Sorry. We’re just excited. We love pumpernickel bread and it’s hard to find. Diana Henry calls it, “Black Bread” but it will forever be pumpernickel in our hearts.
We first attempted pumpernickel more than 15 years ago, when we were newlyweds in Chicago. We used a method that the author Bernard Clayton described as `not for the beginner baker.’ It had no white flour, just rye and whole wheat (if memory serves), and the result was a predictable inedible brown brick. So it was with some trepidation that we decided to try again.
This one has plenty of white flour, maybe 75 percent of the total volume, so we had a little more confidence in what we were doing. Nonetheless, this dough is hard to work when kneading by hand. (It will be easier to use the dough hook if you’ve got one for your mixer. In this house, one of us doesn’t mind using the dough hook, the other of us is old school and does it by hand. I’ll leave it you to decide who is who.) We still weren’t sure it was going to work until it came out of the oven. We were in a rush so it probably needed more time in the second rising, but it still worked.
This method calls for shredded carrots, but we didn’t have any to hand so we made it without. It still worked fine. They might have added a little sweetness to the final product. We also used the E5 Bakehouse trick of baking the bread in our casserole pan, with the lid on. Doing this creates a micro-climate for your bread so the crust gets crusty while the inside bakes evenly. It’s a good trick.
We will definitely be making this again. Pumpernickel for the win.