The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


ehanner's picture

This is a bread that I have been wanting to try for some time. Jeff Hamelman did a great job of presenting it in his book, "Bread" and the story that goes with how he learned about it is heart felt. This style of bread is a long way from just about everything you might be familiar with. It isn't airy and light. It doesn't have a beautiful crust in the traditional way we usually think of a nice golden color, expanding at a well placed slash. What it is, is a compact, almost waxy mass of slowly baked rye and wheat dough in a high hydration formula. It is baked in a covered Pullman Pan with straight sides for 12 hours at slowly reducing temperatures.

Before I attempted this bread, I looked at txfarmers thread from last year where she posted about her attempt and learned a lot about the process. If you are interested in baking this, I suggest reading this thread first.

I had the opposite results as far as rising during baking as txfarmer. I apparently had to much dough in the pan and although it had risen to within 1/2 inch of the lid during proof, I checked after 1 hour of baking to find the lid had been blown off the pan. Hmmm. I got my trusty serrated bread knife and sawed the dough level with the pan top, replaced the lid and pretended like that was part of the plan.

To back up a little, Hamelman says the bake time should be around 12 hours but that includes some time in the oven after it is turned off. I didn't get a good feel for how much time at what temperature so I improvised a little.  I preheated my fire brick in a pan I use for steam, the stone I sometimes use and a 1/2 box of unglazed tiles in a 350F oven. I figured the additional thermal mass would give me a slowly cooling environment similar to a WFO or a big commercial oven like Jeff has to play with.

There are a lot of variables on the path to a great Horst Bandel. It took me a while to get the required rye components together and the Pullman Pan on the same day. I used freshly ground whole rye, rye meal and rye chops from flourgirl51 and her wonderful Organic grain/flour mill. Surprisingly the various forms of rye are hard to come by here in the upper Midwest of the US. When I discovered I could get everything from one known source, I got myself into gear and started the ball rolling to learn this bread.

Here are a few images I took as an after thought after the bake. I'm very happy with the results of my first attempt but there is room for improvement. This isn't rocket science but, it is chemistry. I went pretty much by the book and got a good result. I plan on adjusting the volume of dough, baking temp profile and cooking of the whole berries on the next attempt.

If you try this bread, you must be prepared for a flavor experience that is so full I would call it "adult". If you appreciate fine smoked meats and fish, capers or black caviar on cream cheese or dry butter, then this is for you. It is that good.

Thank you Jeffrey. And thank you Mini and txfarmer for your assistance.



wakeandbake's picture

Well, I'm just about to pull my first loaves of Marble Rye out of the oven! :) I can't wait to taste it.  Recipe to follow.


Wake and Bake Bread Co.

Wake and Bake Bread Company

Loaves in the couche after a 3 hour fermentation.


Wake and Bake Bread Company

The final product.


Wake and Bake Bread Company


Wake and Bake Bread CompanyThe best part, the spiraled crumb! :)


I will post the recipe soon!

UnConundrum's picture

Looking for suggestions...

November 2, 2009 - 5:42pm -- UnConundrum

Every Christmas Eve, I bake about 50 loaves of bread and deliver to friends and family.  I've been doing this for about 25 years.  I have a bad back, and I cant seem to take the long day of mixing and baking anymore, so I've moved to naturally fermented breads over the last few years.  Generally that's been a help as I easily have my dough ready for shaping and baking in the morning, pushing half the work into the day before.  Now, I'd really like to push the shaping to the night before as well, dealing only with baking the day before Christmas.


ktgp's picture

Can I substitute pumpernickel for regular rye flour?

July 21, 2009 - 11:24am -- ktgp

I've successfully made Bernard Clayton's Buttermilk Whole Wheat Rye Bread as a marble rye.  Could I use pumpernickel flour instead of the rye flour and add cocoa powder?  I'm wanting to use up some pumpernickel flour and have been having bland results with the recipes I've been trying out.  They don't taste much like the pumpernickel breads I enjoy!  I know this is to be expected without a sourdough starter, but would using the buttermilk rye recipe (which also includes caraway seeds) work?

celestica's picture

Ever Added Kitchen Bouquet in Pumpernickel?

May 3, 2009 - 7:10pm -- celestica

Has anyone ever added kitchen bouquet as colouring for pumpernickel?  It is a burnt caramel syrup with a little salt and essence of vegetables.  It is normally used to brown gravy or add flavour to stews/soups.  If so how much did you add?  I want to try it in Greenstein's pumpernickel.  I just made another pumpernickel that used espresso powder, chocolate, and prune juice but it had a yucky burnt flavour. 


SulaBlue's picture

Tips for Reinhart's Bavarian Pumpernickel?

April 6, 2009 - 8:28pm -- SulaBlue

While I said I was tired of rye, I still haven't done a true pumpernickel. My husband loves dark, bitter breads. It doesn't seem to get much darker or more bitter than this. I think I'm going to bake a light rye on the side so -I- have something to eat this week, too!

Has anyone used the recipe for this from Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" pg 224-227 (Hey, nothing intimidating about 3 pages of instructions, right!?).

ryeaskrye's picture

Reinhart's Bavarian Pumpernickel Question

December 1, 2008 - 11:12pm -- ryeaskrye

I recently bought Reinhart's WGB and have been reading and re-reading the Bavarian Pumpernickel recipe and my girlfriend keeps asking why I'm drooling. Silly me, I'm going to attempt something that might be beyond my abilities.

If anyone has made this, or if you can answer anyway, I have a question:

I found a slightly dented Pullman Loaf pan on discount. It is a 13"x4"x4" and says it is for a 1.5lb loaf. Reinhart's recipe is for 1482 grams or roughly 3.23 lbs., yet he talks about a single 4"x8.5" loaf pan.

apprentice's picture

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:








The crumb:






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."
dmsnyder's picture

Jewish pumpernickel is one of my favorite breads. I have made it only a couple times before, once from Greenstein's recipe in "Sectets of a Jewish Baker" and once from Reinhart's recipe in BBA. But I've never really followed Greenstein's recipe to the letter, because I've never had any stale rye bread with which to make altus.  Well, a few weeks ago, I put what was left of a loaf of Greenstein's Sour Rye bread in the freezer with which to make altus, and this weekend I made "real" Jewish Pumpernickel using altus, pumpernickel flour and first clear flour.

For those not in the know, altus is stale rye bread with the crust cut off, cut into cubes and soaked in water, then wrung out and incorporated into the dough of a new loaf of rye or pumpernickel. It is said to have a beneficial effect on the texture of the bread, and my experience certainly corroborates this.

 Greenstein uses cold water and lets the altus soak overnight. My schedule did not permit this so I used hot water, and it saturated the rye bread cubes in 10 minutes. Wringing it out only resulted in first degree burns.

 Greenstein's Pumpernickel

Greenstein's Pumpernickel

I'm not uploading a "crumb shot." The crumb was very handsome, but it was the texture that was remarkable. It was a bit chewy but with a "creamy" mouth feel. It was simply the best pumpernickel of this type I have every had the pleasure of eating.

My idea of a good time is a slice of this bread, smeared with cream cheese and eaten with eggs scrambled in slightly browned butter. It's pretty darn good with a slice of lox, too.

 Anyone into baking Jewish rye breads who hasn't made Greenstein's Pumpernickel using the ingredients he specifies is missing a real treat!


Joe Fisher's picture

A sour kind of day

October 19, 2007 - 7:05am -- Joe Fisher

There was a time when I thought sourdough was this intimidating, terrifying, impossible thing that required constant work and dedication.

Today I use almost zero commercial yeast. I've found that I can ignore my starter for a lot longer than I had thought. The night before I want to use it I give it a good feeding and in the morning it's ready to be fed again or used right away. I'll usually feed it again to get a nice sour tang.


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