The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bratwurst Roll and Black Forest

bakingbadly's picture

Bratwurst Roll and Black Forest

Since late April (last month), I have been baking regularly for my first client. (Hooray!) Customized to their needs, I created the "Bratwurst Roll", perfect for... Well, you guessed it, hot dogs and sausages.

The Bratwurst Roll is about 7 inches (18 cm) in length and consists of the same ingredients for our German bread rolls (Brötchen). In fact, they're both the same bread, just in different sizes.

Nice and efficient!

Also, I recently learnt that customers were requesting for the Bratwurst Rolls from our client's establishment. Now keep in mind, the Bratwurst Rolls are not sold separately on their menu. Now imagine a restaurant bar selling just bread to their customers... Of course, I was ecstatic to hear that my breads were being recognized and appreciated for its quality.

Last weekend our client celebrated their restaurant's 3 year anniversary. They hired my business partner Michael, a professional caterer, to cook several rows of chicken roasts, including roasted potatoes, sweetcorn, pasta salad, and, of course, my bread. 

Yes, your eyes are not fooling you. My bread were placed and nestled into a fan guard. But don't be alarmed, this is consistent with the restaurant's theme. The venue literally has pieces of junk as fixtures and furniture. It's rather nifty, I have to say!


For me, the most memorable moment of the restaurant's anniversary party was when a man returned to the serving area (above) for a second round of food. This time, however, he filled nearly half his plate with bread. I tell ya', a smile was fixed onto my face for hours.

For about a month now I've been developing a new rye bread, which I call the "Black Forest". The formula is a combination of Jeffrey Hamelman's Light Rye Bread (from his renown book Bread) and a bread called "Schwarzwälder Kruste" (Black Forest Crust) by a professional German baker. The flavour is scrumptious, but unfortunately I'm unable to achieve consistency in the crumb. There were a few occasions when the "baker's bedroom" would appear, a large gaping hole beneath the upper crust, and at other times the cavern did not appear at all. I've tried docking the dough with a wooden skewer to prevent such issues from occurring, but it's not working as well as I want.

The only solution I can think of now is to reduce enzymatic activity. Perhaps I need to use less water for the starter, shorten the dough's bulk fermentation, or use a cooler which I currently don't.

I know I haven't provided much details about my formula or procedures, but any tips is appreciated. 

Thank you and jolly bakings, my friends,



isand66's picture

So happy to see you are on your way to a successful business Zita.  Your breads look perfect.

As far as the tunneling issues, I had a similar problem while making a version of the Tartine Porridge bread and figured it was from over-fermenting the dough.  You probably need to adjust your timing to make sure the dough is baked at the right moment.

Happy Baking.

bakingbadly's picture

Thank you for the compliments, Ian. :)

Yes, I really do need to adjust my timing. I'm working at room temperatures hovering around 38C / 100F, without a proofer and mixer. I'm relying on ice cold water, plus a number of other techniques, to control the fermentation. But preparing rye breads under these conditions? Even more difficult. Nonetheless, I'll still do the best I can.

Jolly bakings,


Darwin's picture

The bread looks great, very nicely shaped rolls.  Looks like a great meal.  :)

bakingbadly's picture

Thank you so much, Darwin. :)


Mebake's picture

Commendable efforts, Zita. With such crust and crumb, you ought to meet success soon. The restaurant's clients sure have an advanced palate. Nice work. Bratwurst look fantastic! black forest bread also seems very promising. 

I know that you work against so many odds, but this is what makes a true, seasoned baker. You are on the right track, keep it going.


bakingbadly's picture

Thank you! :)

You're right, we are working against many odds. It took a lot of effort to get where I am now but it's just the beginning. My ultimate goal is to run the bakery without my presence and supervision, while producing high quality, artisanal breads rolls and sourdough loaves. I would also like to save up money and import a small grain mill, as well as build a top-notch wood-fire oven.

Is this possible? My heart and mind says yes. I just need to keep my chin up and remain persistent. 

Best wishes to you and your bakery, Khalid,


dabrownman's picture

the feast of fine food.  Being determined and persistent are two of the great character attributes required for success along with about 100 others.  I'm not sure you will be able to run your bakery without your supervision - otherwise someone else is running it.  Even Chad Robertson works at Tartine, doing training, supervision and actual baking too.

Still, It might pay to make some sausages and sell them in your buns!  All the bakeries I like sell their baked goods as part of breakfast and lunch - where the real money can be made.  But, you have to start somewhere and sticking to it is the only way to get there in the end..

Everything looks great and i'm glad you are making headway.

bakingbadly's picture

Thanks, Dab!

You're likely right about that. It won't be easy to run the bakery without my supervision. I would only trust somebody who's enthusiastic about bread as I am, and people like that are hard to come by in this part of the world.

Speaking of sausages, by the end of the year a certified master butcher from Germany will open and operate a butchery in my town. We already have plans to work together, so the sausage rolls is a good possibility. All we need now is a cheese monger / producer and a craft beer brewer. :)

Cheers and jolly bakings,


varda's picture

Hi Zita,  As usual I'm a day late and a dollar short, so I missed this post.   Love the bratwurst rolls.   Makes me hungry.   You don't say what percentage rye your Black Forest bread is.   I regularly make Flaxseed rye which is 60% rye and also very high hydration.   I bulk ferment for  one to 1.5 hour, and sometimes the proof is only 1/2 hour but never more than 50 minutes, and that's in a temperate climate.   It's hard to get used to these short periods when you are accustomed to baking wheat bread, but it's what is called for.   Frequently when I shape, I say uh-oh - better get the oven preheated and the half hour is only the time it takes to preheat.   In other words I get it in as soon as possible.   In any case you are very brave and I'm sure it will pay off.  -Varda

bakingbadly's picture

:) Hi Varda!

The total percentage of rye, specifically T1150 or medium rye, is about 20%... Not a lot but a big hassle in tropical climates. I'm afraid to venture into anything beyond 40% rye. It's after that point where I'm at a lost, not entirely sure how I can control the speedy fermentation (without a proofer or refrigerator).

IRegardless, I'm expected to produce an assortment of German rye breads. The expats are patiently waiting for them.

Cheers and best wishes,