05. Jun
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Sour tastes good

Without exaggeration: Here you can get the best bread you can buy within walking distance. A visit to the Domberger Brot-Werk. 

This man loves his sourdough. Though perhaps love is too weak a word for it. His leaven is his religion. Welcome to 11 Essener Strasse in the quiet part of Moabit, just a 10-minute walk from Charlottenbogen. Here you can watch bread, rolls and cakes being baked through a glass pane. Step by step. From the pure ingredients to the finished product. And for each step the respective explanations are noted. Step 3, for example: “We fold and stretch the dough by hand, this is how the adhesive framework gently develops. This gives the dough structure and supports the sourdough activity”.  

If you want to talk to the chef and ask him questions about the quality and origin of the ingredients, you can simply do that. Florian Domberger even asks for it. Because only then can he know whether yesterday’s bread really tasted good. Or not. Which can also happen. Not as often as in the beginning, “but now and then it does”, he says. Because sourdough has its pitfalls, is special and sensitive. A hot day and sudden high temperatures can cause an excessively sour taste. But that is no problem, because then you come along with your old bread and you get a fresh one. Free of charge, of course. 

Florian Domberger is a tall man with a straight look, strong handshake, and a loud voice. When he speaks, the whole street can hear him. He used to be in the Bundeswehr, then he worked as a logistician, was always on the road, all over the world. Now he is here, in Berlin, in Moabit, in front of his bakery. He is the boss of 15 employees, because he wanted to be self-employed.  

He has just given two children biscuits, and immediately afterwards he packs the mother her “loot” and brings the two women sitting on the benches in front of the house their coffee and rhubarb cake. Outside the sun is shining, inside it smells of flour, of fresh bread, of oven heat. “The sourdough is a diva, special, highly complex. But it simply tastes delicious,” says the baker.  

Sourdough breads are the breads of his childhood. He cannot eat other breads, especially not those that you can buy in the so-called baking rooms. “Inedible,” he says. Three years ago, when he started here, he had to experiment with the dough because he did not want to bake with yeast. Today he knows what the dough needs. “Time. 24 hours, that is how long we let it rest. And after the bread is baked, we let it rest for a day,” he explains. Only then would it develop its full aroma. Because: “The bread doesn’t go bad so quickly and still tastes good on the fifth day,” says Domberger.  

And if you finally want to try it, bite into a firm, slightly sour, but rather mild bread. A taste one is no longer used to. Fresh and light. But the whole thing has its price. A bread, whether rye, booty or spelt, is available for just under 5 euros. The bakery also sells souls, pretzels, cakes, snails, croissants and steam or tube noodles. 


Florian Domberger
Florian Domberger from the Domberger Brot-Werk 
The dough needs rest …
… but it is worth the wait! 

My name is Karl, I am a journalist in Berlin and I'm here to write reports about your new neighborhood.