Berliner short sour
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.
- 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