Pumpernickel Bread

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Orwashers Artisan Bread: 100 Years of Techniques and RecipesInspired by traditional Eastern European breads, this dark rye is sweetened with a deep-amber-colored molasses. The subtle sweetness carried by these loaves is complemented by the tangy rye undertones.

  • Yield: 4 Loaves


  • 2.47 lbs (1.12 kg) bread flour
  • 51 lb (231.3 g) rye biga
  • 1.54 lbs (244.94 g) water
  • 8 lb (36.29 g) molasses
  • 11 lb (49.9 g) brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 7 lb (313.75 g) salt
  • 2 lb (9.07 g) instant yeast
  • 2 lb/90.72 g raisins (optional. The juicier the better; dry raisins will not yield the ideal result.)
  • 2 lb (90.72 g) walnut halves or pieces of walnuts, not crushed (optional)
How to Make It
  1. Set up stand mixer with a dough hook.
  2. Place flour, rye biga, water, molasses, coffee, salt, and yeast in mixing bowl.
  3. Mix on medium-low for 4 minutes.
  4. Mix on medium-high for 7 minutes if using raisins and walnuts, mix for only 6 minutes; add raisins and walnuts and then mix for 2 more minutes.
  5. Dough temperature should be between 76°F and 78°F/24°C and 26°C.
  6. Dough should appear shiny and pull away from the mixing bowl.
  7. Do the dough test.
  8. Take dough out of mixing bowl and transfer to lightly oiled airtight container.
  9. Let dough rest on counter top for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Dough should double in size.
  10. Roll dough out of container onto a lightly floured work surface (marble or butcher block is ideal).
  11. Cut dough with a scraper into 4 even squares/rectangles, approximately 1.25 lbs/567 g each.
  12. Shape each into a free-form oval . We like to make the raisin walnut pumpernickel in a loaf pan at the bakery. Feel free to try this variation as well. If you are adding walnuts, sprinkle a few additional walnuts at the bottom of your loaf pan and place the dough on top of them.
  13. Let dough rest 4 hours after shaping.
  14. Make 4-5 scores in the dough across the shorter width of the loaf. Scores should be 1 in/2.5 cm apart and approximately 1 in/2.5 cm from either end of the dough.
  15. Preheat oven to 440°F/230°C.
  16. Bake for 35 minutes until crust is dark brown.

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