Pumpernickel Bread

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Dark and slightly bitter pumpernickel bread is perfect for savory sandwiches and hearty side dishes.

This feels like an old-world loaf of bread. Something that is eaten with more bland foods to give them texture and flavor. This homemade pumpernickel bread recipe is sure to be a favorite.

Pumpernickel Bread text alongside two photos of pumpernickel bread and slices.

Small, Dense Loaves

This not the light and fluffy loaf of an all white flour bread. These are dense, hearty, and grainy loaves with just a hint of bitterness.

I prefer these as free formed loaves, either shaped right onto baking trays or allowed to rise inside baskets for round shapes.

2 loaves of pumpernickel bread on a crumpled white cloth.

A small loaf pan definitely works but everything about this recipe screams for rustic flair – so form it yourself and don’t stress about how pretty it becomes.

Specialty Ingredients

Do use real pumpernickel flour here. No substitutions. It can sometimes be difficult to find, at least in my small town. Order online or check local health food stores.

Blackstrap molasses gives this bread its color and bitterness. One could substitute a lighter flavored molasses as desired.

Bread Flour vs. All Purpose

I tested this recipe with both all purpose and bread flours. The bread flour provided a superior loaf in texture in my opinion.

However, all-purpose would work if it is the only thing available.

slices of pumpernickel bread on a white crumbled cloth next to the remaining loaf.

Freezing Leftovers

This is a dense bread that will freeze extremely well.

Freeze whole loaves by placing the completely cooled bread into freezer bags. Thaw at room temperature

Alternatively, slice the bread and place the slices into freezer bags. Freeze and remove slices as needed.

Use up frozen bread within 6 months for best flavor.

A loaf of pumpernickel bread on a white cloth.

Pumpernickel Bread

Yield: 2 Small Loaves
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Hearty, dark, and perfect for savory sandwiches!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Dry, Active Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 3/4 Cups Pumpernickel Flour
  • 2 Cups Bread Flour

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the water and yeast. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the molasses, oil, pumpernickel flour, and salt.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of the bread flour and continue mixing in more flour until a soft dough begins to form.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic.
  5. Oil a bowl and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour to 90 minutes or until doubled.
  6. Punch down the dough, knead slightly and divide in half. Form into loaves either in bread pans or directly on a greased baking sheet.
  7. Cover the dough and allow to rise 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled.
  8. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Bake the risen loaves in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes. The crust will be dark brown and the loaves will sound hollow when tapped with a knuckle.
  10. Remove the oven directly to wire racks to cool completely before slicing and serving.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 423mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g

I try but cannot guarantee this nutritional information is 100% accurate.

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