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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Everyday Bread #13

Another Brötchen: an attempt to make Berliner Schrippen

I made a half recipe of these rolls, and really it was a half-hearted attempt, too.  The original recipe called for two German flours, "type 550" and "type 1050".  The numbers refer to the ash content, something that is not measured in North America.  I phoned Arva Flour Mills, the local mill where I get my flour, and asked them if they had run any tests on the ash content, but they were unable to give me any information.  Perhaps if they had told me the length of the stream and the type of wheat, I might have been able figure it out, but other than saying it was hard red wheat, they didn't have a lot of information for me.

The German 550, I have learned, is similar to the U.S. All Purpose, a combination of hard and soft wheats.  The 1050 has a lot more ash, or mineral content.  To get this consistency, one would have to use Canadian all purpose wheat, plus some vital wheat gluten.  I didn't follow this advice, however.  I simply used Arva's all-purpose for the 550, and their whole wheat for the 1050.

  • 900 g Flour (type 550)
  • 100 g Flour (type 1050)
  • 5 g Sugar
  • 10 g Fat (Butter)
  • 50 g Fresh Yeast (or 3/4 tsp dried instant yeast)
  • 20 g Salt
  • 500 g Water, cold
Sift flour and mix; dissolve yeast in water, and add remaining ingredients
Knead into a medium stiff dough.  Let rest for 20 minutes (and repeat?)
Make about 30 rolls in an elongated shape.
Preheat oven to 240 degrees C (464 degrees F), while you score with a sharp knife.
They should only be 3/4 of the way proofed when you put them in!
Use steam in the oven when baking, and bake them 18-20 minutes.

I'm not happy with the way these turned out.  These are not Berliner schrippen.  They came together easily enough.  But the dough was very stiff, not just medium stiff.  And there was very little rise even though I waited 40 minutes.  And even in the oven, it seemed to me that the rolls didn't do much.  They didn't have any oven spring, and they are very dense little buns.  And the taste isn't special.  There isn't nearly enough whole wheat.  I'll never make this recipe again.  They don't make me happy.   I might try more whole wheat, or maybe a bit of rye flour, in a different recipe instead.

Notes to Myself:
  • The Quest for the perfect bun has got to start with whole wheat flour, not all-purpose or bread flour.  
  • Letting the yeast rise the dough overnight might be a better option than trying to get the rise in 20 minutes.  Why not a nice, slow rise with very little yeast to start off with, like Lahey suggests?  Before you go to bed at night, you put out enough dough for a couple of morning buns.  How hard could it be?  Maybe  you can even bake it in the toaster oven.


  1. You cannot be serious with this recipe! Schrippen are one of the best tasting rolls on the planet and need time to make...this isn't a quick bread or bread machine undertaking. This is old fashioned bread making at its best and if you think you can use a toaster oven to bake it after revealing your first disaster...think again! Just look at the crumb you created...Try a real recipe next time one that takes two days to prepare!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment, sorry I missed it when you first wrote. Schrippen invoke such passion, and you're right, this recipe missed the mark. You were right also about the toaster oven idea being a crazy one. But crazy ideas come from the same place great ideas do. Sometimes you have to try them just to find out.

    Next time I try a brötchen recipe (if ever I do) it will likely be Hanseata's -- and I would urge others looking for a good bun to go there for a better recipe than the one on this page.