Thursday, December 8, 2011

Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel Bread -Bake and Finished Product

The bread filled my entire apartment. I went for a quick walk to drop my final off in my professor's mail box in her office, and when I arrived back into my apartment building I was satisfied the smell of caramelized rye berreis. This is one of the greatest smells in the world. I am not a fan of scented candles but they need to a make a black pumpernickel cooking scented candle, because there is nothing quite like it.

I am going to post on slow cooking very soon, because the world really does need to know how to slow cook onions, because this is one of my favorite things in the world.

The bread came out of the oven at 9PM, luckily my best friend in Columbus Alex H. was there with me. This made my experience much happier. To be able to share the joy. To have alex experience my excitement and my pleasure was just awesome. To be honest Alex is one of the reasons why I have a bread blog. Kudos to Al.

The bread shrunk considerably, and was a deep rich dark color. To be honest I was not sure what I was looking for but I knew that I could not cut into this loaf right away, it really does require at least 24 hours to rest to allow for the flavors and the crumb to settle. This bread is a high moisture bread with quite a bit of soaker included. This means two things. It must cool for a considerably longer time and also it has a very very long shelf life. I can honestly say that I baked this bread 6 days ago, and it is still moist in the center. I am actually bringing what I have left home for my father to try. I think he will enjoy it. Well to be honest he does not have an educated pallet, but I love the guy so I will share my love for bread with him.

I have to note that after completing this loaf, I was not certain if it came out the way it was supposed to. I emailed my bread mentor and Chef Richard Miscovich, who is an instructor at Johnson & Wales University, and also a consultant and instructor for the King Arthur company in Vermont. He informed me that the crumb looked good at that the bottom looks a bit overdone. But that being said, I am happy with the product. My oven is not exactly state of the art.

This is the cooked rye berries. All of these went into just one loaf of pumpernickel. This is a very healthy, hearty and intricate loaf. This is the first step in the Pumpernickel process
This is a bread soakcr, I wish I had rye bread on hand to use, but I did not so I used Roasted Potato Bread with Rosemary. I toasted it well and then I soaked it in boiling water over night. After the soak drain AS MUCH water as possible from the bread. This bread goes right into the bowl for the mix (save the water just incase it is needed)

This contains the Bread flour and the rye chops. All of the other flour used in the dough is in the form of bread, rye berries or is in the sourdough itself.

Here is the sourdough build. I did not have rye meal or pumpernickel flour, so I used whole rye flour. I ground it fresh the day before

This might be one of the happiest moments of my life
The smell of this bread is truly remarkable, I strongly suggest baking this just for the aroma
Finished Product


  1. I wanted to personally thank all of my readers and all of the pople who support my craze for bread baking. I would like to give a special thanks to Readymadebouqet for allowing me to constantly rub my fresh bade bread under her nose even though she is highly allergic to gluten. I would alos like to thank my mentor Chef Miscovich for providing me the knowledge and love that I am able to share with all of you.
    Keep baking, keep growing, keep eating and keep reading! Exciting new sourdough breads to come

  2. Great blog. Keep it going. You're helping others with fears - yeast anxiety.

    Bake On,

  3. Thank you Michael!
    I am just passing the love of bread I have been given by my teacher and mentor.
    When I am in New England I will have to stop by, your oven looks great!

  4. Hello, I looked over your post again and love that you took on the challenge. We're going to try a Russian Black Bread in our wood-fired oven, hopefully next month. We're planning to do an overnight bake to see if we can get a truly black bread. Have you tried the Vollkornbrot from Jeffery Hamelman or Ciril Hitz's books. It's an awesome bread and is the hit of the class with rye lovers.

    1. That is great! I am excited to hear about your results. I would really enjoy if you would post your results on my blog, I would love to have that conversation about the overnight bake here (shameless plug).

      I have made Hamelman's Volkonbrot, actually when I did make it an acquaintance of mine, who is currently residing outside of Berlin, informed me how much respect he had for my baking after posting photos. I have actually baked both of Hamelman's Volkonbrot breads, one of which contains flax seeds. I like both of them! I can understand why the 'rye lovers' (myself included) would love this bread. It defies the need for gluten, it is so wet and yet it comes out so beautifully.

      When I started this project last year, I baked through all of Hamelman's sourdough and sourdough rye breads, but this was before I started my blog, so they are not yet up as posts, but I will have to go through the rye chapter again, rye breads a have a special place in my heart. I always tend to love rye breads in the colder months, there is something about their flavor that just suits a sharp cheese and a cool breeze.

      Thanks again for reading and writing, it means a lot to me to have such a seasoned bread baker reading my bread adventures. It certainly was a challenge to bake this bread, but I made a vow and I stood by it. I did save it for last, and was apprehensive about baking such a prolific and epic loaf, but it can be done. Like most things in life you learn to bake by simply baking often. Of course you need some knowledge, but most of it can be learned along the way.