The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pumpernickel video

CarlSF's picture

Pumpernickel video

I just found this interesting video of how the original Pumpernickel bread is made in Germany.  Please note the video is in German.  From what I understand, the ingredients that go into making Pumpernickel bread are rye, water, and a bit of salt.  It goes through a 24 hour baking process at a very low temperature, and then the bread is allow to rest for another 24 hours before it is sold.


Nickisafoodie's picture

Can anyone translate this into a recipe?  Thanking you in advance!!

nicodvb's picture


thanks for the link, it's very enlightening. What does the speaker say? It would be very nice if someone could translate.


siuflower's picture

The video shows two ways of baking it - the old way, and the newer, shorter method.  In the end people were giving their opinion about a and b.
The original version contains primarily water and whole rye (Roggenschrot).  that's it.  What they have merely added is some old pieces, soaked in water- I presume those are the end pieces which they do not package because they are optically not very pleasing.  This creates a certain sourness to the bread.  The starches turn into sugar during the baking process.  Apparently the rye dough does that more efficiently and creates fewer calories (160 vs. 225 for white bread) plus it is rich in B 1 vitamin plus other vitamins and minerals.  It is also said to be very good for our digestive system.
The original version is being baked for 16 - 24 hours at about 105 degrees C.  Because of the low temp., they can bake it that long.
The newer and shorter version is being baked at 130 degrees, but for merely 3 hours.  The ingredients include whole: wheat, buttermilk, yeast, whole rye, sesame seeds, sugar beet syrup, sunflower seeds.  The buttermilk has to be warmed before the dissolved yeast is added.  Then the sugar beet syrup and all the rest.
People noticed not only the lighter color of the newer version, but also the additives.  The conclusion was that one cannot beat the old proven variety.  Shortcuts don't always work or improve the flavor. 


nicodvb's picture

Siuflower, thanks a lot.

Am I mistaken or there's no sourdough at all in the old method dough?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

of what was exactly inside the loaf.  The answer?  "When one is wise, only water and crushed/cracked rye is used."  Quite a bit of editing was done as well so I don't expect all the answers to be there.   Use "wise" anyway you deem fit.  (My "wise" includes knowledge of sourdough and altus.)  The bunk about the enzymes in the soaked bread to make it sour seemed strange.  Then a quick edit twisted those soaking bread enzymes into those in the rye grain itself being more reactive than wheat.  So it is not very clear what is going on.

The baking oven looked like it was under pressure.  Did you see those pressure locks on the door?  The lady baker comments,  "The home baked bread has built a crust and is lighter in color."

gary.turner's picture

I saw that, but didn't make the pressure connection. My impression was that the locks' purpose was to seal the door firmly against steam escaping to the bakery floor. I think your idea is better, as the locks would appear to be overkill for simply sealing. Perhaps instead of an oven, it's a (low) pressure cooker. I could imagine a pressure setting to bring the boiling point to a range of 107C/225F to 110C/230F for the long, slow "bake", but that would require about 6lb/square inch, or about 4000 kg per square meter. Oops, back to the drawing board. Are there safety inter-locks? :)



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is the way the oven is stacked.  Look how the loaves are piled one on top of the other.  A regular block of tins & lids on a wheeled cart going straight into the oven and also coming out that way.  (Did you see that cloud of steam and everyone getting out of the way when the door was opened?)  What we do know about a conventional oven and rotating pans and positions doesn't seem to apply here.   Baking at 105°C is all it has to do. 

I could get that in my pressure cooker.  Slowly bring up the temp to just boiling.  A trivet to hold pan above the water with a cover to protect from dripping water, and close the lid to pressurize!  Simmer on the lowest stove setting.  (How long?)  Reduce pressure completely (very very important) before opening and removing the bread to cool. 

The pressure cooker was the old fast cooker in it's time, before the microwave oven.  Compared to normal open cooking, pressure could cook the same results in a shorter amount of time with less heat.  Lets say a roast cooked in a pan for 6 hrs on the stove, could be pressure cooked for 45 min and achieve the same tender results.  What does that say about a 24 hour bake?


nicodvb's picture

made a friend of mine comment "we'll never get all that steam!!". Who knows...

nicodvb's picture

I was curious to see how a loaf "without shortcut" (meaning started from scratch, without sourdough) would turn out, so I prepared a small dough (quite compact, like the one that the baker raises with his hands) with only rye meal, salt and water (75%).

After 1 day it began to rise. The third its aroma became absolutely unique, very deep and sour (ph 4)  and much more addictive than usual. Now I have to repare a bigger dough for my next loaf with the same method. I'm looking forward to bake it!