Pumpernickel Bread | Melanie daPonte

Bread baking can be a fun way to spend a few hours at home, especially during the winter months. It can also be a grounding, therapeutic practice–helping us slow down and become more present in our daily life.

This recipe yields what my Nana would have referred to as a “good dark bread”. She was always delighted to find a fresh loaf at the bakery, the darker and more fragrant the better. As a child, I couldn’t appreciate the rich, full flavors of the rye flour, molasses and caraway seeds. But, over the years my palate has come to look forward to complexities of flavor like those in a dark coffee or imported chocolate.

This is an old-world style recipe that calls for basic ingredients. The project time is long, about 3 hours—but, like I said, if you have the time and you’re feeling ambitious, you will be rewarded with a rich, tasty bread sturdy enough for your favorite sandwich or just a little spread of margarine or jam.

Pumpernickel Bread

Recipe courtesy Elizabeth Yetter via About.com Bread Baking

1-1/2 tbsp active dry yeast 1-1/2 cups warm water 1/2 cup molasses 4 tsp salt 2 tbsp shortening 2 tbsp caraway seed 2-3/4 cups rye flour 3 cups bread flour, about