Thom's Pumpernickel Bread




About: I was born in the Chicago, Illinois and spent my formative years in a small community known as Wonder Lake. I moved to Greers Ferry. Arkansas while I was in high school. I joined the Navy as a Photographer a...

Pumpernickel bread its characteristically has  a deep brown color, sweet, dark chocolate, coffee flavor, and earthy aroma. It is a nice way to work that little extra coffee into your daily life without having it just served in a steaming cuppa.

Step 1: Ingrediants

These are the ingredients that you will need to make a couple of loaves of my pumpernickel bread.

1 ¼ cup of room temperature coffee
1 ½ teaspoons salt (course kosher)
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups bread flour
3 tablespoons gluten
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 tablespoon caraway seed
2 teaspoon bread machine or quick active dry yeast

I go to a local whole food type market that sells bulk items for most of my bread making ingredients. Most good quality markets should have most of the supplies.

Step 2: Mix Everything Together

I use a bread machine to do the mixing and the kneading for two reasons... (1) because I got a bread machine for Christmas a few years ago and (2) because I am to lazy to do the work by hand. You should be able to do this without a bread machine but it just makes it a LOT easier.

If you have never used a bread machine before you need to make sure that you put the kneading paddle in before you add the ingredients or you aren't going to get very far.

Once you have everything measured out and into the baking chamber (that is what Cuisinart calls it in my manual) you just insert it into the bread machine.  Start the bread machine, This is a very dense dough so it will be noisy when it mixes.

Step 3: Form the Dough

When you bread machine signals that it is going into the final proofing/last rise remove the dough from the machine.

Cur the dough into two Shape into two loaves. The loaves are going to raise a little more so make sure that they aren't to close together.

I like to place my loaves on a cookie sheet with a SILPAT. If you don't have a SILPAT you can sprinkle cornmeal on the cookie sheet and place the loaves directly on the cookie sheet.

Step 4:

Place in a warm area to rise (approx. 1 hour). This is a dense bread so you won’t see a lot of rise from the dough. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap.

Step 5:

Preheat your oven to 375 and place a pan of water on the lowest rack.

 With a sharp knife, slash the top of the loaves (this will allow steam to escape).I don't think that this is required with a heavy bread like pumpernickel but if you like the look for the finished loaf go right ahead.

Place the cookie sheet on the center rack.

Set your timer for 25 minutes and kick back and relax.

Step 6:

After baking for 25 minutes you need to cover the loaves with an aluminum foil tent and bake for 10 more minutes.

Step 7: The Cooking Is Done

Remove from the oven and cool the loaves on their side.

Step 8:

This is the finished product... great for sandwiches, just having a piece of bread with butter or can be cut up and turned into some great croutons. The girls that I work with think that this is the BEST BREAD that I make... and it's vegan as well... not on purpose, just happens to fall into that category.

OPTION: I have also had great reviews by replacing the coffee with Dr. Pepper, for those people that don't drink coffee!

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    13 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Is this really 3 tablespoons of vital gluten? The recommended amount is 1 tablespoon per 2-3 cups of flour...I made bread flour from 1.5 teaspoons vital gluten with 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour. Am I then to add another 3 tablespoons of vital gluten as this recipe indicates? Thanks!


    2 years ago

    How would I change things to bake it in the oven? I don't have a bread machine. Looks yummy.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    You can change out the yeast for regular yeast but I don't think it would be a requirement. You can do the mixing by hand, knead the bread dough until everything is mixed and combined. I use the bread machine because I am lazy but kneading by hand can be theraputic (so I am told). Let it rest in a bowl under a piece of plastic wrap or damp cloth and let it rise. Punch it down, form the loaves and then let it have its final rise. Follow the rest of the directions.

    Trying this today-it looks really good and dark! Why do they have to cool on their sides? I've not seen that in bread instructions before.

    1 reply

    it is one of those things that my mom did while I was growing up. I think its to let the bottom of the loaf to cool and it would let the steam escape. I guess that you could use a metal rack and achieve similar results.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I don't know if this is Pumpernickel or not, and frankly I'm not such a purist that I would care.
    What I do know is that it is quite good, as I just made it this evening and enjoyed it with some barbequed tri-tip.
    It is very similar in texture to the dark brown mini loaves you will find at your table when you visit steakhouses such as Black Angus or Outback. Where it differs primarily in taste is in the noticeability of the molasses flavor. This bread has quite a strong molasses flavor (as I assumed it would when I read the ingredients) which I think could be toned down by going half molasses / half brown sugar? That might provide a milder, more even flavor.
    This loaf tasted a lot like just a very sweet, artisan dark rye (with some caraway seeds.)

    Remember bakers - we don't all have the same oven. I burnt mine slightly by following times to the letter. I imagine my oven must run a little hot so pay attention to yours if you already know that it runs a bit hot or cool deviating from standard.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Dear Waltman, many, if not most, Pumpernickel recipes in this country darken the bread in similar ways as this author. From the website German Food Guide ( "The American Version of Pumpernickel Bread. There are many differences between the American and German versions of pumpernickel bread. In America, bakers add coloring agents, such as molasses, coffee, or cocoa powder, to the dough to approximate the dark color of the German pumpernickel. Also, wheat (to provide structure) and commercial yeast (to quicken the dough's rising time) is added to American pumpernickel breads. American pumpernickel is most often baked without a bread form, resulting in a round loaf. Because of these differences, the American pumpernickel more closely resembles a dark rye bread." Thank you for the recipe sdbigguy. I'm new to pumpernickel and haven't had much luck yet. Will give this one a try!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Please don't call this recipe pumpernickel. Molasses, cocoa, caraway seeds? The may be delicious bread, but it sure ain't pumpernickel!

    From Wikipedia: "Traditional German pumpernickel contains no colouring agents, instead relying on the Maillard reaction to produce its characteristic deep brown colour, sweet, dark chocolate, coffee flavor, and earthy aroma (however, it is not uncommon to use darkly toasted bread from a previous batch as a colouring agent). Loaves produced in this manner require 16 to 24 hours of baking in a low temperature (about 250°F or 120°C), steam-filled oven. "

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It fits many of the characteristics of Pumpernickel.... I never claimed it to be Traditional German Pumpernickel... hope that clear it up a bit.

    This is an awesome bread recipe. I love that you used a bread machine because I have one too and would totally want to use it. Also, thanks for the option. I don't like coffee and now I have no excuse not to make and enjoy this bread!!!

    1 reply

    Thanks... like it says, you can replace the coffee with Dr. Pepper ( I have had good results with that for the non-coffee drinkers.... still mighty tasty.... don't know show it would do with Pepsi or Coke as the substitute.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you... The girls and the doctor at work are going to be very happy to see me bringing in fresh pumpernickle this morning. Have a great New Year!