BBA Challenge #34: Pumpernickel Bread

Now that I have finally baked (and posted, posting being more of a challenge often enough!) on the Poilane Style Miche for the BBA Challenge, I can catch up on all the other breads I baked.  (Yes, I have cheated a bit–I didn’t bake them exactly in order as it turns out, but at least I can post in order).

I made this pumpernickel bread shortly after making the 100% sourdough rye bread.  This pumpernickel uses day old crumbs from an old bread, so guess where I got mine.  In retrospect, this may not have been the best choice.  My pumpernickel had a strong caraway flavor, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but which made my pumpernickel rather unexciting, coming so close on the heels as it did after my sourdough rye.  (Also, is it really pumpernickel if it has caraway?)  As I mentioned in my post on the sourdough rye,  I have not mastered the kneading process with rye just yet.  This is betrayed by the photos of the finished bread, which are more like flattened tubes than loaves.

I usually think of pumpernickel as being far darker than this turned out, but as Andrea pointed out, there’s a lot of variation out there as to what “pumpernickel” truly is.  The most interesting type I’ve read about is in Hamelmann’s Bread–he notes that originally pumpernickel was a bakery-only bread.  It was baked in a VERY slow oven overnight:  the oven wasn’t even fired up but was powered only by the  residual heat left over in the vast bakery kilns.  Together with using leftover crumbs, that type of pumpernickel was really an exercise in “waste not, want not.”

My BBA pumpernickel was nothing so poetic in provenance, and was rather a bit of an unimpressive rye bread–surely very different from what Hamelmann describes.  As there’s not much else to note, having tossed in a few photos above, I’ll move along…

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