Oktoberfest in Germany begins Saturday, September 22, 2012, and ends Sunday, October 7, 2012...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pumpernickel Bread

One of the goals I gave myself when I started this blog was to learn how to make bread, and one of the breads at the top of my list is Pumpernickel.   So, after trying a couple of different recipes and processes, here is a recipe that is easy and delicious.   It’s inspiration comes from a small pamphlet sized cookbook titled “Making European Breads”  by Glenn Andrews, which I tweaked a bit.   Anyway, give this a try and let me know your thoughts...

My adaptation employs a food processor.   This process mixes and blends so efficiently it eliminates the need to hand knead unless the dough becomes too wet.  I also highly recommend you bake your loaf on a baking stone.


1 Tablespoon of Active Dry Yeast 
¾ cup lukewarm water (plus extra if needed during the mixing process)
¼ cup molasses
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon dry Dark Cocoa
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
1 cup rye flour
1 cup bread flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
¼ cup Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon cornmeal
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour)
1 tablespoon melted butter


First oil the interior of a non-reactive bowl and set aside.

Then, proof the yeast by pouring the molasses into a non-reactive container – I use a 2 cup size measuring cup.   Then, pour the lukewarm water over the molasses and using a plastic spoon stir until well mixed.  Next, sprinkle the dry yeast over the molasses/water mixture and stir it in.   When well mixed, set the container aside in a warm place ( I use the interior of my microwave) and allow it to sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes.   When you get a foamy top you know the yeast is activated.   *please note the 1 Tablespoon measurement of yeast rather than a standard single package is needed to get a good rise for this dense type of bread.   The rye and whole-wheat flours make this dough a bit heavier and the extra yeast offers better success*

Meanwhile, as the yeast is proofing, to the bowl of a food processor add the flours, salt, cocoa, and caraway seeds.   Pulse or run on low until everything is very well combined.

Then, pour the yeast mixture over the top of the dry mixture in the food processor.

Now, run the food processor on low while at the same time pouring the Canola Oil through the chute.  When fully incorporated stop the processor.   If you do not have a firm dough ball then drizzle a little more lukewarm water via the chute while running the processor again on low until the mixture turns into a dough ball.

Then, remove the dough ball from the processor and press with your hands into a firm ball.   Place the ball into the oiled bowl and roll it around to coat it entirely with the oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise.  (I use the interior of my microwave oven as it keeps a constant temperature)  Allow the dough to rise until it has roughly doubled in size.  This will take a little more than an hour or even two.

Now, punch down the dough and press it again into a small ball.   Place the ball on an oiled baking stone sprinkled with corn meal.  Invert the bowl the dough raised in over the ball and allow the dough to raise again until roughly doubled in size.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

As the oven is pre-heating make the egg wash by whisking the egg and flour together until mixture is smooth and shiny. 

When the loaf has doubled in size, cut across it’s top in two or three places with a sharp knife.   Brush with the egg wash and bake for 40 – 45 minutes.   The loaf will sound hollow if tapped when done.  

Mine baked to perfection in 40 minutes.

Immediately after removing the loaf from the oven brush lightly with melted butter.   The hot loaf will absorb the butter and create a tender crust.

Enjoy !!!

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