Monday, November 17, 2008

Pumpernickel Bread

This recipe originally comes from ‘The Frugal Gourmet On Our Immigrant Ancestors’ by Jeff Smith, 1990 page 148. I enjoyed reading this book a few years ago and forgot about it until Boaz was asking for German Rye Bread. It is interesting to note that all the cookbooks I have, this was I felt the most authentic recipe. I remember making this for my husband because he wanted a dark rye and likes caraway seeds. Well I have change it just a bit, I added rye sourdough. Here is my version of the recipe.

Pumpernickel Bread

Sprinkle into a large bowl 1 package of yeast and add 1 ¼ cups warm water (about 105˚) and let proof for 5 minutes.
Add: 1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup molasses (I used 2 tablespoons molasses and 2 tablespoons buckwheat honey)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Mix in a mixer with a dough hook for about 5 minutes.

Then add into this 1 cup all-purpose bread flour and mix about 3 minutes.

(If mixing by hand, stir in 1 cup flour with a heavy spoon. Scrape the dough onto floured board. Knead, adding as little flour as possible, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.)
Place the dough onto parchment paper and cover with a large glass bowl. (I have never done this step, but did it this time, interesting way to raise dough.) Let rise for about 1 hour or until double in bulk.

Put parchment paper on a baking sheet and sprinkle some cornmeal onto it, set aside.
After the dough has risen, take out of bowl onto a flour dusted counter top or board and knead the dough to into a shape of a 6 inch round. Place this onto the baking sheet and let rise about 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Use a water sprayer while baking. Simply spray a bit of water into the oven now and then as the bread is baking. (I put the round onto a preheated stone and baked about 40 minutes, it still needed a little more time. Also I put a cast iron skillet with ice cubes in the skillet and put it on the bottom rack of the oven for the steam.)
Notes: Next time I will bake just a little longer, maybe an extra 5-7 minutes. Some rye breads call for coffee to darken the bread. I like this recipe because it calls for cocoa, I don't care for coffee, so this works better for me. It does taste a little bitter than most breads, but has a good strong taste of rye. This bread would be great for Ruben sandwiches or a nice light soup that has cabbage in it.

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