Shortstory -One Dramatic ‘Historic’ Legend of the German Bretzel

Frieder, the baker of the Earl van Eberhard from Urach (smaller city in the South of Germany) once talked nastily about his boss (probably talking about his weight, or wife). The earl got wind of it, and felt insulted as all Earls would and wished to punish his baker.

“You were very ungrateful.

You’ve gained everything through me, and now you’re insulting me, the earl of Urach? For this insult you shall hang!” The miserable baker was thrown into the castle’s dungeon and his wife was in shock about the events. She loved her husband dearly, so the brave woman hurried to the earl to beg for mercy.

“We’ll do anything for you, but please let my husband live.” She cried throwing herself to the earl’s feet. The earl felt generous, and being the good ruler he thought he was, considered her proposal all the while padding his large stomach. You see, if the baker was to hang, he would lose his favourite food, missing out on all the good pastry. So the earl came up with a difficult task as penance for the sorry baker.

“It is only because I appreciate your work that I desire to give you another chance. In three days you shall bake me a cake or pastry, through which the sun shines three times and will taste better than anything I know. Then he shall gain his freedom.”

Frieder got released and together they begun immediately working in their bakery. Feverishly baking, planning, tasting. But after two days, still no great ideas had come to poor Frieder. Lacking any inspiration, on the third day, he kneaded a simple yeast dough, knowing the earl preferred savoury over sweet. He kneaded and kneaded, rolling the dough around and ending up with a sling, but then he didn’t know where to go from there.

The baker wiped his sweat, baking for his life, and stared at his desperate looking wife whose brow was furrowed and her arms crossed. Without thinking much he worked the twist of her arms into the dough, made some more to practice and after a while he was content with the result.The body was thick with thin long arms and three holes for the sun to shine through. Frieder thought he at least found the shape and rekindled the fire in his oven where the cat had slept on all day.

But as the oven got hot, the animal jumped off and straight onto the tray with the life-saving pastries. The baker screamed, the wife cried, because it so happened that the wife had made a Lauge, a lye, for cleaning the floor, and in exactly that bucket fell all the pastries. The day had only another hour before the sun would set. They were running out of time.

The wife screamed at the cat, the baker at his wife and soon coming to their senses they attempted to salvage the pastries. “It’s all over!” Frieder cried, but the wife kept her cool, spread some salt on the pastries, pushed them in the oven as they were, and together they sat in front of the fire holding hands and waited.

When Frieder took the pastries out of the oven the two were astonished. Not only did the pastries look well, but they smelled heavenly and the different textures of crunchy arms and soft ‘belly’ gave them hope.


Frieder brought a few in a basket with some wine to the earl and knelt on the ground, His heart was about to stop when the earl held one pastry up against the evening sun.“Ha! Indeed, the sun shines through it three times. What do you call this?”

Frieder didn’t’ know what to say, so the earl bit into one of his creations to soon make large eyes and loud noises of delight, so the baker gained confidence. “I thought of my wife’s loving arms, which wouldn’t be able to embrace me if I was dead. But because I am devoted to you, my earl, you shall pick a name.”

The earl’s wife knew the Latin word for arms and intertwined hands. “Brachia, or Brazula could be its name.” she said, sitting beside her husband trying the pastry herself. “Let’s call it Brazel!” The earl shouted. “Now, bring me two baskets for tomorrow!”

The baker rose from the ground, ran back to his pale wife where they hugged, cried and were never as happy as in that moment. And from that time on both became true followers and servants to the state Wuerttemberg and never lost another bad word about the earl.


Hey, thanks for contacting me. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Have a lovely day, Jolene

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