The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Greenstein's Pumpernickel

  • Pin It
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Greenstein's Pumpernickel

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!

David

Comments

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I wish you would show a "crumb shot". The loaves look great. Whose pumpernickle did you use. Could I just use my own ground whole rye? I have first clear. I'll look up the recipe. How does the taste differ from Greenstein's sour rye? I never liked store bought pumpernickle but I'm sure this is a whole different thing. Great job David, like all your ryes.                                            weavershouse

fleur-de-liz's picture
fleur-de-liz

David:

Wonderful pumpernickel loaves! I also love pumpernickel (part of my heritage as well). Haven't had decent pumpernickel since I left NYC a mere 25+ years ago.

I will definitely have to give this recipe a try.

Thanks,

Liz

PS: I would also be interested in what type of rye you used. I have been milling my own rye for the past several months - freshly milled rye is extraordinary. Since you bake so much rye, you might want to consider getting a mill (if you don't already have one) as the fresh rye is SO much better than the store bought stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 Hi Weavershouse and Liz.

Thanks for the kind words.

I used King Arthur Organic Pumpernickle Rye Flour. Since all this is is coarsely ground whole rye flour, I'm sure your fresh-ground rye would easily surpass it.

I don't have a grain mill ... yet. I have a KitchenAid mixer and a Bosch Universal Plus, both of which make grain mill attachments. Do you think either of those would be a good "starter" mill? Or should I go for something better?

Weavershouse - I'll have a look at the day old cut loaf as see if the crumb still looks presentable.David

David

sharonk's picture
sharonk

Hi David,


Did you ever choose a grain mill? I found the Kitchen Aid Grain MIll does rye very nicely. I'm curious what you may have found?


 


Sharonk

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Sharonk.


No. I have not (yet) bought a grain mill. Knowing me, I would probably get too geeky with it. I don't have time for another obsession at the moment.


Some day.


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Weavershouse. 

I don't quite know how to compare the two breads. They are very different, but both are delicious, to my taste. The pumpernickle doesn't have caraway seeds. That makes a big difference. But I've made SD rye using pumpernickle flour and first clear flour and it tasted like SD rye bread, not pumpernickle. There's obviously something else in the formula that makes a big difference in the taste. I hope it's not just the caramel coloring!

David

Russ's picture
Russ

It's been a few months since you posted this, I was wondering if you've experimented and figured out what makes the pumpernickel different. I wouldn't think it would be the caramel coloring, but didn't want to dismiss it without checking in.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Russ.

I haven't "experimented," but discussions in other topics have convinced me that it is the caramel coloring that differentiates the flavor from other rye breads. It not only is responsible for the dark color, but it also has a mild bitter flavor that is characteristic of Jewish pumpernickle to my taste.

You can get the dark color with instant coffee or with cocoa, according to some recipes. I haven't compared these with caramel coloring.

David

Russ's picture
Russ

Thanks David.


Surprising. I really expected the caramel color to be a waste of an ingredient (in my book), one that doesn't contribute beyond coloring. I've been avoiding artificial ingredients out of habit for some time now and never expected any "color" to do anything "useful".


In any case, I'm planning to take on pumpernickel (pumpernickle?) soon, though I find it a bit daunting. I've only baked rye three times now and one of the three was a brick. But a friend has requested it, and it seems as good a reason as any to give it a shot.


Russ

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Russ.
Caramel coloring isn't really "artificial;" it's just burnt sugar.

If you have Greenstein's recipe for pumpernickle (nickel), it's quite easy and reliable. (Unlike my spelling.)

Let us know how yours turns out.

David

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Wow these breads look amazing. How did you manage to get their color to be this dark?

Rudy 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Powdered caramel coloring, about 1 tablespoon per (1 pound) loaf.
David