Hearty pumpernickel loaf

Photo: Qabdullah

This wonderful bread makes great presentation and noticeable impression across the board of bread lovers. It makes great sandwich, toast or just topped with butter or cheese. This recipe is inspired by a recipe by Peter Rienhart in his great book "The Bread Baker's Apprentice". The recipe makes a gorgeous loaf (about 8.5 lbs) that will be the talk of the town!!

Yield: 25 servings ( Serving Size: 2 x 3 inches piece )
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  • For the preferment
  • 1/2 cup(s) Rye flour
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) Bread flour
  • 2 cup(s) Whole wheat sourdough starter
  • 3/4 cup(s) Water at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • For the dough
  • 6 1/2 cup(s) Bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) Whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) Rye flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoon(s) Instant yeast
  • 5 tablespoon(s) Dark Brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon(s) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup(s) Bread crumbs ( any kind, dried old bread works)
  • 4 teaspoon(s) Salt
  • 2/3 cup(s) Sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup(s) Pumpkin seeds
  • 3 teaspoon(s) Caraway, anis, or funnel seeds ( optional)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Instant coffee
  • 3 tablespoon(s) Dark corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon(s) molasses
  • 4 tablespoon(s) Olive oil or other vegetable Oil
  • 2 cup(s) Milk Or buttermilk or combination of the two
  • 1/3 cup(s) honey
  • 1/2 cup(s) water


  1. The Preferment
  2. -----------------

  3. 1. At least 24 hrs before baking, in a large mixing bowl, mix the first five ingredients and knead for 15 minutes. Add additional water if necessary. If you do not have sourdough starter, you can replace it by adding additional 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup bread flour, 1.5 cups water plus 1.5 teaspoon instant yeast. Add more flour or water as needed. The preferment should make stiff dough that you can shape it to any shape you want ( the consistency of play dough)
  4. 2. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a very cold place or refrigerator for 24 to 72 hours

  5. The Dough
  6. ----------------

  7. - On baking day, remove the preferment from the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature (about 1hour). cut the preferment into small pieces.
  8. - in the bread machine bucket or the large mixing bowl, combine and mix thoroughly the dry ingredients (first 13 ingredients)
  9. - Add the last six liquid ingredients and the pieces of the preferment to the dry mix. Depending on your bread machine capacity, you may want to mix the ingredients in two or three patches to not over work your bread machine.
  10. - Run the dough cycle to the end or mix and knead until dough is smooth and subtle. It is a sticky dough while kneading by hand. Add more flour or water as needed. The results should be a stiff dough (but not dry) that you can shape to any shape you want ( the consistency of play dough, not runny). Once kneading is finished, transfer the dough to the same bowl you used for the preferment if you are not using bread machine.
  11. - Cover With plastic wrap after spraying the top of the loaf with vegetable oil spray.
  12. - let the dough ferment in a warm place for an hour or until nearly doubled in size
  13. - On a floured counter top, knock ( punch) down the risen dough and lightly knead
  14. - Cover and leave on the counter for 30 minutes. You can also leave it overnight in the refrigerator for further flavor development.
  15. - Shape the dough into a round bowl and transfer to an oiled cookie sheet. Avoid squishing the do as much as possible to preserve the air bubbles. Ray dough rises less than white dough so be cognate of the little air bubbles the dough has.
  16. - cover with oiled plastic wrap
  17. - Leave to ferment in a warm place for 30 to 60 minutes.
  18. - Just before baking, Generously sprinkle the loaf with rye flour and lightly rub with your hand.
  19. - slash the loaf with bread knife or any sharp knife. Make four slashes overlapping at their ends forming a square around the center of the loaf (see recipe photo)
  20. - Bake on 500 F for 15 minutes
  21. - Lower the temperature to 425 F and bake for about 90 minutes or until the inside center of loaf register 200 F. You may want to wrap the loaf with aluminum foil after the first 20 minutes or after the loaf is nicely browned to prevent overcooking the crust. If you are using baking stone, remove it after the first 20 minutes and set the loaf directly on the oven rack to avoid over cooked bottom crust.
  22. - Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 5 hours before slicing. The optimum flavor and texture develop when the loaf is completely cooled. it will be easier to slice as well.
  23. - The loaf can be left wrapped in plastic bag on the kitchen counter for up to 2 weeks. It is great bread to ship as a gift for a friend or relatives. If you are shipping and in order to maintain freshness, I used the food saver (vacuum) wrapping before shipping.

February 2012

This recipe is a personal recipe added by Qabdullah and has not been tested or endorsed by MyRecipes.

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