is too bad you might have to wear a Halloween costume (tattoos, piercings, shredded jeans, black nail polish) to get better service.

    I follow misterrios and I love his blog. Great recipes and photos, just like yours.


  4. Worth another detour is the “Jahrhundert-Bäcker” (baker of the century) as he is called in Schönfließer str. It is a very small, very old fashioned bakery and they still bake their bread the old fashioned way without making a hip-crowd-show out of it. The pieces of cake are humongous. My all time favorite old-fashioned bakery not for bread but for so called Splitterbrötchen (sweet rolls) is the Hacker Bakery on Staargader str! Be aware though, both businesses are old family-style bakeries who were already running in the GDR, and the staff is as old as the interior design which means that whereas they might understand Russian, English most likely isn’t spoken.

  5. Pingback: Manufactum Cookware Shop and Knesbeckstrasse, Charlottenburg « foodieinberlin's Blog

  6. thehalftruth says:

    Hi there,
    Great that you’re enjoying Germany’s best breads!
    But I’m confused - I visited this bakery and thought the people working there/running it were not hipsters at all - just normal folks who maybe shop at the biomarkt/reformhaus.
    I don’t have any piercings, am early 30s and they were perfectly nice to me.

    Sometimes German people give a blank stare, it’s nothing to worry about. Sometimes service here can be a little ‘no frills’, but my friends tell me they enjoy it that way and find it to be more ‘honest’ than ingratiating smiles.
    Personally I don’t mind either way - I love friendly helpful service, but the austere stoic style is fine too.

    • I exaggerated for effect of course, and the comments referred more to the design shop next door as opposed to Soluna. But I certainly have the impression that Berlin is segmented into different styles and what flies in Charlottenburg will grate somewhere like Kreuzberg. I still haven’t worked out which particular attributes go with each area but I am getting there.
      In a way that is part of Berlin’s charm, that it is so diverse. On the other hand, I am more used to London where somehow all those styles fashion, lifestyle whatever can work pretty much anywhere.
      Stoic is Ok but I still think it’s nice when people return smiles.

  7. Annitah says:

    and did you know soluna was started and ownd by a kenyan girl yes they started the backery with the bäcker she is his ex wife actually it was Her IDEA they say, to reform Peter Klanns just oel and pestos production company formaly(soluna oel manufactur) after they both visited his ex backery that he lost to his ex wife through a divorce years ago(Peters landbrot near cologne) and she was impressed by the thrilling backery she convinced peter to start up a bakery alover again with her help&his father Horst Klann a retired baker and from nothing to something they made what is soluna today the brilliant lady was the one who made the first interview in 2005 that boosted the bakery after it was rated the best bakery by the Fineschmecker magazine attracting Eg Michael Hoffmann ofMargaux.shes never credited.she should be we all love the bread there.

Leave a Reply

Gravatar Logo

Please log in to to post a comment to your blog.

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 140 other followers