The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Anyone made Stanley Ginsberg's pumpernickel?

Owen's picture

Anyone made Stanley Ginsberg's pumpernickel?

Not sure it should go in this section as it's unleavened bread, made only with coarse rye flour and water.

I tried it and I got something that required a hacksaw to cut (yes, our knives are sharp).

I followed instructions except for the mixing: I don't have a heavy duty mixer so did it by hand with a Swedish bread whisk, and when that was too hard, kneading the mixture.

My question is if I did it with proper mixing would it turn out OK or is it inevitably a hatchet job?

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)
clazar123's picture

It looks like this is your first post on TFL. Welcome to the forum.

I haven't made the Westphalian pumpernickel but I really enjoyed a recipe that is on his website and not in the book called "The Juicy One" or Das Saftig. The bake time was less but you still have a nice, moist, chewy crumb.

If you live in the USA, I have found that there is not a lot of choice of rye flours and the texture of the rye flour can make a big impact on the texture of the loaf. Here is a link where Stan explains the difference in the rye flours. So your rye flour may be part of the solution.

Another issue is that mixing by hand may be a real challenge. It has to be mixed to the point where the grains release their starchy gel and that takes a while even in the mixer. I know they didn't have mixers back in the day this bread was originally made but they had apprentices that could be made to mix and knead til they dropped.

Another key to this bread is probably sealing it tightly so the moisture cannot escape at all in this long bake. The long bake is what has prevented me from trying this loaf. How long did you bake?

In all its simplicity (rye,water,salt) I believe this loaf can be difficult. It is really a loaf-shaped cereal cooked with a Maillard reaction all the way through without drying out. Caramelize without drying or burning. A tricky balance.

HansB's picture

When I made this I did it in the mixer in two batches as I think Stan mentions in the book. Stan also sells the appropriate flour here

Owen's picture

Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to try and get an Ankarsrum mixer so will give it another go if and when it arrives. As far as the cooking time went I gave it the allocated 25hrs, and covered it with foil. I'm in NZ and rye choice is just coarse or medium ground; no light or white. Far worse, believe it or not, than the USA.