The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pumpernickel recipe from old book

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

Pumpernickel recipe from old book

I procured an old bread book - Breads and More Breads - copyright 1941. There's an interesting pumpernickel recipe I wanted to share.  

There are many good looking old timey recipes in this book as well.  

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

 but it is not a Pumpernickel wilth so much corn, potato and wheat flour in the recipe. I do like the fact the molasses and chocolate are absent.  Worth a shot to convert into metric just to see what comes out.  :)

Mini

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

I like the way you think.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in conversion...  anyone interested?  I bet if 15 people tried this recipe, it would come out 15 different ways.  Sort of a recipe book test, 80 years late.  

 I notice the book has been recently republished.  I wonder, has the recipe changed or been updated?  Anyone got the latest reprint?  Clayton has a version that looks similar.  Search with:  pumpernickel corn mashed potato

How big was cake yeast at the time?   Does the book explain about the yeast?  And what exactly is mashed potatoes, table ready, pushed thru a ricer or hot mashed with a fork or smasher?  Instant?  Recipe looks easy to divide by 3.  I'm heading into the kitchen to weigh some golden yellow corn meal (no red, white or blue, shucks!)

I might make potato pancakes at the same time, like to add a pressed clove of garlic or onion and some grated cheese and some fresh grated nutmeg.  Grate half the peeled potatoes and the ends & rest chunk & toss into a blender with the eggs. Dump everything into bowl and mix in just enough flour to hold it all together and keep the liquids from separating.  Do depression chickens lay smaller eggs?  Lol!  

David R's picture
David R

The potato description, while it does go on a while, is clearly talking about POMT - Plain Old Mashed Potatoes. 🙂

And Depression chickens may not have laid smaller eggs, but US chickens have always been stingy egg-layers compared to those huge flightless birds where you live - Österrreich eggs are definitely a size larger. 🙂 (Even those of the Türkiye are pretty big. 🙂)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

when they've had their tail feathers trimmed, like some politicians recently.  :p  We got chickens all over the place, happy chickens tend to lay 75g eggs and double yolks.   Not really needed if you want the pancakes to come out closer to hash browns.  Where did I put that sauerkraut?

hanseata's picture
hanseata

that goes by the name of Pumpernickel in the US. That recipe is interesting, but has not the slightest resemblance to the real thing, a 100% rye sourdough, no corn, no potatoes, no shortening.

Karin

David R's picture
David R

This one has a better excuse for wrong ingredients than most, being from 1941 (and therefore having been developed during the 1930s depression). Substituting cheaper ingredients had been a necessity for quite some time.

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

That sounds entirely plausible.  Nice concise explanation there.  Thanks! 

David R's picture
David R

Sure it's plausible... It's also very plausible that the authors didn't know how to make pumpernickel, and simply invented something that seemed good enough.

It's easy to forget that international travel was much less common then. An American cookbook author could be reasonably sure that almost none of their readers were going to Germany or China or anywhere, any time soon. Making "Chinese food" or other "foreign" foods with American ingredients you already had in the house became popular (though of course it wasn't close to the real thing).

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

Yeah I just finished hamelman's bread book which explains real pumpernickel.  When you conside compare the two the difference is stunning.  Not even the same bread.  Imho this goes a long way in illustrating how this craft works.  Very interesting.  What's "right?"

David R's picture
David R

There's more than one kind of "right".

"The right pumpernickel" - a knowledgeable authority on bread (such as Hamelman, or a rye-breads expert) will have a useful answer.

"The right snapshot of one facet of late-1930s-early-1940s American baking" - see the first posted recipe on the thread.

"The right bread for you today" - not really my business. 🙂

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

You are right on.  Maybe we will do a pumpernickel challenge on here?  People better get their 24 hour low heat ovens cranked up.  You've got me thinking.  Thanks so much! 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

for the real „heavy duty“ thing. In Germany it’s often used for little bites on party buffets. Most people prefer rye/wheat breads (Mischbrot) for daily use.

Maybe they call every rye bread here in the US “Pumpernickel” because it’s such a funny word. 

Karin (snobby German 😉)

 

David R's picture
David R

In English it doesn't really sound funny in the same way, because "pumpen" isn't a verb in English. 🙂

The way the name "Pumpernickel" gets over-used in America might be from people wanting to believe that they're eating something special, or exotic, or historic - instead of normal bread.

Or - perhaps it's work to learn many names of different types of bread, so any bread that reminds anyone of any person with a German-sounding name, or any bread that has a dark colour, must be Pumpernickel. 🙂

David R's picture
David R

I think it's also true that people from every country are snobby about their own country's food.

(Well, I did meet someone from Slovenia who said "Since we're on the border, we have the best of both worlds - German-style food, and Italian-style politics.") 😁

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

I like how they cook the corn into a porridge. It's a nice way to get corn flavor and texture without grittiness. I've been trying to find an old recipe I used to have for cornbread that started with coarse-ground corn grits cooked into a porridge but I haven't had any luck. I think it must have been in an earlier edition of the Joy. 

I hope you make it and let us know how it came out!

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

I don't believe I'll make it.  Ive been focused on different rye recipes and the family and friends enjoy them immensely.  There's just no one asking for pumpernickel.  Lol. Who knows? 

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

My guess, from the recipe providers' names,  that these recipes are authentic to their country of origin.  

I've worked closely with an 85 year old German immigrant on my rye breads (she's my head taste tester), methods and recipes vary greatly from region to region,  in Germany alone. I.e. Pumpernickel and ryes will not be the same in south Germany compared to north.  She's been adamant about this fact.  

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

were that this is a variation on Boston brown bread. Then I saw the potato and that it is dry baked instead of cooked in boiling water for three or more hours.

It is not pumpernickel in any of the many incarnations I've seen. It does look interesting anyway. I'd guess the flavor is similar to a bittersweet cornbread. Yes? No?

gary

suave's picture
suave

There is this notion that older books hold some hidden trove of authentic recipes.  That's not really true, just as now, tons of them were authored by compilers who would not know an authentic recipe if it hit them in the face.  And then there were people like Clayton, who knew better but felt the need (or were pressured by the editors) to dumb it down.

David R's picture
David R

Immigrants are not necessarily reliable sources for how a recipe is done properly. First and foremost, not every immigrant is a good cook. People who are not good cooks can make all kinds of errors and give all kinds of wrong impressions. In addition, having moved to a foreign country, many people decide on purpose to change the recipes to suit their new surroundings - substituting local items for unavailable or uncommon ingredients, "dumbing down" procedures to make them easier to explain, and so on. Trying to give out a recipe, in a new unfamiliar language where you might not even know the words for things, can be difficult (even if you did study the new language - specialized terminology isn't part of most basic language classes). Many immigrants will sort of "attach themselves" to one new friend in their new country, asking them for advice and translation and so on; if that person is a bad cook, or even if they're a good cook who happens to misunderstand or misrepresent the foreign recipes, then things get garbled.

The solution is to consult a real expert, and to travel to the expert's "home turf" to do so. That isn't always practical - and isn't always desired either - in the example of this thread, was an American cookbook author really going to plan, in 1940, a trip to Germany?

Another issue, maybe: Just as there's a division between formal vs. informal speech, and formal vs. informal clothes, there can also be formal vs. informal food, in different ways. Fancy recipes "for company" compared to everyday family food; bakery-style bread or home-style; the sophisticated restaurant food of trained experts with hired help in a well-equipped kitchen compared to the simpler food made alone at home. And (not formal vs. informal anymore) there's rich-people food and poor-people food too, as well as regional food and so on. So not only do you want to consult an expert, you want to consult the right expert, in the right job, from the right part of the country. You should get valuable recipes from an American Jewish great-grandmother in New York - but it seems likely that gumbo, San Francisco sourdough, and the Big Mac are not the right recipes to inquire about. 😁

If a foreigner arrives in your country under difficult circumstances, not knowing the language very well and not having a lot of money, then explaining the social nuances of who eats what in her country and at what time and with who (and who makes it, and why) is perhaps not near the top of the agenda. 🙂

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...what recipe is on page 112.  :)

David R's picture
David R

You can't necessarily judge a book by its cover... But yeah, "What's on page 112?" really could be educational. 🙂

Hopefully not kangaroo. 😁

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Nothing wrong with kangaroo :). Great minced pies.  Steaks are a bit dry though.

 

David R's picture
David R

But the much less well-known Austrian kangaroo (the Hüpfihüpfihüpfiungeheuritierli) is not as tasty. 😁

albacore's picture
albacore

In the list of old breadmaking books I recently posted, I chanced upon a more authentic looking recipe in "Baker's Bread" by Paul Richards.

https://docdro.id/x4hFGKv

I haven't tried it, but it suggests to me that it would be unwise to consider all old recipes as not up to scratch!

Lance

David R's picture
David R

Absolutely true - what's important is "Who wrote it, what did they know about the subject, and what did they know (or think) about their readers".

One of the French-language books you linked to in your other post, in a "general advice to housewives" section, says that it's usually better to sell your wheat in exchange for commercially milled flour, rather than grind your own. The fact that each ordinary household could be generally expected to have a significant quantity of grain for potential sale, at least enough of them so that advice about it would be printed in a cookbook, is interesting, in terms of "what does the author know about the readers".

David R's picture
David R

At the top of this page, the very beginning of the first post where the photo is, I just accidentally scrolled to it and read "Sprinkle it over the kitchen, ..."

Too many times, I've spread various ingredients across the kitchen. It was funny to imagine that I had actually seen it recommended in a book. 🙂