The Fresh Loaf

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Pumpernickel Rye Loaf a la Whole Foods Market

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sarakaun's picture

Pumpernickel Rye Loaf a la Whole Foods Market

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

A few days ago, I tried the pumpernickel rye boule at Whole Foods Market and it was so great I bought a loaf and pretty much polished it off in one day. Some people dream of lobster or caviar, I dream of good bread. Ever since I learned to make bread, I've not been able to bring myself to even pay 50cents for a loaf or bread - not when I have 20lbs of flour at home. I prefer to make it myself - even if it's not as good as store quality.

I could go there again and pay for another loaf but I would like to make it myself. Some may say this is not authentic pumpernickel bread, but I don't care. I just love it. It was dark and delicious with a chewy crumb and a thick crust. My God, it was bread porn. Maybe I was just that hungry, who knows. It was not the crumb made with bread crumbs, but rather smooth but chewy. Here's a pic.

Does anyone have a recipe for pumpernickel rye bread? If I need special flour or equipment(I'm guessing dutch oven), please let me know. It's the holidays and I wouldn't feel bad about indulging. Plus I have my wild yeast starter begging to be used.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If you also tell us the nutritional breakdown for 100g, then I would be glad to make an educated guess.  :)

sarakaun's picture

I tossed the bag already.

Mebake's picture

Don't quite think that it is a true pumpernickel, judging from the crumb structure, color, and profile.

Like mini said, we need the ingredients list first. I guess you'll have to buy it once more :)


sarakaun's picture

Khalid, I know that's not the true european pumpernickel. Not going to be a purist here because it tasted great. :)

I went to Whole Foods today and they were nice enough to give me the sticker which had the ingredient list.

Pumpernickel Rye Bread - Net Wt 17oz / 475grams

Ingredients: Organic white flour, water, medium rye flour, organic rye flour, caramel coloring, cracked rye meal, sea salt, yeast, cornmeal.

BTW, the picture I posted was not of the bread, but similar. This pic has sesame seeds on top, but the whole foods bread has, what I believe, is the cracked rye meal on top.

Hope that helps you guys. Thank you!

I think this image is closer.



gmabaking's picture

is the challenge this week from "Inside the Jewish Bakery". My sisters and I are baking on Monday. We bake together separately from three different cities and share pictures. If you have or find, a recipe, please join us in baking this loaf. I often bake Eric's Favorite Rye, or Old School Deli Rye and we really enjoy them. So far, success at the really black breads and/or pumpernickel has eluded me. Since this is my husband's favorite bread I would love to learn how to achieve that consistency that is somehow solid and dense but remains coarse and chewy.

Hope you'll join us on Monday.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

From this picture it could be one third wheat (or more) and two thirds rye.  Cracked rye meal tells me it is a rye sourdough because cracked rye is a typical rye starter food.  Cornmeal is for the bottom of the loaf sliding in and out of the oven.  So it looks like a sourdough recipe with added yeast, 60 to 70% rye.  That would be my guess.  


sarakaun's picture

Can you help with the instructions/recipe? I'm still painting by numbers. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and see what turns up.   Carmel coloring is not a needed ingredient.  I just pulled a high rye out of the oven.   Aroma to suspend time.   

dabrownman's picture

list we know that each ingredient has to weigh more than the one following. We also know that this bread's least amount of hydration is somewhere around 65% and that the wet weight before baking is somewhere around 15-17%  more than the dry weight  so somewhere around 555 g wet weight is close.   The ingredient list pushes the weight of the white flour up and the rye flour down in order to get enough water for 65% hydration.  My formula shows a max of a little over 47% rye with the rest of the coloring coming from 15 g of caramel coloring.  I'm also guessing this bread is an wholly commercial yeast variety since most commercial bakers don't use SD as a starter for grocery chains, even WF unless they proudly, and rightly so,  put Sourdough boldly on their labels.   If you want SD just sub 10 g of SD starter and build a levain for the 5 g of instant yeast yeast building a poolish.  You can also put a little instant yeast in teh dough for a boost to the SD levain.

Here is the formula I came up with :

 Poolish or SD starterBuild 1%
Instant Yeast51.55%
Total Starter8530.36%
Starter Totals  
Levain % of   Total15.32% 
Dough Flour %
Medium  Rye11039.29%
AP or Bread   Flour17060.71%
Dough Flour280100.00%
Dough   Hydration60.36% 
Total Flour323 
T. Dough   Hydration65.33% 
Whole Grain %47.21% 
Total Wet Weight555 
Add - Ins %
Caramel Coloring155.36%

Hope this gets you close and others may have additional solutions.

sarakaun's picture

Wow - who knew bread could be so complex!

Thank you for the detailed description... all my simple soul knew was the ingredients listed first were more than the subsequent. LOL


dabrownman's picture

who some flour, salt, water and yeast can impart such complex appearance, taste and smells and the variety is endless with different proportions. Start adding in different flours, colorings, seeds, nuts, fruits, sprouts, soakers, chops, malts etc and there no telling what will happen.  The Earth could stop spinning for all we know - especially on 12-21-2012 :-) 

Personally, If were baking this bread at near 50% rye I would want the hydration approaching 75%^ or more.  I was giving WF the benefit of the doubt and saying they had 47% rye,  my real guess is that the rye is only 20-30% and that weight is taken up with some more AP flour and water.   Or, their ingredient list is not quite kosher :-)

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving.

sarakaun's picture

Thanks again.

Wishing you a happy holiday season.