Bread, food staple whose important role finds its expression in sacred lore and in an "agro-romantic" ideology (K. H. Waggerl and his novel "Brot") which has existed for a long time. Along with the technical aspects of producing farm-baked bread, which was made on every farm in the past, folklorists have a keen interest in the traditional aspects of bread. On particular occasions various kinds of bread with different decorations and shapes ("Gebildbrote") are baked: "Allerseelen-Brot" (All Souls Bread) and "Himmelsleiter" (Jacob's ladder bread) in Upper Austria, dried pear bread and Peregrinikipferl (special croissants) in Vienna, a long plaited bun named after St. Agatha ("Agathenstriezel") in Carinthia, Krapfen).
Along with industrially produced bread, home baked bread is becoming more and more popular in the line with the rise in ecological awareness. For this reason, the bread industry has been offering different kinds of farm-baked and biological bread. A tradition which is no longer upheld was the so-called "Stoerbacken": the dough was prepared at home and then taken to a bakery where the bread was produced.
In 1993 the Austrian bread industry produced 107,000 tons of bread, baked goods and pastries. The 20 largest businesses employ together more than 3,000 people. Austria has 2,600 industrial bakeries where 23,000 employees produce 80 % of all baked goods.
Literature#A. Gamerith, Herkunft und Herstellung des baeuerlichen Haus-Brots, in: Oesterreichischer Volkskundeatlas, 2nd instalment, 1965; E. Burgstaller, Brauchtumsgebaeck und Weihnachtsspeisen, 1957; idem, Das Allerseelen-Brot, 1970; F. Binder et al., Die Brot-Nahrung. Auswahlbibliographie zu ihrer Geschichte und Bedeutung, 3 parts, 1973-1986; B. and S. de Rachewiltz, Tiroler Brot mit Rezepten zum Selberbacken, 21984.