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

dabrownman's picture

After having such good luck with Phil's no stress recipe for 40% Rye and Caraway, I was additionally inspired by hanseata's seeded loaf's.  So, I thought I would try to marry up the two and take on my requirement for more whole grain and less white flour.  I was hoping that by adding some spelt and farro home ground berries to the rye replacing some of the white and adding some anise and fennel to the caraway, this new concoction would be a decent bread.  Plus, another important test, I could try out for the first time my new 'double Y chicken foot' slash!!!!

I also got a new way to final prove these ill shaped breads with a new bamboo containment thing-a-majig that has some doohickey handles for the containment challenged like myself.  Don't laugh.  This thing, what ever it is,  cost a buck.  We can't sleep at night worrying about these contraptions and they are real issues for us !!!  The used, so much better than new,  parchment paper is the crowning achievement of getting the loaves out of the trash bag and into the oven without disfiguring oneself unnecessarily - by hot oven.

The loaves sprang nicely.  The crust was crisp, crunchy yet chewy.  The taste of the bread was more earthy and more to my liking as expected.  The crumb wasn't quite as open as before probably due to the extra 20% whole grains in place of the white - but still OK.  The slash produced a wide flatish gash where the loaf pooled through lazily.  No ears - so fancy pants still needs some work before the double chicken foot slash is a keeper.

The disappointment was that I replaced some of the caraway seeds with the anise and fennel and the resulting seed taste was too slight and muddied.  I was too chicken to go for a bold taste with these seeds.  Don't you be !!! It would be much better just adding the same grams of anise and fennel as the caraway.  I think it would be perfect that way - if it didn't kill you of course ;-) 

Here are some more pics...

I really like it that you can make these breads in half a day if you have some decent rye sour built all the time.  Next time, and there will be one if only the for the double Y chicken foot slashs' sake, More seeds will be boldly incorporated.  I think I am still making progress.

Thanks again Phil and hanseata.



Erzsebet Gilbert's picture

Two variations upon yogurt bread... it can be done!

October 7, 2009 - 5:15am -- Erzsebet Gilbert

Hello, everybody!  

This begins with a resounding thank-you to user jannrn for asking a question and giving me an excellent idea...  A week ago, I posted about my Greek Fennel, Yogurt, and Honey Bread, and sweetly Jan told me she liked the photographs but hated fennel (I'm really the only person I know who does!).  She asked about alternate flavors, which got me to thinking...  

Here is a picture of the original fennel bread:

Erzsebet Gilbert's picture

Greek Fennel, Yogurt, & Honey Bread (a traveler returns to her oven!)

October 1, 2009 - 2:36am -- Erzsebet Gilbert

Hello to all the bakers and Loafers!  I'd posted about 5 months ago about my upcoming camping journey around the Mediterranean, and received so much wonderful advice...  I can't thank everybody enough for their kind, helpful ideas, or begin to tell all the traveling tales.  

Apart from a broken camp stove (aaah!) I did discover a number of fantastic, unique local breads, but I will have to wait to post some pictures and descriptions of those (though I promise I will!)...

susanfnp's picture

I made this rye-fennel crackerbread from the new Leader book, Local Breads. Easy and good! The recipe is here.

Rye-fennel crackerbread


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