The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Could use info on "Black Bread" / Schwarzbrot

SDbaker's picture

Could use info on "Black Bread" / Schwarzbrot

I made the BBA Cinnamon, Raisin, and Walnut bread last night to innaugurate my new spartan kitchen..not too bad.  I brought some to work and a few folks at the "office" mentioned a love of black bread or Schwarzbrot.  I am not well versed in German breads.  They weren't sure of the type of flour.  It was described as rather dark loaf both crust and crumb, deep flavor, no large holes, and dense. 

Guessing this would be a sourdough type with a high percentage of rye and whole wheat?  If you have a recipe and pics of a classic version of this bread, I'd love to try it!

Now I need to figure out where I am going to get my starter here in FL.  Maybe the bakery next door..

 SD Baker

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake're not going to grow your own?

SDbaker's picture

 Paddyscake..oh the shame I feel. Calling me out like that  : )    Actually it's a fair question and I am pleased to report that I just got back from my local health store and found some organic rye and unbleached white flour.   Refreshed a few of the methods..even got some organic pineapple juice.  Sat by the pool with a gin and tonic with the setting Florida sun with the BBA and read a few pages.

 I am going to start tonight and by the time it should have worked or not worked, my starter from home should have arrived as a back up.

SD Baker

Paddyscake's picture

and the BBA for company..well, not such bad company! Always intrigued to hear how new starters are doing..How is your "home" starter getting there? dried?

SDbaker's picture

New thread posted re: humble attemps attempts at starter development

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

really it is. If you use a high amount of Rye there is almost no long waiting for bulk fermentation or proof. The tricks are soaking. Important is that you "sour" your rye flour. Hamelman's page 217 can be used as just rye.

I've used directly bakers percentage, moving the decimal place over one place for two loaves, dividing it by 2 for one loaf. (68.4% reads 684g etc) For one loaf, I've started out with 20g starter 120g flour,120g water and sit overnight. in morning added 200g water and 200g rye and let it sit a few hours then added the rest of the ingredients including yeast. Now things go fast. Let it sit 30 minutes and knead 5 minutes if you don't have a mixer (mixing) and follow the rest of the instructions.

The dough always looks like some kind of cookie dough paste to me and sometimes much easier to handle with wet hands. Many times I splash in a little water when it looks too stiff by kneading. Don't ever wait for it to double, it will do that in the oven. You can smooth the surface with wet hands easy enough when shaping your loaf.
--Mini Oven

ehanner's picture


I'm looking at the recipe above and have been wanting to try a pumpernickel. Hedra's recipe is missing the sd or yeast I see in other rye mixes. In fact sometimes I am surprised at the amount of yeast called for. Is this right or am I missing something? The long slow cooking/baking in water bath sounds like it would produce the right texture.


pjkobulnicky's picture

You don't need to be concerned about kneading high percentage rye doughs.  There is nearly no gluten to develop. Rather, they form a kind of matrix as they "rise".  That's what happens when you bake at low temps for a long, long time. They puff up a bit and then dry out in a way that is slightly different than wheat breads.


And ... high percentage ryes ARE an acquired  taste ... but wonderful with strong cheeses, pates, smoked fish and other hearty bits. They are good at smoothing out the flavors in the high fats in those cheeses and meats too. If you think the essence of good food is Mediteranean, you may not like heavy ryes :-)


Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

foolishpoolish's picture

As I understand it, traditional german pumpernickel does not rise nor does it contain molasses (although the versions popular in the states and elsewhere usually contain molasses and other dark colouring agents eg cocoa).

The dark colour comes from a low temp, and v.long  bake. eg 110C for 24 hours -  a maillard effect (presumably from reaction between the amino acids from breakdown of proteins in the rye and sugars from hydrolysis of the starch in the rye)

Sourdough starter is an ingredient in the dough but not used for a leavening effect.