Louisville Magazine

MAR 2012

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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[The Circuit] PEOPLE s PLACES s THINGS TO DO Klaus F Riedelsheimer Pretzel baker rom the sidewalk, 1006 Barret Ave. is an abandoned storefront, former home of Calla- han's Catering. You'd never know that behind the double doors, Klaus (it rhymes with "house") Riedelsheimer is churning out one of Louisville's hottest food trends: his signature pretzel bread, which folks can find at Holy Grale (served with beer cheese), New Albany Exchange (shrimp po' boy on a pretzel hoagie), Equus and Jack's Lounge (smoked Hot Brown on a pretzel roll), and nearly a half-doz- en more local restaurants. Riedelsheimer (who declined to give his age) trained as a chef in his native Germany, and in the '70s, a position as executive chef at the Pendennis Club brought him to Louisville. After a string of chef posts, catering work and running Te Mill — a German restaurant in Lanesville, Ind., that has since closed — Riedelsheimer became "semi-retired" in 2008. "So there I was, sitting at home, putting on weight. When I'd been at Te Mill, customers al- ways asked me for extra loaves of our pretzel bread," he says, wearing a gray shirt and checkered chef's pants. "After I stopped working, people just kept on asking me for the bread. I told them all to leave me be." In late 2010, he gave in. He began baking from home, setting up tastings with local restaurants and showcasing his pretzel bread at a series of Oktoberfest dinners. In January 2011, Riedelsheimer rented the Barret bakery. He's extremely protective of his recipe. "I can't allow any interviews or photo shoots during our morning bak- ing hours. Tat would give away my secrets," he says. "I will tell you that I use a long proofing (dough- rising) process — about 12 to 15 hours. I also im- port my food-grade lye from Germany, because what we have in the States is a slightly different product." He and his assistant begin each day about 5 a.m., baking pretzel loaves, baguettes, hoagies, rolls, buns and their newest experiment, the pretzel butter croissant, for delivery all over the city. And in his off time, Riedelsheimer enjoys his pretzel bread the way he ate it growing up. "Weisswurst, pretzel bread and a beer," he says. "Makes a heck of a supper." — Carrie Daut 3.12 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE [11]

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