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Berlin Short Sour from the bread machine

with 10 comments

Before anyone claims to have witnessed the downfall of this blog, I hereby declare that I will not do this again in some time. It is told, that yesterday, Sunday, 1 Feb 2009 at 12 am, a person looking like me descended to the deeper dungeons and opened a dusty crate. Ignoring the skull painted on it and after cutting the chains and chasing off the demons that had spawned in the vicinity, that person managed to hieve up the innards of the crate and carry them into the kitchen. It turned out it was a contraption commonly referred to as ‘bread making machine’, which had been placed in the basement long ago.

That person proceeded to put dough into it, set the timer and went to bed. To redeem his sin, he pledges to stick to hand mixing in the future.

Brot mit Berliner Kurzsauer aus dem Brotbackautomaten

Berlin short sour build

  • 135g rye flour
  • 135 water, warm
  • 50g mature rye sourdough, hydration: 100%

Mix and let stand covered in a warm place for about 5 hours. The short sour should be inflated and start to recede in the center (‘full drop’).


  • 20g rye flour
  • 270g strong white flour
  • 160g water
  • 5g fresh yeast
  • 9g salt
  • Berlin short sour build

Put everything into the bread machine, liquid first. Turn machine on. Step back, leave the room and act natural on the way out. If you’re a real man, never come back.

The bread is very light – totally fluffy, and rather uniformly so. I contribute this to the extensive mixing and the warm and humid atmosphere inside a bread maker. Crummy crust, more like a steamed dumpling than anything else. On top there was a leathery skin that had separated from the top of the loaf. No, that is not how bread is supposed to be made. The mixer is good, the oven is devastating.

Written by theinversecook

2 February 2009 at 17:41

10 Responses

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  1. Impressively homogeneous crumb, Nils. Looks exactly like the pre-sliced toast breads they sell in plastic bags in supermarkets. “Stays fresh for at least 14 days”

    Certainly no additives ;)

    Ah! When will the ARTISAN bread machine arrive? 3.5 hours bulk fermentation with a series of four stretch and folds. That’ll be the day.

    Hans Joakim

    2 February 2009 at 18:31

  2. It tasted a bit like a supermarket bread too. I wonder why. The mixer is in no way as aggresive or strong as an industrial one. Probably the very warm proofing temperature, which helps to get a regular crumb.

    The artisan bread machine…hm, would have to be huge to accomodate baguettes.


    2 February 2009 at 21:10

  3. Lord Nils, you really jumped into the abyss! Can’t say I have a bread machine except my kitchen aid mixer which I really don’t use as much as my hands.
    Your forgiven, I can tell it was an exercise, purely scientific?



    3 February 2009 at 06:26

  4. Nils, if you ever want to apply for a position at Kayser’s or the Hofpfisterei, let’s just hope that the employer doesn’t Google “Nils”+”bread machine” before hiring you ;)

    Btw, just read about the Chorleywood bread process in Andrew Whitley’s “Bread Matters” (

    Sounds like pretty scary stuff… Not that it’s in any way related to the above photo or anything.

    Hans Joakim

    3 February 2009 at 11:04

  5. Fie, what did you do, Nils?!
    My respect for you is almost gone… ;)

    Jeez, if you ever again want to produce bricks tell me and I lend you my dough for rolls. *lol*

    Good that you stick to “real backing” in the future. :)


    3 February 2009 at 19:13

  6. Hi Nils, Anything that gives me a laugh is good at this time of the year is good. As always your formula and method inform and entertain, keep it up! Your description of the crust separating from the crumb sound like there might be excessive enzymatic activity, sometimes known as a “flying crust”, unless you are west of the international date line, in which case it’s called a “frying crust”. Get it?
    I will try this bread.
    -David Aplin

    David Aplin

    4 February 2009 at 02:27

  7. @ Jeremy: Naturally, all in the name of science…or just because it was too late to bake the loaf in time. That’ll be a lesson to to me.

    Not scientific, but I was able to confirm that if a dough, wheat or predominantly made from wheat, is mixed and fermented at relatively high temperatures, this will give a very uniform texture. I read that on Bäcker Süpke’s blog, he mentioned that toast bread is made that way.

    @ Hans Joakim: Hm it does sound really odd. Aggressive high speed mixing? The bread baking machine is rather tough on the tough, but it probably does not qualify for high-speed mixing. Although it is interesting at what intervals the machine kneaded. There was one initial mixing phase, then a rest of about 10 minutes then a long knead and then two or shorts bursts over a period of about an hour. Will make another batch of bread and let the machine knead it. But then will put it in a normal oven.

    @Katrin: Oops, better do some proper bread before respect is used up. Tight roll dough? Hm, rolls are difficult! Proving them relatively warm is my best tip and use a preferment. Had good results with Ströck’s roll recipes. Lend? I have to give it back? Aw…


    4 February 2009 at 02:40

  8. Of course you have to give the resulting bricks back. I want to build a wood fired oven in my garden and need construction material… *lol*

    (Well, those rolls I did this weekend are the best evidence you shouldn’t hurry.)


    4 February 2009 at 03:23

  9. Hi Nils,

    I’ve seen a few bread recipes in German that include one sort or other of “Schmalz”. Could you please explain the term?

    Hans Joakim

    5 February 2009 at 12:51

  10. Ah, I see, Katrin, something truly organic to breathe the spirit of bread into the oven right from the start!

    Hans Joakim, ‘lard’, I think. “One sort or other” probably is where the trouble begins, there are hundreds of different lards. You could probably make a myriad of bread varieties based on lards.

    In bread, I have seen Schmalz used in light rye breads to make the dough smooth and pliable. There’s a bread called Pottweckk which looks a bit like the lard cake from Dan Lepard’s Handmade Loaf. Wasn’t lard used in sweet baking a lot in former times?


    5 February 2009 at 15:02

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