This bread, Dark Pumpernickel Bread with Raisins, from Dan Leader’s Bread Alone, was a lot of fun to make. However, it takes a LONG time–two ferments rather than one (that’s three rises) and 1 1/2 hours in the oven.
I halved the recipe (and Lord knows how I would have kneaded all that dough if I hadn’t) and as the rye starter I maintain (from Dan Leader’s Local Breads) seems to be different from the Bread Alone book in composition (and since my starter is drastically smaller in amount than required for this recipe), I built the necessary proportions using the rye sourdough elaboration from the Local Breads recipe for Whole Rye Berry Loaf. (I added about 5oz of water rather than the 4 oz called for in the pre-ferment as the Bread Alone sourdough seemed wetter). I meant to only add 9oz of the final starter but ended up adding the full amount which was nearer to 11 oz. This turned out not to be a problem, as far as I could tell.
The recipe gives a wide range of flours, I stayed within the lower end of this range. This seemed to work out well. The only problem was that I think my oven got too hot over the long baking period, so as is obvious, the crust was burnt. The inside is just fine, and I was thrilled by the dramatic oven spring. Plus it’s the first pumpernickel I’ve made that was truly dark (which is what I think of for pumpernickel). It was quite sweet from the molasses and raisins, and deliciously moist: I was happy to eat it plain. I put half in the freezer as this is one massive loaf (and I only made a half batch! Unbelievable. I’ll have to keep this in mind when making more out of Bread Alone–Leader is clearly baking for a crowd!)
Final question: if anyone uses both of these books, do you know if the starters are interchangeable, as they seem to be different formulas to me? If you use a local bread starter, how do you convert to the Bread Alone starter (not only in the hydration proportions but in the quantities required!?)