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Friday, August 20, 2010

Pumpernickel Bread

I have a bread, and it’s called pumpernickel,
Yum yum pumpernickel,
Pumpernickel bread, hey!

Watch this clip.

I knew of pumpernickel through Barney. This purple dinosaur not only taught my girls stuff, but it taught me that there is a bread called pumpernickel. So off I went googling for more information.

Pumpernickel is a German traditional bread that is traditionally leavened for days and slowly baked at low temperature. It’s very dense and full of rye.
But Americans made their own version of pumpernickel, adding in coffee, molasses, cocoa powder to imitate the dark colour that traditional pumpernickels have. And it doesn’t possess the density that traditional ones have, rather more like regular wholemeal bread. Personally I believe that I’ll try out the adulterated version.. due to convenience. But please take notice that this is not the real pumpernickel that is German in origin.

One day, when I went to Ipoh for some bakery supply shopping, I saw the word “pumpernickel” in the fridge. I looked closer, gosh!!!! It’s pumpernickel rye flour or the coarse meal of rye berries. Then I saw dark rye flour beside it. Gosh!!! These stuff are in Ipoh?? Gosh Gosh!!!

I quickly bought one pack of each and when I got home, I tried to find a suitable recipe.. and I found this . I do not have whole meal flour with me, but pumpernickel meal, so I subbed the whole meal with pumpernickel meal, isn’t that better? I only have that much of rye flour and pumpernickel meal, so I can only use bread flour for the rest. And as always I love butter with bread and I put in slightly more. I adjusted the recipe slightly (sugar and oil) and the rest quite stuck to the ratio. I do not have molasses, but I have dark brown sugar, something easily found and bought at sundry shops, and they are really cheap. But mine was bought from Tesco, a milled form, lighter in colour, rather than in clumps. I do believe those in sundry/grocery shops that sells by weight smells better and looks much darker, just like gula melaka. Use that if you can. See the sugar in this pic to see how dark it is. The one below is the one I bought as used this time.

Non Traditional Pumpernickel Bread Recipe
100gm dark rye flour (although my package was labeled as dark rye flour, it doesn’t look dark at all, when I compared mine to the recipe source)
100gm pumpernickel meal (coarse rye), lightly pulsed to reduce to a finer texture
200gm bread flour
3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
20gm butter
1 tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp instant yeast
300ml water
Extra bread flour for flouring during kneading

Mix the flours and salt in a bowl. Stir in the yeast and brown sugar (break up the brown sugar a bit with your fingers before mixing it in). Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the butter, and water. Mix well to form a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured counter and knead for 10 minutes. As you knead it, the dough will become sticky and a little difficult to work with – just add a dusting of flour whenever it gets too difficult and continue to knead. Clean out the bowl you were using and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Shape dough into a round and place in bowl, cover with a dishtowel and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
Punch down dough in bowl and place on counter to divide in two small oblongs. Grease two small loaf pans and press an oblong of dough into each. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Place risen loaves in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the bread is dark brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn out and cool on wire rack. Wrap in waxed paper and foil (I just put into Tupperware, whole, unsliced) and let cure for 24 hours (I only did it overnight). Serve in thin slices.

Actually I didn’t knead this by hand, but used Mike’s aunt’s breadmaker on Pizza mode. I'm a total flop with manual kneading.
Shaped by hand and baked in my oven.

The dough is very soft and STICKY. (Maybe it was due to using less flour comparatively cos I wasn't flouring the table for manual kneading) I was glad I did it in the breadmaker. I dusted and dusted my hands and tray with lots of flour when I wanted to shape it, which explains the whitish spiral shape on the bread slices. The dough is a fast riser….. it grows and grows. And when it was baking in the oven…. You should be here to smell it. Fantastic. My kids enjoyed this bread very much, compared to regular wholemeal bread. The pumpernickel meal gives it a nice chewy and "toing toing" texture. I'll definately bake this again...

I’m going to eat it with my homemade Apricot Jam… Yum yum.


  1. hey ya,
    Am back on your blog again! hehehe. This bread looks so fresh and good. your so talented in making things. I mean - when I get my own kitchen. I would be baking and cooking a lot more than I am now. Right now I am just eating out and eating the food my Fiance's mom makes. Not bad - at least I dont have to do any cooking for now till later. :)

    Jen @

  2. don't think i can make this, kids and hubby prefer sweet and soft bread. But I'm ok with this kind of bread.

  3. hey Wendy, U too shops at Intrigo! Me too! Haha! Nice bread! Will try when I get my hand on those ingredients! cheers :)

  4. Wow, you make Pumpernickel! My FIL loves the traditional German Pumpernickel, but I am not into it - I prefer your version :).

  5. Wow, looks a bit like the french baguette where it's crispy outside and soft's the taste?

  6. Have not tried making pumpernickel bread before heard it's taste is close to Rye bread. It's slightly more tough bread compared to the other traditional Asian bread. But it has good nutritional values & I bet it is excellent with your apricot jam. ;)

  7. Jen,
    Lucky you :)

    True, Asians tend to prefer soft white breads, the softer the better.

    Esther Chin? My schoolmate or another Esther?
    Actually I shop everywhere. Sometimes I go to Intrico for emergency supplies cos it's easy to find parking there.

  8. Cooking Gallery,
    How I wish I could taste the traditional one.
    But even the non traditional one is not available here.

    It's not crispy the time I ate it, cos it was put in tupperware overnight. But it's chewy , bouncy sort of bread. Not hard but dense and bouncy.

  9. Bee,
    Actually pumpernickel is rye. It's coarse rye meal. If you ever google dark rye bread or pumpernickel (American version), it's all jumbled up and they all look pretty similiar, recipe wise.

  10. I like rye bread but I don't make them. My family likes soft bread. Once in a while I'll buy and eat it all myself!

  11. Busygran
    Yeah, rye bread tends to be denser that regular white bread. Hard to convert non eaters.

  12. looks rustic !! "toing toing" hahah

  13. This is Carlos fav bread to make his sandwish. Tradtionally people like this bread with smoke salmon. The original pumpernickel bread is very dark in color (almost black) and has caraway seeds in it which I not a fan of it.

  14. Wendy, I started to appreciate these kind of bread after I am into GI thingi (aiya, weight keep creeping up so mo ban fah loh) but I am the only in the family will eat, the rest only white bread :(.

  15. forgot to tell u, the bread looks good but I prefer to spread with butter, or toast in the oven with cheese, yum yum!

  16. Swee San,
    Hehehe, it shows its homemade :)

    Oh, Carlos's fav bread eh. When will you be making some with yout favourite recipe then?

    the toasting will make the bread easier to chew, right?

  17. This is my kind of bread. Nice looking loaf you got there :)

  18. One of my most favorite, love the last picture

  19. Anne,
    Thanks, You know what? I'm getting some kamut and buckwheat flour, and I'm going to try your healthy recipes :)

    Gert, Haha.

    Thanks :)

  20. Looks like a very healthy bread. I'm sure eating a slice or two of this bread is very filling. Homemade bread is always the best. Yours looks perfect.

  21. esther chin, ur schoolmate ;)

  22. Esther Chin,
    Ok. I've got another reader named Esther from US. hehehe.
    Glad to know you're always reading my blog,
    Thanks a lot.

  23. Looks like it turned out great. I haven't made pumpernickel in years. Now I want to.

  24. Peabody,
    Oh please do. I can't wait to see your version.

  25. Haha... Isn't it funny we actually learned this kind of bread through children's show. At first, I thought you're going to make the traditional baking. But it nice to have a quick one huh! The rye flour at Jusco is always out of stock! Hopefully, I'll be able to get a packet or so this coming school holiday. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers, kristy

  26. Kristy,
    Oh no, the true German version is very very dense. I'm not going to do that.
    Hope you get your rye flour soon.


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