While our version of this dark, flavorful German peasant bread is not exactly the same as the loaves and rolls we tasted in Germany, this recipe has all sorts of healthy, delicious additions. It is easy to make from scratch and so yummy served up with a hearty meal. It makes absolutely fabulous toast and sandwiches too…
Dark Pumpernickel Bread
Makes 2 loaves
2 packages active dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 1/2 cups rye flour
1 cup leftover coffee
1 cup water
1/3 cup dark molasses
3 Tablespoons butter
3-3 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
Start with a large bowl and add in the yeast, cocoa, brown sugar, salt and 2 cups of the rye flour. In a medium saucepan, heat the leftover coffee, water, molasses, and butter until very warm (120 to 130 degrees.)
Either beating by hand with a wooden spoon, or using a hand mixer, add the hot liquid into the dry yeast mixture and mix until well blended. Then beat about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of rye flour and 1 cup of the whole wheat flour and continue to beat for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir in enough of the whole wheat flour to make a medium-stiff dough. You will want to be using a wooden spoon at this point as it can be too hard on a hand mixer. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead, adding in flour as needed until you have a smooth, elastic ball of dough (it will lose it’s stickiness.) This can take approximately 5 minutes.
Lightly grease (with oil) a large bowl and place the ball of dough in the bowl, making sure the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a cotton cloth or plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise. This will take approximately an hour or so, depending on how warm the room is. Punch down the dough, divide in half and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into 2 loaves and place loaves on a greased baking sheet (leave room for them to expand.)
Cover again and let rise until almost doubled. This will take about a half hour. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. You can brush the loaves with a mixture of egg white and water prior to baking if you’d like a shiny crust. You will know they are done when they are brown and sound hollow when tapped. Keep in mind that this is a dense loaf, so it won’t sound exactly like a high, fluffy loaf of white bread. Remove from oven and cool on racks.