miracle Pumpernickel

I was in the middle of making this pumpernickel bread and all I could think of over and over again was…. it would take a miracle. (Said in the voice of Miracle Max from The Princess Bride.) For it really was going to take a miracle for this little loaf to work.

I had scanned and then re-scanned recipes for it, and either the recipe wasn’t what I was after or I didn’t have access to some of the listed ingredients. I re-read some more, until all I felt was, like a dog chasing it’s tail. Funny for someone else watching but rather annoying for the poor dog.

What?… How?… Maybe?… Oh crikey.

Nothing else for it. Jumping in and back to hack basics 101. I had a general idea of how it was supposed to be cooked, and I had a pretty solid idea of how I wanted it to look and taste, so off to the kitchen it was.

First I got some rye grain, as I couldn’t get the kind of rye flour or rye meal I was after. Then popped it in my Kitchenaid blender and pulverised it to make a course flour… pickle me in ginger if that didn’t work. I didn’t even know my Kitchenaid could do that. Whoosh!

With flour now in hand, I started on the rest of the loaf. I really felt out of my depths with this one, just because I was solely going on instinct and guessing and not following someone else’s tried and true pumpernickel recipe. Hence, the many mutterings of …it would take a miracle.

But it did work, and I was really happy with it. Dense, flavourful and definitely one I will be making regularly. It had both sweet and sour flavours, very little crust, and quite sustaining for a small slice. It’s not a quick loaf and does take a bit of preparation but I would much rather be eating a pumpernickel coming out of my kitchen as opposed to an imported one coming from Europe, (as that is a LOT of food miles for a small amount of bread.)


250g rye flour

200g starter (100%)

50g linseed meal

50g sunflower seeds

25g unprocessed wheat bran

1 tsp dark malt flour

handful pumpkin kernels

200mls boiling water

120mls natural yogurt

1 tsp salt

In a bowl add linseed, sunflower seeds, dark malt flour, wheat bran, pumpkin kernels and boiling water. Whisk together and leave to soak for several hours. Then add starter, rye flour and yogurt. Mix slowly a couple of times, with 10 minute rest intervals in between. Then add the salt and mix well again. In an oiled and lined with baking paper tin spoon mixture in. Making sure there is no gaps. Cover and prove until risen by about a quarter. This took for me about 7 hours, will depend on the room temperature though.

Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 220C for 15 minutes, then lowering the temperature to 190C bake for approximately 35 minutes.

Cool in tin for 15 minutes, keeping the aluminium on. Then remove from tin, and cool on rack. When it’s cold, wrap it in baking paper for 24-48 hours before eating.


and just because I can….

this post submitted to the wonderful yeastspotting