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Bavarian Sweet Mustard (Bayerischer Süßer Senf)

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A thoroughly authentic sweet German mustard recipe, this Bavarian sweet mustard is the kind served at the Munich Oktoberfest! Delicious and easy to make!

german mustard traditional authentic bavarian sweet mustard recipe bayerischer süßer senf german oktoberfest

My mom is from Bavaria from a small town south of Munich on the Austrian border, and though I grew up in Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart, I equally consider Bavaria my home.  I could spend multiple posts praising the beauty of this stunning region of southern Germany, but today we’re focusing on just one aspect:  Oktoberfest!

What comes to your mind when you think of the word Oktoberfest?

If you’ve been to a real Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany what undoubtedly comes to mind are the huge crowds overflowing the Bierhalle, lots of beer, amusement rides, games, and sidestalls serving a variety of traditional Oktoberfest foods like bratwursts, roasted chicken, Schweinehaxe (grilled ham hocks), Steckerlfish (grilled fish on a stick), Käsespätzle, Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Pretzels, Obatzda (Bavarian cheese spread), Sauerkraut, Rotkohl, Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), and Weisswurst.

Sweet Bavarian Mustard (Bayerischer Süßer Senf)

And along with these traditional dishes is a quintessential Bavarian condiment that is simply inseparable from any Oktoberfest celebration:  Bayerischer Süßer Senf.  The traditional, famous Bavarian sweet mustard also know as Weisswurst mustard.

oktoberfest

anandoart / Shutterstock

There are many versions of Sweet Bavarian Mustard and I’m going to share one with you that captures the age-old flavors that have made this condiment a favorite for eons.  With a hint of cloves, apples, juniper berries, allspice and nutmeg, one taste and you’ll be transported back to Munich or any Biergarten throughout Bavarian where this beloved mustard is served.

How does one eat Bavarian Sweet Mustard?  Traditionally it is the classic accompaniment to Weisswurst, white Bavarian veal sausage.  But it’s also commonly enjoyed with Bavarian Leberkäs, with pretzels for dipping or spread on sandwiches.

But aside from these classic uses, you can enjoy it as you would most other mild mustards.  It’s very versatile.

The origin of Bavarian Sweet Mustard dates back to mid-19th century Munich where Johann Conrad Develey opened up a mustard factory on Kaufingerstraße in the center of town.  He initially created French-style mustards which quickly became popular.  Shortly thereafter he realized that there was a gap in the mustard market:  A sweet mustard was missing.

bavarian-senf-prep-10

He began experimenting with infusing vinegar with onions and a variety of spices like cloves, nutmeg and allspice to create a enticing and flavorful base to which he then added both yellow and brown mustard.  He achieved the sweet flavor he was looking for by first caramelizing the sugar by dipping red hot pokers into it.  This gave the mustard a depth of flavor not achieved by regular sugar.  The resulting mustard was was unlike any other of its time.  And since its birth, Bayerischer Süßer Senf has remained a popular staple in every Bavarian biergarten and in every Bavarian home.

sweet bavarian mustard recipe traditional authentic bavarian sweet mustard bayerischer süßer senf german oktoberfest

And now you can make it yourself and it’s super easy!  No more having to pay a premium price for the imported stuff online or at a local German deli (if you’re lucky to have one), not only can you make it yourself for a tiny fraction of the cost, it also tastes better than any of the store-bought versions!

And it makes the perfect hostess and holiday gift.  This recipe makes a fairly large batch and for just pennies more you can double it.

Sweet Bavarian Mustard Recipe

Let’s get started!

The first thing we’re going to do is prepare the spiced sweet vinegar solution.

Originally the sugar was scorched with hot irons to caramelize it and later people caramelized it in frying pans.  Today most people just use regular sugar or brown sugar to try and mimic that rich caramelized flavor.  I’m using Mexican piloncillo which clearly isn’t traditional and undoubtedly Herr Develey never would have heard of let alone used it, but I’m using it because piloncillo has a more pure caramelized flavor and more closely resembles caramelized sugar than does molasses added to white sugar (ie, brown sugar).  Piloncillo is very unprocessed.  It’s simply cane sugar juice that has been reduced to a thick syrup and then dried into shaped molds.  Because it’s so unprocessed it still has a lot of raw qualities that impart a deep rum, caramel flavor.

brown sugar

You’ll also need bay leaves, whole cloves, allspice berries, black peppercorns, ground nutmeg and juniper berries (fyi, you also need juniper berries for making German Red Cabbage).

spices

Place all of the ingredients, except for the mustard seeds, in a medium stock pot.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it steep for 1 hour.

adding the liquids onions and bay leaves to a pot

Strain the liquid and place it in a large non-reactive bowl (preferably glass).

straining the liquid

Next we’re going to grind the mustard seeds.

brown and yellow mustard seeds

Grind them very coarsely, you don’t want a fine powder.

I’ve been using my Krupps Spice/Coffee Grinder to for 10 years to grind spices and spice blends and it’s still going strong.

ground brown and yellow mustard seeds

Stir the ground mustard seeds in the vinegar solution.  It will thicken.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 weeks before using to allow the flavors to meld and deepen.  The mustard will initially be quite hot but over this resting period the heat will become more subdued.  Over time the seeds will also absorb the liquid and the mustard will thicken.

sweet bavarian mustard recipe bayerischer süßer senf german oktoberfest traditional authentic

Stored in the fridge, this mustard will keep for up to 6 months.

Enjoy!

bavarian sweet mustard recipe authentic traditional bayerischer süßer senf german oktoberfest

bavarian sweet mustard recipe traditional authentic bayerischer süßer senf german oktoberfest

For more traditional German favorites be sure to try our:

german mustard recipe sweet bavarian weisswurst authentic traditional homemade octoberfest

Bavarian Sweet Mustard (Bayerischer Süßer Senf)

The famous mustard eaten at the annual Oktoberfest!
4.86 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course condiment
Cuisine German
Servings 8 half pints
Calories 558 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 1/2 cups quality white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cups apple juice
  • 16 ounces Mexican piloncillo ,can substitute brown sugar - see info in blog post about why piloncillo is recommended. Use slightly less if using brown sugar (it's sweeter than piloncillo)
  • 1 large yellow onion ,quartered
  • 1 large clove garlic ,halved
  • 4 juniper berries ,fyi, you also need these for making Rotkohl
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 9 ounces yellow mustard seeds
  • 9 ounces brown mustard seeds

Instructions
 

  • Bring all ingredients, except for the mustard seeds, to boil in a medium stock pot. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let steep for 1 hour. Strain the ingredients and place the vinegar solution in a large non-reactive bowl (preferably glass).
  • Use a spice or coffee grinder to very coarsely grind the mustard seeds.
  • Stir the coarsely ground mustard seeds into the vinegar solution.  The mixture will initially be liquidy and will thicken over time.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 weeks before using to allow the flavors to meld and deepen. The mustard will initially be quite hot but over this resting period the heat will become more subdued.
  • Stored in the fridge, this mustard will keep up to 6 months.
  • Note:  This recipe can be halved or quartered if you don't want to make a large amount.

Nutrition

Serving: 8half pints (entire batch)Calories: 558kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 16gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 599mgPotassium: 543mgFiber: 8gSugar: 55gVitamin A: 20IUVitamin C: 6.3mgCalcium: 197mgIron: 6.7mg
Keyword German Mustard
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating




4.86 from 14 votes (4 ratings without comment)

68 Comments

  1. Thznk you for posting this recipe. I have so missed the sweet senf!!
    The proceedings is a testimony of its excellence!
    When I made my second batch I was enjoying it with lunch as one of my customers were in. From the smell she wanted some.
    I brought a 6oz jar the next day for her. But before she came, another customer, my friend Elke, originally from Stuttgart was in and noticed it.
    Well, I sent my original customer to my house to retrieve another jar. And, my friend Elke called to inform me she ate the whole box of pretzels and now needed more of both!!

  2. Yes, Vicki, it can! Just Google canning mustard. The best sites are Bells Canning, Honest-food.net and maybe Mason?! Alton Brown has a good recipe for basic mustard too. Just remember to use real canning jars and lids! Get the really tiny ones!

  3. Hah! Nearly a year exactly! This was so well received last year, I am making another batch for gifts this season too! My European friends love this! ( I also make various liquor flavored mustards, using those tiny bottles from the liquor store! The moonshine, and the southern comfort, rum and bourbon are also great!)! Happy Christmas all!

  4. This sounds so close to a recipe I had from my Great Tunte, which unfortunately over 3 moves I lost. Hers was BWB for 15 minutes to preserve. Can this recipe also be preserved instead of refrigerated?
    Thank you Vicki

  5. I completely forgot to mention what I did about the Mexican sugar. Since I didn’t have any, your comments about the old timers using hot irons to ” sear” the sugar, I did this. I have some very course Demerara washed raw sugar in my cast iron pan. I heated it over very low for about 4-5 minutes, shaking it often to keep it from burning. I believe that may have slightly carmelized it for the vinegar! The vinegar came out perfectly and I even made a second batch from the seeds, etc. Terrific! Thanks and I hope this helps someone who, like me, would never have that Mexican stuff on hand! All the best! Happy cooking!

    1. There are really only 3 varieties most commonly used for culinary purposes: Black, brown and yellow. Black is mostly used in the Middle East and Asia minor. Brown is spicier than yellow. Bitterness: Initially the homemade mustard will be quite hot and bitter but it will mellow over time, so the key is waiting.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this terrific recipe! My hubby is from Recklinghausen; we lived there 2+ years. I just made this and, wow!, the vinegar smells divine! I don’t do ” hot” so only using the yellow seeds. I have the same grinder 😊 so it’s ground up nicely!
    Too bad I didn’t get it done on time for Christmas gifts, will be for Valentine’s day this year, but, next November I will be making up batches of this for next Christmas! Now, to find pretty little jars and labels!😂 Thanks again! Gotten appetite!

    1. Hi Ricardo, it’s not going to lose all of it’s heat. But the heat does become less pronounced over time and the sweet helps to offset it. If it’s bitter that has something to do with the particular mustard seeds used, i.e. the brand/source/freshness, etc.

      1. Hi Richard.
        I added some raw honey to my very first batch, after it set the 3 weeks. It did not make it much sweeter, but did lessen the heat and thicken it a little.
        Now I use 11oz Yellow and 7oz Black seeds. The yellow are much milder. It does give it s lighter color, but tasted is splendid!

  7. I made this last night it is still very runny will it thicken in the three weeks of aging or should I add more mustard?
    the initial taste is excellent

    1. Yes it will thicken. This particular mustard is somewhat runny anyway and will never get “thick.” If however after a few days it’s still “really” runny, just add some more ground mustard to it. I’m glad you like the flavor!

  8. Hi Kimberly. sounds like your Mom must be coming from the Garmisch-Partenkirchen or Mittenwald area. I used to live in this beautiful area myself. Well I have been thinking about making Bayerischen Suessen Senf for about 50 years. This is it, you have inspired me and I will give it a go. Many thanks Rolf from NZ

    1. Hi Rolf, greetings to New Zealand! There is no more beautiful area in all of Germany, that’s for sure. I’m glad you’ve finally decided to give this mustard a go – enjoy! :)

  9. Thanks, Kimberly. I actually did add some more roughly ground seeds – there used to be two inches of liquid at the bottom. The mustard is at a spreadable consistency, I just didn’t know if I’d done something wrong. Thanks for replying.

  10. I made the mustard, and I really like the flavor of this (and I’m not a big sweet fan). However, I do have a question – the seeds didn’t soak up all the liquid. I’ve been ageing the mustard for 4 weeks now, and there’s still about an inch of the liquid that stays at the bottom. I give everything a stir every few days, but it seems the seeds have reached their saturation point. Did I do something wrong?

    1. Hi! That is strange and yes, by now they would have reached their saturation point. You mentioned the liquid is on the very bottom. Is the mustard mixture above that water layer thick enough for a spreadable mustard? If yes, simply scoop off the mustard and discard the liquid at the bottom. If no, add some more ground mustard to the mixture to thicken it a bit more.

  11. I made this soon after you posted it and patiently waited 3 full weeks. Last night we finally pulled it out and sat down to enjoy it with some brats and pretzels from a local bakery that makes German pretzels. Oh my goodness, it was like being back in Germany – heavenly! This mustard is perfect, just the right blend of spicy and sweet with a great flavor. So cheap to make and I have a TON of mustard seeds left that I’m going to use to make more mustard for gifts. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!