ye olde bread blogge

bread, coffee and tidbits

Berliner short sour

with 11 comments

Typically, German bakers want to maintain a high level of acidity in a healthy rye sourdough. The tendency to make bitingly sour breads is not to everybody’s liking, so I’ve heard (shrug). The ‘Berliner Kurzsauer’ (cf. German Wikipedia entry) is a way to quickly develop moderate acidity in a very wet sourdough in a warm environment within a few hours. For getting this quick sourdough going, 20% of mature sourdough coulture is used in this one-stage build. For the final dough, adding commercial yeast is recommended, because yeast multiplication cannot be rushed that easily in such a way. You could rise the bread by adding a white leaven, of course.

The resulting loaf is a very mild rye sourdough bread. Shelf life of loaves made by the Berliner Kurzsauer is a bit shorter than that of breads made with a conventional 18-hour-sourdough. I baked a big loaf so it would not dry out as quickly. Eating it, I believe this type of bread is sometimes sold as ‘Mengbrot’. I don’t think these kinds of breads are made frequently in German bakeries, because 3 hours of doing nothing or getting up 3 hours before the shift will not excite the shop owner or head baker. Overnight batters are probably an easier way to have the dough ready “pünktlich” on time. But flavorwise, a very friendly bread, if there is such a thing.

Berliner Brot

Sourdough build

  • 140g rye flour
  • 120g warm water, 35°C
  • 30g mature rye sourdough culture, hydration: 100%

Let stand at 35°C for 3 hours or until the domed top of the dough starts to sink in the center. At 30°C this will take about 75 minutes more (15 minutes per 1°C below 35°C).


  • Sourdough build
  • 60g rye flour
  • 300g strong white flour
  • Enough water to make an elastic dough, approx. 230g, yielding a total hydration of 71%
  • 5g fresh yeast
  • 9g sea salt

Develop gluten well for a good lift in the oven.
Bulk fermentation: 60 minutes at room temperature
Final fermentation: 1 – 1.5 hours at room temperature


Written by theinversecook

28 September 2008 at 21:47

11 Responses

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  1. I know this might seem like a horrible thing to ask since sourdough is king on this blog, but is there a way to convert this recipe to use with instant yeast? I have been searching high and low for over a year to find a good yeast recipe to use in making this Berliner Brot and also Svensk Bondebrød.


    19 May 2012 at 03:27

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