Seems appropriate to make my first blog post about pumpernickel. Mentioned in my intro post yesterday that it was Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel in Jeffrey Hamelman's book Bread that brought me to The Fresh Loaf. Growing up in multi-cultural Winnipeg, Manitoba, I was exposed to so many wonderful ryes. So while I was at baking school, I made whatever breads (and other things) we were assigned and then worked overtime on the ryes.
To say there's a learning curve with true pumpernickel is an understatment! Made JH's recipe countless times. Thought I'd share pictures of the first decent loaf I produced, along with the grateful and happy email I sent to my instructor in the wee hours that day before graduation. I might flub picture posting this first try. Bear with me.
The final dough, ready for the pan:
After the long night's bake:
Email to my instructor (excerpt):
"Best graduation present ever! I seem to have cracked the pumpernickel at last. Not completely there yet, as you can see from the concave bit, centre top. But I think I know how to solve that, too. Several insights made the difference... But most importantly, I saw a reference in side note on page 216 that his Pullman pans are 13" long rather than our 16". Meant I was vastly overproofing by trying to get the bread close to the top of the pan. Even overproofed this one because it was supposed to get 50 to 60 minutes and could not believe that it seemed to be ready at 20! I turned the oven on to preheat, and the loaf continued to rise before my very eyes like time-lapse photography. That's what produced the concave bit, I would guess. Could think of no one I'd rather share this joy with! And yes, that is one of the school's Pullman pans. It's right by my front door to bring back today."