Monday, June 11, 2012

Oil Free Pumpernickel Bread

When it comes to bread, I do not discriminate. Wonder bread, French bread, rye, sourdough, I really don't think I've come across a type I have refused to eat. And this time, I got a craving for pumpernickel. I know not everyone is a fan of the darker breads, so this post may not be for you. But even in such cases, you can at least enjoy these fun facts about pumpernickel:

-The first mention of "black bread" was in 1450 (i.e., a long long long time ago!)
-The Westphalian pumpernickel requires 16 to 14 hours of baking in a low temperature, steam-filled oven
-North American pumpernickel differs from the the German pumpernickel in that it often contains molasses and cocoa, and sometimes caraway seeds. Also it does not require the alarmingly long baking time (thankfully!)

Oil Free Pumpernickel Bread


3 cups luke warm water (bath temperature)
3 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 tablespoon cocoa
3 tablespoons dark molasses
3 cups rye flour
3 cups spelt wheat flour
1 tablespoon wheat gluten
approximately 2 cups white all purpose flour


In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast, salt, caraway seeds, cocoa, and molasses. Mix on a low speed for 2-3 minutes.

Add the rye flour, wheat flour, and wheat gluten. Mix on a low speed until well combined. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Add the white flour one half cup at a time, alternating with mixing on a low speed. Repeat until the dough begins coming away clean from the wall of the mixer, but is still sticky to the touch. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down, and on a lightly floured surface roll the dough into loaves. If using loaf pans, spray lightly with oil. Otherwise, sprinkle corn meal on the bottom of a baking sheet. Place the dough on the pan(s), cover, and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Right before baking, slice the top of the loaves with a knife, which allows you to select where the bread breaks apart, and gives you more control over its aesthetics. 

Bake in a preheated 375˚F oven for 40 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Makes 2 large loaves.


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