Sliced thin and toasted, this dense pumpernickel bread is perfect for appetizers or open face sandwiches. It’s also great with soup.
My sons love pumpernickel bread. The bakery at our local grocery store makes a soft pumpernickel bread that is wonderful for sandwiches or with some butter or just by itself. When my sons were young, I’d have to hide a few slices from the loaf because they’d eat it in one sitting.
Last week I saw some pumpernickel meal in the grocery store. Specialty flours are rare here and I’ve not seen pumpernickel bread anywhere. So I bought the flour.
Unfortunately, I left my recipe for soft pumpernickel bread at home. I have a recipe book I’ve been writing in since high school. It’s got a cloth cover with strawberries on it. I only put my favorite recipes in that book.
There’s a great recipe for pumpernickel bread in my strawberry recipe book. I’ll have to make for you when I get back to the States. In the meantime, it’s in a box in storage.
Off to the net to look for recipes. I checked my favorite places for pumpernickel bread recipes – King Arthur Flour, All Recipes, etc. Only one recipe had more than 3 stars and it required several special ingredients (rye enhancer?).
So I combined a few recipes to come up with this dense pumpernickel bread. I made mine into two small loaves so they bake faster without drying out. Even so, each loaf weighs a LOT. I was undecided about this bread because I really like my old recipe better – the soft pumpernickel bread. I gave a loaf to a friend and brought the other to work.
Everyone liked it but I think we all agreed two slices of this to make a sandwich would be too much. The dense grainy texture works better for an open face sandwich. Slice it thin, toast it and top it with a little horseradish and thinly sliced roast beef for a holiday appetizer. Or, top the thin toasted slices with a little mayonnaise, smoked salmon and dill and you have a knock out appetizer.
Got soup? A thick slice of this dense pumpernickel bread is also a hearty accompaniment for soups.
I used black cocoa to give this bread it’s dark color but you can use regular cocoa. It will just be a bit lighter in color.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 - 114°F)
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup black cocoa
- 3 cups pumpernickel flour (meal)
- 3 cups all purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup cooked mashed potato
- Mix hot water, yeast, butter and molasses together until yeast is dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes while you measure other ingredients.
- Put the rest of the ingredients except 1 cup of the all purpose flour in a mixing bowl. You'll knead the last cup of flour into the dough.
- Add the molasses mixture to the dry ingredients.
- Knead in the rest of the flour and knead for about 10 minutes. This makes a REALLY moist, sticky dough so, if you have a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook, use that to knead the dough.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl (I use the mixing bowl that I made the dough in). Sprinkle some flour over the top and then cover with a damp cloth. Let rise for 90 minutes until almost doubled. The top will crack and the flour on top will show the cracks.
- Punch down and knead lightly. Form two loaves and place them on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to slice the tops of the loaves to make a pattern. I made three diagonal slices. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 1 hour.
- Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes. The internal temperature should be 200°F (you can use a meat thermometer to test).
You might also like these bread recipes.
Or maybe some soup to go with your bread.