Pumpernickel Bread

From: Farm Journal’s Homemade Pies, Cookies & Bread, 1983; Pumpernickel, p. 612

I have this wonderful old Farm Journal’s cookbook from 1983, which I have used for several different baking projects in the past. Today I decided to make their Pumpernickel bread. The recipe calls for quite a variety of ingredients: cornmeal, mashed potatoes, rye flour and whole wheat flour. No white flour and no gluten flour. Apparently, the story is that this bread was developed in response to a wheat shortage by a Swiss baker named Pumper Nickel.

After making a kind of cornmeal mush and adding the molasses, caraway seeds, shortening and salt, the rest of the ingredients are added slowly. The result is a rather stiff dough; however, because of that, the dough was easy to knead.

I followed the directions closely and produced 4 round loaves. The recipe suggested brushing the tops of the loaves with melted butter for a more tender crust, which I did on two of the loaves. I liked the relative softness of the crust.

The bread’s texture is dense and its flavor is quite strong with a tangy aftertaste. We ate it with beef stew – I couldn’t help putting a few pieces into the stew. Tasty! Below is a picture of the loaf we cut into for dinner. As you can see, we had no trouble eating half of it in one sitting!


Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel Bread

Given that this recipe uses only whole grain flours, no white flours, I think next week I’ll try adding gluten flour to it and see what kind of difference that makes in the loaf.

If you have had experience both adding gluten flour and not using it when baking with whole grain flours, please let me know what kind of results you got.

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4 Responses to Pumpernickel Bread

  1. Mary Lou Merkel says:

    That bread looks delicious. Makes me wish I could bake; rather, makes me wish I wanted to bake.

    Mary Lou

    • pamela says:

      It does take time, that’s for sure. But, at this point, I find the results delicious and the process meditative. Plus, for me, it’s another new adventure!

  2. Elisabeth Keener says:

    I, too, have the same Farm Journal Bread Cookbook and have made Pumpernickel bread with their recipe. I make two large loaves, slicing it thinly and eating it with just butter. The flavor is deliciously hearty. It is especially good with sauerkraut or with sauerbraten. Since we are Pennsylvania Germans, we enjoy the German foods. Elisabeth

    • Pamela says:

      How wonderful I especially like your eating the bread with sauerkraut–another dish we like.

      The Farm Journal Bread Cookbook is still one of my favorites. Such full flavored and wholesome recipes!

      What other recipies are you particularly fond of from FJBC?

      Also, do you bake other traditional German breads? If so, which ones?

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