Thursday, December 29, 2011

Austrian Pumpernickel Bread

My poor baby boy has been sick since last Thursday, and he spent last night in the hospital with dehydration and low blood sugar. So it's been a really rough week for us (though we did manage to pull off a pretty decent Christmas).

So I'm putting off my adventure to Austria, though hopefully only for another couple of days (it's obviously going to depend on when Henry gets home and starts feeling like himself). But I did want to post a recipe today anyway, just to get the proverbial ball rolling.

First a disclaimer: I wasn't actually going to make this recipe, nor have I ever made this recipe, though now that I've looked at it I might try it once things settle down. This week I was planning to keep things pretty low key, so I actually just cheated and bought a loaf of cocktail pumpernickel to serve with the appetizer I plan to make. But in case you don't want to cheat, here is a genuine Austrian pumpernickel recipe:

Dark Pumpernickel Bread
(from Traditional Food)
  • 3 packages active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups dark rye flour
  • 1 cup Shredded Wheat cereal
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Butter or margarine, softened

Now if you read this blog you already know that I always try to make a bread machine recipe out of pretty much every yeast bread recipe I come across. So if it was me, I would prove the yeast and then I would just dump all the ingredients into my bread machine and let the machine do the work (though I don't ever actually bake bread in the machine, I usually take it out and bake it in the oven).

So to make this bread, first dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it sit until it is frothy. Then add the molasses, vegetable oil, caraway seed, salt, rye flour, shredded wheat and cocoa.

Mix until smooth, then add the all-purpose flour until a smooth dough forms. Turn it out onto a floured surface and cover. Let it rest for 10 or 15 minutes.

Now on to the kneading, which is something I never do so I can't really speak here with any authority. The recipe tells you to "knead until smooth," which evidently should only take about 5 minutes.

Now place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise in a warm place until the dough has about doubled in size, which usually takes about an hour.

Sprinkle a greased cookie sheet with cornmeal. Punch down the dough and divide in two, shaping each half into a round loaf. Put loaves onto opposite corners of the cookie sheet so they don't bake into each other. Brush the top of each loaf with some melted butter, then let them rise again until they've about doubled, another hour or so.

Bake the bread in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when you rap them with your knuckles.

Viola! Austrian pumpernickel.

And because you can't do a blog post without a photo, here is a picture of the very much not Austrian pumpernickel I got at the grocery store. I promise if I ever make this recipe I will replace it with a genuine photo.

This is not Austrian pumpernickel. This is the cocktail pumpernickel I bought at Safeway.

Please wish Henry some good health; hopefully in a few days I'll be able to post the complete meal. Happy New Year everyone, in case I don't post before then.


  1. This is the first time that I have heard about the pumpernickel bread. I am very interested in how it is made so I can try it out at home. Thanks for the easy to follow recipe!

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  2. You're welcome! I hope you like it better than I did ... I thought it was a little bitter and overpowering. It's evidently very popular in Austria, though, so I guess I just don't have a taste for it. Thanks for reading!


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