The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


hungryscholar's picture

This is so far my favorite of all the pumpernickels I have made. While I am now aware that there is another kind of pumpernickel bread that I have yet to bake, this my version of the kind of bread that I liked to have for my sandwiches growing up. I called it American pumpernickel in hopes of mollifying any pumpernickel purists. It's not quite as dark as I imagine I could get it with caramel color, but I can't quite bring myself to do that, even though I've added food coloring to plenty of deserts before. So I used two of the other often suggested options, cocoa powder and coffee. The coffee really seems to go well with the rye and fennel seeds which I also added. I used brewed coffee because I figured the rule about only cooking with wine you'd drink ought to apply to coffee. Or... there was enough coffee left over in the pot the next morning.

Ingredients350 g all-purpose flour150 g pumpernickel rye350 g coffee (brewed)1 T cocoa powder1 T fennel seeds100 g stiff levain (~50% hydration)10 g salt
As for method, I doubt I would do it the same way the next time, but this time it started out in my bread machine on the dough cycle, because lately I've been using it to knead the dough for my daughter's weekly sandwich loaf. So, I put everything into my bread machine but the salt(because I forgot about it). Once I remembered I paused the machine for about 20 min., added the salt and restarted it. I also paused it and did some S&F every 30-45 minutes through the machine's cycle, because I was afraid I was going to end up with glop instead of dough. When the dough cycle was done I let the dough proof in my oven with the light on at around 85 F for about 90 min to bring the total time from the start of mixing up to about 3 hours.
Then I took it out of the pan, preshaped as a boule and let it rest for 15 min. and then did a final shape and let it rise in a floured brotform for about 3 hours before slashing and baking on a stone with a bowl on top. I preheated the oven to 450 F or so and dropped the temperature to 400 F once the bread was in the oven. I left the bowl on for 20 min and then baked for an additional 20 after removing the bowl. This is about when I realized it was a lot harder to judge crust browning when it's already so brown at the start of the bake, so I decided to take it out after 40-45 min total.

Submitted to YeastSpotting

isand66's picture

      I just returned from a 2 week business trip to China and after refreshing my starters I decided to make a coffee flavored bread that also was rich in multi-grains.  I have had great success using soakers in this style bread in the past so this was no different  I used malted rye berries, spelt kernels, buckwheat groats and soft white wheat berries all soaked in 240 grams of chocolate raspberry truffle flavored coffee.

For the starter I used my white 65% hydration starter and added coffee, pumpernickel flour and white rye.  To continue with the all coffee theme I also used coffee in the main dough along with an assortment of flours plus some dehydrated onions that I mixed in with the coffee before adding to the dough.

The end result was nice dark, rich, moist and coffee flavored bread.  If you don't like coffee you will run away screaming from this one, but if you can't get enough Java in your system, give this one a try.


30 grams Buckwheat Groats (bought at Whole Foods)

30 grams Spelt Kernels (Berries...not sure which)

30 grams Malted Rye Berries

20 grams Soft White Wheat Berries

240 grams Hot Coffee (I used Chocolate Raspberry Truffle)

Mix coffee in a bowl with other ingredients and let sit covered at room temperature for 24 hours.


71 grams Seed (Mine is 65% AP Flour Starter)

142 grams AP Flour

85 grams Pumpernickel Flour

70 grams White Rye Flour

151 grams Coffee (85 - 90 degrees F.)

Mix seed with coffee to break up for a few seconds and then mix in flour until the starter forms a smooth dough consistency.  Put it in a lightly oiled bowl and loosely cover and leave at room temperature for at least 10 hours.  The starter should double in volume.  Put the starter in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days or use it immediately.

Main Dough


425 grams Starter from above (all of the starter)

300 grams European Style Flour (KAF)  (Sub Bread Flour if you don't have this)

150 grams Spelt Flour

100 grams Whole Wheat

80 grams Graham Flour

20 grams Walnut Oil

370 grams Coffee (90 degrees F.)

14 grams Sea Salt (or table salt)

All of the Soaker from above (make sure to drain the soaker thoroughly)


I mixed  the flours together with all the coffee except for 50 grams and let them autolyes for 30 minutes.    I then added the levain, oil and the soaker and the rest of the coffee with the salt and mixed on speed #1 for 1 minute and #2 for 4 minutes.  I then did a stretch and fold, rested the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  I then did another stretch and fold, covered the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  I did one more stretch and fold and put it in a lightly oiled bowl for 2 hours.  I then put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day I let the dough sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.  After 2 hours I formed it into loaves and put them in floured bannetons and let them rise covered for 2 hours.

Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

I then baked on my oven stone with steam at 450 degrees until both loaves were golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 - 210 degrees F.

Let it cool on a bakers rack for at least 2 hours or longer before diving in.

dabrownman's picture

We decided to take our 1% SD starter experiment to the dark side by using much more whole grains; mainly rye and add some yeast water into the mix to try to open the crumb.  Our previous YW experiments show that YW can open the crumb dramatically more than what SD seed can do on its own when it comes to high percent whole grain breads.


With Thanksgiving less than 2 weeks away we decided to make a small cocktail loaf of rye bread flavored with cocoa, coffee and caraway.  To bolster the flavor and texture of the medium rye bread further we added some scalded rye chops to the 82.5 % hydration mix.


Like Phil says - When it cracks it is ready to go in the oven.  In this case the bran flakes worked perfectly. 

We have no experience to go on using low amounts of SD and YW seeds and long counter top fermentation when using higher amounts of home milled grains.  So we made a wild guess at how long the process should take.  We decided to knock 5 hours off the total 24 hour time and to not add the 5 g YW to the mix until 5 hours after the fermentation started.

It was ready to pan up in 16 hours and it proofed, nearly doubling and cracking the bran sprinkled on top in 4 hours  We baked it with 2 of Sylvia's steaming cups in the mini oven at 450 F for 15 minute. The steam was removed and the temperature was turned down to 350 F and baked for another 10 minutes before being de-panned and baked for another 5 minutes after turning the bread 180 degrees on the oven rack. 

It was left in the off oven, door ajar for 10 minutes to continue to crisp the crust and then removed to he cooling rack.  From the outside the loaf has potential.  It smells beautiful and is quite attractive for a brown lump of a bread covered in bran.  We hope that the crumb is as open as the last rye bake that was 100% whole rye.  We await 24 hours to see if the yeast water worked its magic once again.

24 hours later and this bread turned out open, moist 1/4"slicing is no problem and best of all just plain delicious.  You don't taste the coffee and cocoa and even the caraway is subtle.  It is lovely plain, toasted, buttered and a nice coctail bread for the Holidays.


Combo Starter

Build 1


SD Desem & Rye Sour



Yeast Water



Total Starter






Starter Totals






Levain % of Total






Dough Flour



Whole spelt



Dark Rye



Whole Wheat






Dough Flour












Dough Hydration






Total Flour



Total Water



T. Dough Hydration



Whole Grain %






Hydration w/ Adds



Total Weight






Add - Ins



Red Multi-grain Malt



Barley Malt



White Multi-grain Malt












Rye Chops






1 tsp Caraway Seeds



1 tsp Instant Coffee



1 tsp of Cocoa




nadira2100's picture

Ok ok, so maybe it's not *technically* Fall yet. But down here in New Orleans we don't get seasons and lately we've been experiencing cool(er) weather than normal. Having lived in the Chicago suburbs all my life I always told myself that I would move someplace warm. Some place where it didn't get cold and it didn't snow. But now that I have the warmer weather.....I miss the changing seasons dreadfully! I miss the leaves changing color. I miss the crisp autumn air. I even miss snow on the ground around Christmas time and bundling up in winter coats and knit hats.

But my absolute favorite part of fall (and part of winter) I can have just about anywhere thankfully. I am obsessed with pumpkin. And I mean to the point where my husband tells me I have a problem. For me, Fall means feeding this addiction with Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Cheesecake brownies, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin get the idea. I *may have* even hoarded a bunch of cans of pumpkin puree last fall so I could enjoy it throughout the year. The other day I opened up my last can to make my own pumpkin coffee but I ended up adding too much spice to the mixture. I must say my little concotion was horrible and I was very disappointed. 

I had only used 1/2 the can leaving about 1 cup left. I had a firm sourdough starter happily fermenting in the fridge that I needed to use. So, this is how my pumpkin coffee sourdough came into existence. I had both in the fridge. So they both went into the basic sourdough recipe I've been using from Peter Reinharts The Bread Bakers Apprentice. 

This dough was pretty wet. My first time working with a really wet dough was.....interesting. But I have acheived the most open crumb yet to be seen in my kitchen, complete with shininess and excellent texture. The taste....I wasn't sure what to expect. But the pumpkin comes through beautifully and the coffee gives an earthy flavor that is different than what I'm used to being paired with pumpkin, probably because everything with pumpkin in it that I eat has loads of sugar in it. It's not bad by any means, and it gives the bread different dimensions that I wasn't aware even existed. I think it would go well with some apple butter, plain butter, or be good as an egg and cheese sandwich. I enjoyed a slice all by itself but then again I can do that with pretty much any bread. I think next time I'll add in some cranberries or apples to offset the savoriness of the bread, give it that sweet/tart little burst of something to go along with the squashiness of the pumpkin. 

Is the picture too small to see the shininess of the crumb? I had to use the flash in order to get it "shine" :)

Firm Starter

  • 2/3 c sourdough starter (mine is 100% hydration)
  • 4.5 oz. bread flour
  • 1/4 c water

Mix these together and let ferment at room temperature for 4 hrs. Refridgerate overnight. (I actually left mine in the fridge for a few days).

Pumpkin Coffee Sourdough

  • Firm Starter
  • 20.5 oz bread flour
  • 1 3/4 c coffee
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp salt
  1. Let the firm starter rest at room temperature for 1 hr to take off the chill. Cut the starter into 12 pieces. 
  2. Mix together the starter with the bread flour, coffee, salt and pumpkin until a shaggy dough ball forms. 
  3. Let rest for 20min before turning out on a well floured surface. 
  4. Perform 4-5 stretch and folds, then place in a well oiled bowl for 15min. 
  5. Stretch and fold 3 times. The rest for 15 min. Repeat 2 more times, then let the dough rest at room temperature for 3 hrs. I left the house at this point to meet a friend for margaritas. 3 hrs later it had tripled in volume. 
  6. Divide the dough in half and pre-shape into boules. Let rest for 20 min before the final shaping. I made a spiral boule out of 1 and proofed the other in a banneton. After shaping, I stuck these in the fridge overnight. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 500 and take out the dough 1 hr before baking.
  8. Score and bake with steam for 2 min. Then drop the temp to 450 and continue baking for another 8 min. Rotate the bread, and bake for another 10-15min or until golden brown. 


isand66's picture

Last Friday I finally returned from my latest trip to China and was eager to try my hand at a rye bread after reading about some interesting ones on The Fresh Loaf.  I wanted to make one utilizing a Yeast Water starter per my baking friend DA Brownman who recently baked a master piece using a combination of a Yeast Water starter and traditional SD starter.

Since I have been having some fairly successful bakes using coffee in place of the water in my multi-grain bakes I decided to try again and used a simple dark roast coffee for the soaker and for the final dough.  I made a soaker using rye berries and cracked wheat.  I mixed the hot coffee with the dry ingredients and let sit for 24 hours covered at room temperature.

For the Yeast Water starter I wanted to develop a Pumpernickel starter so I built up the starter in 3 stages.  The first stage was left for 4 hours at room temperature and the second stage was left overnight for about 8 hours at room temperature.  The final build was left for around 5 hours at room temperature.  I tried to make exactly 425 grams of starter, but be sure to weigh your final starter and adjust as needed.

Make sure you drain the grains from the soaker, but be aware that they will absorb a great deal of the liquid.  Even though the hydration of this dough is only 70%, it is really much higher when you take the soaker into consideration.


485 grams Hot Coffee

100 grams Cracked Wheat

150 grams Malted Rye Berries

Mix coffee in a bowl with other ingredients and let sit covered at room temperature for 24 hours.

Yeast Water Starter Build 1

60 grams Yeast Water

60 grams Pumpernickel Flour

Mix ingredients in a bowl and cover.  Let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or until you see some activity and your starter is almost doubled.

Yeast Water Starter Build 2

100 grams Yeast Water

100 grams Pumpernickel Flour

Mix above into starter from Step 1 and let sit covered for 8-10 hours or until the starter has almost doubled.

Yeast Water Starter Build 3

15 grams Yeast Water

100 grams Pumpernickel Flour

Mix above into starter from Step 2 and let sit covered for 4-5 hours or until starter has almost doubled.  You can also put in the refrigerator and leave for up to 1 day if necessary until you are ready to bake.

Main Dough


425 grams Starter from above

150 grams Graham Flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)

200 grams White Rye Flour

100 grams Pumpernickel Flour or Dark Rye Flour (I used KAF)

70 grams Roasted Wheat Germ (adds a nice nutty flavor)

370 grams Dark Roast Coffee (90 degrees F.)

14 grams Sea Salt (or table salt)

10 grams Walnut Oil (substitute any oil desired)


I mixed  the flours together with all the coffee except for 50 grams and let them autolyes for 30 minutes.   I then added the Yeast Water Pumpernickel levain, oil and the soaker and the rest of the coffee with the salt and mixed on speed #1 for 1 minute and #2 for 4 minutes.  I then did a stretch and fold, rested the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  Note that since this dough was extremely sticky it was not very easy to do a stretch and fold.   I then did another stretch and fold, covered the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  I did one more stretch and fold and put it in a lightly oiled bowl for 2 hours.  I then put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day I let the dough sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.  I had planned to make 2 boules but since this dough was so moist and did not come together like a bread made with white flour I decided to form it into a large Miche.  Alternatively I could have formed it into loaves and baked in a bread or Pullman pan.

Cover the dough in your pans or basket and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours or until you notice some lift to the dough and it can pass the poke test.

Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

I then baked on my oven stone with steam at 450 degrees until the loaf was golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 - 210 degrees F.

I had to bake this bread for almost 50 minutes since it was so moist and the final dough came out with an excellent crust and moist crumb but a little denser than I would have preferred.  It is an excellent bread for some sharp cheese and/or a nice grilled cheese sandwich.

This bread has been submitted to Yeast Spotting here at

isand66's picture



I finally got a chance to bake some bread tonight after making a bunch of pizza over the weekend for my family.

I don’t even like coffee, but I actually love the smell and if you throw in some ice and a little sugar I can be convinced to drink a glass or two.  Anyway, I was all set to make an adaptation of a bread I discovered on the internet called a Hawaiian Sour Dough when I realized I didn’t have enough starter or all of the ingredients necessary to make this bread.  Instead I decided to put our new Keurig to good use and brewed some Mudslide flavored coffee.  I added this in place of most of the water in my recipe along with my sour dough starter, rye flours, spelt flour and some wheat germ.  For good  measure I added some carmelized onions that I had left over from my barbecue pizza and also used some pistachio oil I had bought a little while ago.  I thought the nutty oil would go well with the rye flours and flavorful coffee.

I do have to admit that the dough smelled amazing before it went into the oven from the mudslide coffee and hopefully when I cut into the loaf tomorrow morning it will taste even better.


15.5 ounces 65% Hydration Starter Refreshed

11 oz. Coffee  cooled to 90 degrees F. (I used Mudslide flavored coffee)

4 oz. water (90 degrees F.)

9 ounces First Clear Flour (or strong bread flour)

4 ounces White Rye Flour

4 ounces Pumpernickel Flour

2 ounces Spelt Flour

1 ounce  Wheat Germ

2.5 ounces Carmelized Onions

2 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Pistachio Oil


Using your stand mixer or by hand, mix the coffee and water with the starter to break up the starter.

Add the flours, salt, oil, and onions and mix on the lowest speed for 2 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes

Mix for 4 minutes more on medium speed, adding more flour if necessary to produce a slightly sticky ball of dough.

Remove dough to your lightly floured work surface and need for 1 minute and form a ball.

Leave uncovered for 10 minutes.

Do a stretch and fold and form into a ball again and cover with a clean moist cloth or oiled plastic wrap.

After another 10 minutes do another stretch and fold and put into a lightly oiled bowl that has enough room so the dough can double overnight.

Leave the covered dough in your bowl at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours and then put it in your refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days.

When ready to bake the bread, take the bowl out of your refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours.  After 2 hours shape the dough as desired being careful not to handle the dough too roughly so you don’t de-gas it.  Place it in your bowl, banneton or shape into baguettes.


Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap or a wet cloth.

Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.

Slash loaves as desired and place empty pan in bottom shelf of oven.

Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.

Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 – 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

The final dough had a nice subtle rye flavor with some sour undertones.  You don’t really taste the coffee flavor very much and the crumb was a little tighter than I would have liked.  Overall the bread was a success and is worth making again.

Please visit the Yeast Spotting Site here: for lots of cool recipes

loydb's picture

This is my take on Peter Reinhart's whole-grain struan. Instead of adding yeast, I made the firm starter using's San Francisco strain that I've been feeding nothing but home-milled wheat.

For the flour, I milled a mixture of 45% hard red wheat, 45% hard white wheat and 10% rye.

For the soaker I used 2.5 oz roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds, plus .5 oz each of black seasame seeds, two different kinds of flax seed and two different mustard seeds. These are combined with flour and a little water, then left out overnight.

The firm starter was left out overnight to rise.

The next day, the firm starter and the soaker were worked together on a cutting board, then chopped up into a dozen pieces and mixed with the wet ingredients in my DLX. You can see it come together as I mix the preferments with oil, honey, and agave nectar. I also added in 2T of espresso-ground coffee beans that I'd finished roasting earlier in the day (Costa Rica La Legua Bourbon taken just into the beginning of second crack, for you fans), plus a teaspoon of caramel color from KA.

After the dough came together, it got a 15-minute autolyse.

Here's the final dough after another 10 minutes of hand kneading.

For the first 2 hours, I did a stretch-and-fold every half hour. Afterwards, it was left to rise for another 3 hours.

The risen dough was broken into four pieces and shaped for mini-loaves. They proofed for another 2.5 hours.

The loaves were cooked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  

The result is a dense, but not at all heavy, bread that is fantastic sliced thin and served with cheese and fruit.

stephy711's picture

Find more recipes on my blog Dessert Before Dinner


Everyone in the family loved this recipe. It was great with butter and trout roe when it was fresh out of the oven, and this morning it was perfect with cream cheese and smoked salmon. The crumb is tender and the crust was firm, creating a wonderful contrast. It's great right now, but this bread will be even better with soup or smoked fish in the winter. Like all brown breads, this is a hearty, winter weather bread. It has a very complex flavor and it is even better a day or two later.

Russian Black Bread 

  • 2 packs active yeast
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 2 ¼ oz (1 cup) wheat bran
  • 13 oz (3 cups) bread flour
  • 11.25 oz (3 cups) rye flour
  • 2 Tbsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 tbsp ground dark roast coffee
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

    1. Heat 2 cups water, butter, chocolate, molasses, coffee grounds and vinegar on stove until butter and chocolate are melted. Set in refrigerator to cool. Too hot liquids will damage the yeast.Proof yeast with ½ cup water and pinch of sugar
    2. Sift together flours and bran.
    3. In separate bowl, add fennel, shallots, caraway and 2 cups of the mixed flours. Add chocolate mixture and yeast to the flour. Continue adding flour half a cup at a time until the mixture pulls away from the mixing bowl.
    4. Knead until mixture is springy yet dense. Place in oiled bowl and let proof until doubled in size (about a hour and a half).
    5. Remove dough from bowl and divide into two pieces. Shape pieces into boules and dust tops with cornmeal, flour and caraway mixture. Let rest for 45 minutes
    6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Just before baking, slash tops of loaves. Bake for 45 minutes or until dark.


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