The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can I substitute pumpernickel for regular rye flour?

ktgp's picture

Can I substitute pumpernickel for regular rye flour?

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?

Kuret's picture

You could probably sub coarse ground rye for fine rye but you will end up with a denser crumb. And I suspect that taste won't improve, the taste of "american pumpernickel" as I have understodd is more dependent on the addition of caramel coloring than the rye flour.

You mentioned that you use cocoa to color the bread, try using caramel color insted as that will give you the same color but a more bitter flavor wich might be what you are after.

Pain Partout's picture
Pain Partout

If you are using King Arthur Pumpernickel flour, you are likely to be disappointed, when trying to make a good "Rye bread" from this flour?  Very bland, ... poor.  I tried Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye with much more success.  Pricey, but I thought it good.  Yeast love the stuff, and it definitely has a whole lot more flavor.   To simulate the dark rye that you may prefer, you may have to add cocoa,  and/or instant Expresso.  You may have to grind some of the caraway seed?  Quality of the caraway also counts... buy it from Penzeys Spices?  I have found it hard to duplicate true European rye breads in the U.S.  Someone else likely has a better idea...?