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*real* Pumpernickel?

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

*real* Pumpernickel?

So, my husband grew up with Norweigian and German heritage, and he remembers fondly a bread he called pumpernickel.  Unfortunately what he calls pumpernickel and the recipes I am finding are nothing close.  He describes a very dense bread, possibly with whole grains in it, that was sourdough for sure (tangy I think is the word he described) brown in colour but not really dark. He said it was "square." Could someone tell me what I am looking for in terms of a recipe?  Obviously it has another name, because I'm drawing a blank. His birthday is coming up and I'd like to make him one.

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

Have you looked up schwarzbrot?  I am not one to rely on, but I think that might be what you're looking for.  Google "Rheinisches Schwarzbrot."  Or go to a few wonderful sites, if you haven't gone to them:

https://www.ploetzblog.de/

https://brotdoc.com/

http://hanseata.blogspot.com/2016/06/friesisches-schwarzbrot-hearty-rye-from.html

There are also tons of people here who are really expert-level.  Begging forgiveness from the plethora of names I forget as I have a terrible problem with memory, but MiniOven, mariana, Ilya Flyamer come to mind most immediately.

You can search the sites for specific breads.  Here's just a sample:

https://brotdoc.com/2020/01/12/schwarzbrot-grundrezept/

https://www.ploetzblog.de/2016/07/30/alm-rezepte-rheinisches-schwarzbrot/

 

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

I do wish I could read German, because according to his visual memory the "Emmer" photo was pretty close.  Now I have an idea of where to go.  Thanks!

 

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

My German is pretty poor.  I use the add-on or whatever it is called in Chrome that allows me to translate any page.  Though I hate reading in translation!

happycat's picture
happycat

One approach is to start from the flour-- somewhat coarse, whole grain rye is known as pumpernickel I believe (vs knockoff "pumpernickel breads" that use coffee and whatnot for flavour and colour).

Then you can look at recipes based on that ingredient of whole grain rye flour.

For instance, the rye baker website has such recipes from the locales you mentioned. To cope with the whole grain rye ingredient (no usable gluten, fast fermentation) they rely on multi-stage processes to build a rye sour, levain, sponge, etc. that get combined into the final bake.

So the key ingredient, and the processes needed to handle it result in a unique product. I've quite enjoyed making such rye breads.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Yeah this is the real thing, another version: http://brotgost.blogspot.com/2018/01/pumpernickel.html (switch on the google translate on top right)

happycat's picture
happycat

Ok that westphalian one is wild enough that I will have to try making one. I have a kilo of rye berries in the cupboard... and this recipe uses maple syrup. Thanks for the link.

I looked at Ilya's link as well. Thanks, too. Translation didn't work so well for me but I'll compare them.

I was wondering what the next project would be.

Thanks to the original poster for asking. 

Abe's picture
Abe

"Note, that I cover even the Pullman tin in these additional layers. Place the wrapped tins at the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for approximately 14 hours (best done overnight)".

This is the secret to Westphalian Pumpernickel (I believe). This long low temperature bake brings out the flavour. It's not a soft bread, meant to be a dense rye full of caramel flavours. Cut thinly and enjoy. 

I'm looking forward to seeing your project. I believe it's been done a few times on TFL with Dabrownman springing to mind. 

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

I've never tried it, but always been intrigued.  Unfortunately my Pullman doesn't have a lid, so I've always depended on rolling the foil tightly around the rim.  OK for shorter bakes up to 3 hours, but afraid to risk it for a true pumpernickel bake.  Also, I don't have it in front of me, but doesn't Ginsberg's version (from his book) come without any leavening at all?  I've avoided for that reason, too - sauerteig is too fun!

I have to try it.  This recipe looks delicious.

happycat's picture
happycat

What about using oven bags? They're rated for much higher temps than this recipe.

https://www.cooksinfo.com/oven-bags

 

Abe's picture
Abe

I wouldn't like to advise. I've seen people doing this bread in cans! 

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

My Austrian neighbour said her mom used to bake this kind of bread in old tomato juice cans!  I'm guessing you're not too far off.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Yeah that's the suggestion on the link I posted. Seal the pan with foil and place in an oven bag.

Abe's picture
Abe

a bread that relies solely on flavour. it's a meal bread with malt and the rest is in the bake. Some do have leavening but it doesn't transform much into a less dense bread. The sourdough is probably more for a flavour a little leavening. 

Abe's picture
Abe

https://youtu.be/NXwuJlY3uy0

Sure looks and sounds delicious. But in case you don't live near a hot spring then there are other recipes which can be done in an oven. Here is King Arthur's version:

https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/icelandic-rye-bread-rugbraud-recipe

MikeV's picture
MikeV

Although it is also a rye bread baked by low-temperature steaming, that Icelandic bread is (at least in my experience) completely different from a German-style pumpernickel. It is made with fine flour and highly sweetened; in terms of texture and flavor it is cake-like, much closer to a pain d'épice/soft gingerbread without the spices. Quite a different experience compared to the coarse rye and natural malt sweetness of a pumpernickel!

I should probably place a caveat that I've only had store-bought versions, who knows what kind of variations Icelanders are cooking up in their backyard hotsprings ... we were told that it is often baked in used milk cartons in practice (maybe wrapped in foil?).

Cheers,
Mike

Abe's picture
Abe

because it is rye and looks delicious. In no way is it similar at all. Just this talk of rye bread jogged my memory. It does look like a sift gingerbread. I think it'll be very tasty and more like a cross between bread and cake. 

I see no reason why it can't be done as a sourdough and baked like a pumpernickel. Might be an interesting experiment. I imagine the bicarbonate of soda and baking powder makes it more cake like whereas yeast or sourdough will make it more like bread. The cartons idea is very much like baking pumpernickel in a can. 

MikeV's picture
MikeV

It is delicious for sure! The buttermilk or milk used as the liquid also contribute to a more "cake-like" product.
There are various recipes on the internet (you can also search for "Thunder Bread") but I haven't tried replicating it myself. GIve it a shot!

Abe's picture
Abe

It's thunder! Just had a quick look. Very similar. Slightly less sugar but still overloaded. Seems like they have a sweet tooth in Iceland. Looks very nice!

Have a Danish Rugbrod planned for my next bake but bookmarked this recipe. Thanks! 

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

I told him I couldn't make it cause I didn't have a pullman....got one of those for Christmas.  <sigh> no more excuses. but he *did* buy a tiny little pullman....so

 

alcophile's picture
alcophile

How tiny is the Pullman pan? I am looking for a Pullman pan smaller than the 9×4×4 inch one I have. A 4-lb. loaf of even a good bread is sometimes too much.

Benito's picture
Benito

I’ve seen pullman pans that bake a cube shaped loaf, approximately 4x4x4” for example this one on amazon.com

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

Measured in cm, then realized you were in inches.  Mine is 3 1/2x3 1/2 x 8 inches.  so probably close in size to yours. 

JonJ's picture
JonJ

Would it be cheating to buy a loaf?

We can get them in South African supermarkets, baked in Germany in long life packaging, something like this.

Edit: Here's an Amazon link for the folks in the States.

-Jon

 

Abe's picture
Abe

We have them here too. Many brands. It's baked rye meal with salt, water and either yeast or starter. 

Thinly sliced and nice toasted. 

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

also I'm in Canada, haven't seen this type of bread in the bigger grocery stores, and our Sweedish Deli (which used to be a source) went out of business.  (that was a very sad day for many reasons - bread was the least of them) He just really wants it "fresh." Even though he probably never had it fresh in his life, I think I've spoiled him with not having bought a loaf of bread in years...

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

This one is the closest in looks, I'll give it a try, I think I have all the ingredients.  Thank you.

Abe's picture
Abe

and tell us how it went. Looking forward!

alcophile's picture
alcophile

I don't believe the addition of a sweetener would be traditional in Pumpernickel. But it probably is a delicious bread!

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

Wish we had a like button here, this "picture" looks like the real thing he says.  Now if I could figure out how to get the oven down to 120 df I'd be golden!  This is truly in the realm of my Easy Bake Oven....

happycat's picture
happycat

Recipes were in celcius

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

Thought to myself, this can't be right? Then noticed in was C.  duh.

happycat's picture
happycat

For anyone interested or who has comments, I posted a plan for a half-size version and that is also more usable for me during actual prep

https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/69696/plan-halfsize-german-pumpernickel-simplified

clazar123's picture
clazar123

"The Rye Baker" by Stan Ginsberg (former poster here on TFL)

Book or website.

http://theryebaker.com/

My favorite pumpernickel is THIS ONE . I love to add chopped dates to my chewy rye.

He has tons of recipes from all over the world. The hard part for you may actually be obtaining rye flour. It has become much more expensive and scarce if you are in the USA. Make sure you read his explanation of the different rye flours and  grinds.

Have fun!

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

I'm in Canada, and I have no problem with the rye, have a 10 gallon bucket full of berries and a mill!  We eat a lot of rye breads.  I'm also surprised that rye is hard to find in the USA, I can get it at any grocery store.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

 it would have rye _meal_ (which is coarser than flour)  and maybe cracked grains a.k.a. "schrot."

Have him peruse google/duckduckgo for photos until he finds one that looks right, then if the link doesn't have a recipe, send the link to Mini.

Here's a recipe that uses rye meal:

http://nybakers.com/recipes/Sauerteig_roggenbrot.pdf

bigcrusty's picture
bigcrusty

I struggled with that as well until I found Horst Bandel Dark German Pumpernickel in Hamelman's "Bread".  It takes a three days to make but it is the tastiest bread I've ever make.  Here's the recipes.  You have to soak Rye Berries and develop a sourdough.  At the end the dough will have the consistency of thick batter and is baked in loaf pans. The 1 -4x weights are in grams.  I have a mill so I make the Rye Chops myself.  They are very hard to find although if you have a good selection of Bob's Red Mill products you might be able to find Rye Chops.  Good luck.  Hope your husband enjoys it.

 

Regards,

Big Crusty

Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel  Hammelman p 222Ounces1X2x3x4x  Directions
         
Sourdough       Prepare the sourdough and ripen it for 14 - 16 hours at 70 F.  Substitute whole rye flour or pupernickel if rye meal is unavailable.
Rye Meal9.62725458171090   
Water9.62725458171090   
Mature Sourdough Culture0.514284357   
Subtotal19.7559111816772236   
         
Rye Berry Soaker       Soak whole rye berries overnight.  The next day, boil them in about 3 times their volume fo water until they are soft and pliable, about an hour or so.  Once the berries are soft and pliable, strain them and set aside.  Discard any remaining cooking liquid.
Rye Berries6.4182363545726   
Wateras needed       
Subtotal        
         
Old-Bread Soaker       Using either a protion of the previous pumpernickel bake, or some other type of leftover bread (preferably a strong dark bread) soak the bread, crusts and all, in hot water and let stand for at least 4 hours.  Squeeze out as much moisture as possible and reserve the water for use as needed in the final dough.  For deeper flavor in the final bread, slice the old bread, lay it on sheet pans, bake again until dry and dark and use in the old bread soaker
Old Bread6.4182363545726   
Wateras needed       
Subtotal        
         
Final Dough       Mixing - Add all the ingedients to the bowl, including the sourdough and both of the soakers. But do not add any of the final dough water reserved from squeezing the liquid from the old bread soaker.  The rye berries and old bread soaker absorb varying amounts of water during their cooking and soaking, so wait until the dough comes together before adding the additional liquid.  It is quite possible that no additional dough water will be required.  The dough should we of medium consistency but not wet, and it will be slightly sticky.  Add high-gluten flour as needed if the mix is on the wet side.  Mix on first speed only, for 10 minutes.  Desired dough temperature - 82 - 84F 
High Gluten Flour8227454681908  Bulk Fermentation - 30 minutes
Rye Chops 8227454681908  Dividing and Shaping - Divide the dough into pieces and place in pullman pans that have been lightly oiled and then coated with rye meal or whole rye flour.  This prvents the bread from sticking to the pan during the long bake.  Slide the lids onto the tops of the pans.
Water 12.836372610901453  Final Fermentation 50 - 60 minutes at 82 F
Salt0.617345168  Baking When the dough is risen 3/4 inch from the top of the pan, it is sufficiently risen.  Since the bread bakes for 12 -16 hours, it is of vital importance that the oven temperature gradully recedes throughout the  bake.  The speed at which it recedes wil partially determine the length of the bake.  In any event the bread should be loaded into an oven that is in the 350 - 375 F range.  Ideally it will stay in that range for upwards of an hour, then egin to decrease.  I hte home oven try lowering the oven temperature to 275 F after an hour, and then turning the overn off 3 or 4 hours later.
Yeast0.216121824  Since there are som many variations in oven design experimentation may be nexessary until you find the baking method most suitable for your oven.  You will know when your bread is baked.  The aroma will fill the entire room.  Due to the lenghty bake, a great amount of natural sugars in the dough will have caramelized, and thise will contribute greatly, not only to the aroma, but also to the deep, almost black, color of the baked bread.  Remove the bread from the pans and let it cool completely.  Resist any temptation to slice it; it should rest for a minimum of 24 hours, wrapped in baker's linen, before cutting.
Molassis1.33774111148   
Rye Berry Soaker (not including absorbed water)6.4182363545726   
Old Bread Soaker (not including absorbed water)6.4182363545726   
Sourdough19.2545109016342179   
Total 62.91785.13570.15355.27140.3   
cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

I hope you didn't type this all out just for me....

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

I tried this one years ago and screwed it up as I'd not sealed well enough.  As I'm on a bit of a project working through Hamelman cover to cover, I'll be swinging back around!

FYI - awhile back I had the query on chops from Baker's Authority.  They carry Ardent Mills chops, which are actually chops.  Janie's carries cracked rye.  I've not noticed any appreciable difference myself, though it would be worth a dedicated series of trials to really see.

bigcrusty's picture
bigcrusty

To:  C Fraenkel,

 

No typing,

 

I have a huge spreadsheet with 30+ recipes on it.  Another note I cover the pans with aluminum foil while it's baking othewise the berries will get very hard.  My wife doesn't like that.

 

Regards,

 

Big Crusty

pmccool's picture
pmccool

Those require whole rye kernels as part of the “flour” for the bread.  Your husband may have had something like that, based on the description provided. 

Paul

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

I'll check that out.

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

LOL, Paul, I literally was just going back through PM's as I recall you are one of the aforementioned rye wizards, but I couldn't recall your username.  Voila - please add Mr. McCool to the list of honorees!

charbono's picture
charbono

"West German Breads" by Seibel et al describes pumpernickel as a sliced bread of Westfalia.

The surface is square and very dark – nearly black. It is nearly without crust. The crumb is very compact, slightly sticky and dark (as a result of a long baking time at low temp). Flavor is slightly sweet and tart.

Recipe includes single stage Monheim salt sourdough, a 12-15 hr soaker at 50°C, a little old bread and beet syrup, with yeast in the final mix. It is made with mostly coarse rye whole meal, with a smaller amount of medium rye whole meal in the final mix.

Baking is done in square, closed pans, which are double-walled and filled with water. Bake is at 150-100°C for 100-104 hours. Slice after 24-48 hr, putting paper between the slices.

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

Charbono, is that book still available, do you know?

charbono's picture
charbono

it is only available used.  It is Ch 7 of Advances in Cereal Science and Technology, Volume II, 1978, ed Pomeranz.

Gadjowheaty's picture
Gadjowheaty

OK thanks.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer
happycat's picture
happycat

Interesting in that it uses rye malt, altus, and added yeast.

Do you think that rye malt would be fermented?

the version Abe posted used maple syrup. Do you think rye malt could be subbed? (maple syrup is 33% water, 68% sugar). Is malt a think in pumpernickel?

Abe's picture
Abe

With an explanation about added maple syrup or molasses...

The dark brown bread sold as pumpernickel in the United States has no resemblance with the real thing. Instead of baking the pumpernickel bread the traditional way, which is at very low temperature for 12 to 16 hours, in the US, molasses are added to the dough to give it its dark color. In the authentic recipe, the sugars slowly caramelize during the baking process in a steam oven.

It seems like the original recipe relies purely on the bake to bring about the caramelisation with more modern interpretations adding things in like maple syrup and molasses in place of the long bake. Well, at least according to this recipe. The recipe I found which claims to be "authentic pumpernickel" seems to incorporate both! Adding the maple syrup and baking at a low temperature for a long time.

Having looked at many recipes and having bought pumpernickel it would seems the ingredients are simple - Rye Meal, Water, Salt and Sourdough Starter - and the rest is all in the bake. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Yeah from what I understand, that's generally correct. But I think there are variations in how sweet it is in Germany as well, and adding sweeteners (not maple syrup traditionally, of course, more likely malt extract, beet syrup, or just sugar) might be an authentic variation. But I'm not an expert.

If adding malt, it certainly would be fermented RRM.

alcophile's picture
alcophile

Malt could be a thing; maple syrup, not so much. I did not know this, but Westfälischer Pumpernickel is an EU protected specialty (see here). The ingredients are rye, water, and salt (reminds me of the Reinheitsgebot for beer). Yeast, malt, and sugar-beet syrup may also be added. It doesn't specify whether the malt is of the fermented variety, although I'm sure a dark color would result from the Maillard reaction in any event.

Abe's picture
Abe

Can you post a link to the page? 

Westfälischer Pumpernickel (PGI) just means that only bread made in Westphalia can be called Westphalia Pumpernickel. I'm not sure it actually gives a standard recipe. It's just a stamp for bread coming from that region. I'm sure there are variants and the original will be rye meal, water, salt, starter. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer
Abe's picture
Abe

Even though it’s made of nothing but wholemeal and grains of rye – with hulls and shoots – as well as water and salt. In any case, yeast, malt and sugar-beet syrup may also be added, but preservatives are a no go.

So while it's made of nothing but wholemeal and grains of rye with hulls and shoots as well as water and salt (the original recipe) there are other "accepted" add-ins. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Indeed, so malt and sweetening (I think sugar beet syrup can be replaced with something else and the recipe would remain "authentic", whatever that means) are allowed, and also yeast - for a less sour bread, I guess.

Abe's picture
Abe

is just for rise. As for sour it's just rye meal and some wholemeal wheat baked for a long time. Not sure if it's meant to be sour per se or that yeast will change the flavour much when it's just mixed and baked. The only thing that might change the flavour is the syrup or if sourdough is added. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I think yeast would be used in conjunction with sourdough to reduce the rising time and hence reduce sourness.

Abe's picture
Abe

Then add another to make it less sour? That can be done with sourdough and the syrup or less sourdough or no sourdough. Is this bread supposed to rise? In which case one can just add some for flavour and bake straight away. From the sound of things the original recipe would be just to mix and bake. 

alcophile's picture
alcophile

I looked at the Mestemacher GmbH site to see what is in their westfälischer Pumpernickel. The ingredient list is: Whole rye meal (60 %), water, sugar beet syrup, salt, malt extract (barley), yeast. I don’t know if its pumpernickel is considered “authentic” by German standards, but it is at least one example from a bakery in Westphalia.

The Deutschen Lebensmittelbuches (German Food Book) lists this process:

Pumpernickel wird aus mindestens 90 Prozent Roggenbackschrot und/oder Roggenvollkornschrot mit Backzeiten von mindestens 16 Stunden bei geringen Temperaturen (in der Regel 100 °C–120 °C) hergestellt. Wird Pumpernickel aus Vollkornschrot hergestellt, so stammt die zugesetzte Säuremenge zu mindestens zwei Dritteln aus Sauerteig.

Google translation: Pumpernickel is made from at least 90 percent rye cheek meal and/or whole grain rye meal with baking times of at least 16 hours at low temperatures (usually 100 °C–120 °C). If pumpernickel is made from wholemeal meal, at least two-thirds of the added acid comes from sourdough.

cfraenkel's picture
cfraenkel

Not being one to actually stick to a recipe...I read all of your suggestions and pulled ideas from them all and read the recipe notes in Hamelman.  I didn't have any old bread hanging around so his recipe was out (just turned it all in to bread crumbs for cooking) so I built up a rye levain and went with a recipe similar to what HappyCat posted here

https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/69696/plan-halfsize-german-pumpernickel-simplified

My modifications were that I used Cane syrup, used *all* of the preferment, put a handful of Einkorn in the mix because I felt like it needed some finer flour and that was what I had milled and sitting on the counter, and timings. 

My granddaughter came to visit and spending time with family came before mixing bread.  So I mixed after she left at around 7:00pm, left it on the counter until I went to bed around 10:30pm put it in loaf pans tripple wrapped with foil and popped it in the fridge overnight.  I'm either crazy or stupid for wrapping first, but I knew that the bread needed to stay moist, and I wasn't going to be able to do much with it except wait for more rise, which I understand isn't really a thing.  I tucked the loaves into the oven with a baking sheet on top of them this morning at 220dF and will leave it there until I go to bed tonight.  I plan to turn the oven off and just leave it there overnight so I get close to 24 hours in the oven.  Then I'll wrap in towels and rest for another 24 hours.