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Pumpernickel, Finally!

This post is over a week late for Tuesdays with Dorie, but I could never let it be said that I skipped a bread recipe! In our house, most of us like rye bread and pumpernickel bread, though we are divided as to whether the breads should have seeds or not. The color of this pumpernickel bread is enough to make me love it.


The ingredient list is quite daunting, but everything there contributes to the unique flavor of the dough. Of course, I could not find any prune butter, so I made the prune levkar recipe that is at the end of the book. I thought I halved it, but came up with a cup at the end, so I stowed the remainder in the freezer for the next time I want pumpernickel bread or maybe danishes.


After the prune levkar, I worked on the hot water, coffee, and chocolate mixture. Then, it was really just a matter of dumping things in the mixer bowl. I made a couple of changes. First, I used coconut oil instead of shortening, mostly because I was out of shortening. Also, I ground 2.5 tablespoons of caraway seeds and left out the ones that were whole. I am not a fan of crunching on whole caraway seeds, though I do not mind their flavor.


The dough came together quite well. It was nice and silky and cleaned the bowl nicely. The rise times were just right, which I attribute mostly to making sure all the liquids were still warm when I started mixing because the day I made these was a super cold day with occasional flurries in the forecast.


Instead of making two giant loaves, I made two pans of rolls, one for our dinner that night, one to freeze for Thanksgiving dinner, and two small boules that I hope will be good for sandwiches in the future.


Everyone loved them, except for me. I had one roll just warm out of the oven, and I think the flavors had not really had time to develop yet. I bet I will like them better when we have them with turkey or with a reuben sandwich. The bread had really great texture and moisture, even though there was not much oven spring to speak of. I am dreaming of combining this with a rye bread recipe to make a swirly loaf, just like they have at delis, but that will have to wait for some other day.

Here’s the recipe link!

Sourdough Sweet Bread Variations

Remember when I made that Fruit Studded Not Flatbread a little while ago? Well, we loved that bread so much that I have continued making that dough, remaking it into all kinds of good stuff.


I rolled it out into a large thin sheet, filled it with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and rum-soaked fruit, and baked it up for delicious Cinnamon Fruit Buns.


Next, I made the dough into loaves for sandwiches.


With these loaves, I thought I might be pushing to dough a little too far. I let it rise to well above the rim of the pan, which was more than double the original volume of the dough. Hoping the dough would not fall in the oven, I baked it up.


Clearly, I need not have worried. This dough has incredible oven spring. In fact, I have never seen a dough with such incredible oven spring. Also, amazingly, even with all the rising and springing, the texture of the dough does not suffer.


My most recent variation combined this bread with my neverending quest to use up the jam in my cupboard. I rolled out the dough as thin as I could get it, slathered jam on top, placed another piece of dough on top, and topped it all with a crumb topping.


It’s like a giant jam-filled crumb bun. These have raspberry jam, but I also made a tray with apple butter. They are pretty scrumptious.

This recipe has quickly become our favorite everyday bread dough. It’s perfect for breakfast toast, for sandwiches, and for making into all kinds of tasty treats. I know it’s white bread, so I am flying in the face of the crunchy granola healthy camp, but I don’t care. I’ll just eat more kale for dinner. I’m thinking of going salty in my next experiment with the dough. Anyone have any suggestions?