Classic Pumpernickel Bread


A Favorite Bread of Old World Germany

This Classic Pumpernickel Bread has come alive in our kitchen. A beautifully made dark robust in flavor bread. This defiantly brings back nostalgia of being younger and experiencing new foods. I enjoy the unusual taste of such a dark brown bread. It is hard to find anything to compare it to because of its sweet and savory undertones. Like this recipe, I like the hearty thick and denseness of this old world staple food.

Classic Pumpernickel Bread

How To Make Classic Pumpernickel Bread

Well there are no real tricks to making this Classic Pumpernickel Bread. There is really only the knowledge of knowing about how yeast works. It is all in the temperature of the water used or in this case the coffee. When I make this recipe I try to use the right temperature to wake the yeast organism up so I use a digital thermometer to make sure it is accurate. A temperature of 120 to 130 degrees is perfect to fool-proof the yeast. The meaning of fool-proofing is to find out if the yeast is alive and active.

Dry yeast is a dormant yeast cell that has to be activated. Until they are activated they can remain dormant for several months. So check the date on the dry yeast packet because you don’t want the yeast to have expired before making this recipe. Yeast has to have sugar in order to grow because it makes it multiply. After the coffee and sugar have been mixed together and you add the yeast, it will grow. When the yeast foams up in a thin layer to the top of the bowl (after it has been sitting for five minute) it is the sign. The yeast is alive and is ready to use to make the bread. If it does not foam up in a thin layer it is not good. Try another packet of yeast.

Mix all of your wet ingredients together in with the yeast. Do not stir hard to mix it. You don’t want to disturb it too much because it will active more with the flour when you mix it together. Do not add the salt directly to the wet ingredients. Yeast does not like salt and your bread will not rise. So only mix it in with the flour.

Mixing the Dough

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Shape a hole in the middle of the flour mixture because this is where you will pour the liquid. Bakers call this hole in the flour a well. Pour the liquid into the well and flip the flour from the sides into the liquid in the well. Then use a large wooden spoon tho mix it all together.

When the mixture is too hard to mix with the spoon use your hands. In the bowl or on a clean surface knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes. This helps the yeast to be thoroughly mixed into the flour. Be prepared for a good workout. Really! Who needs the gym when you are making bread.

After you are done kneading the bread create the shape of the bread that you desire. You can either put them in an oiled bread loaf pan or shape into loaves. It is up to you. If you put a little cut or long cut on the top of the bread like I do in my video, the bread will grow outward from that cut. That will leave a split in the bread. So be mindful where you want to put it. If it is in a bread loaf pan the bread will only grow upward so it is not that big of a split like a free standing loaf of bread. This just looks pretty and helps the bread to expand.

This Classic Pumpernickel Bread has been so fun to make and share with all of you. I must try a pumpernickel bread with caraway seeds and bits of dry onion. Maybe I will make them into dinner rolls. It will be fantastic with winter soups. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do.

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Classic Pumpernickel Bread

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  • Author: Spicy Saucy Vegan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20 1x
  • Category: Breads, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: German
  • Diet: Vegan


This is a very robust in flavor Pumpernickel Bread. The rye is so very savory and the molasses kicks this up in sweetness making this a very rich old world bread. This is a very sturdy slicing bread good for sandwiches or toast. Serve it up all day for any meal. Wonderful with hot stews and soups. Enjoy!


Units Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups Organic All purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Organic Rye Flour (King Arthur Organic Rye Flour)
  • 2 Tbsp Organic unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 tsp Dry Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups Warm coffee
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable or Grape seed Oil
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Sea Salt


  1. In a medium bowl add the warm coffee at 120° to 130°. You can use a fast digital thermometer for accuracy. Add the yeast and sugar. Put in a warmer area of the kitchen for 5 minutes. The yeast will create a thin layer of foam at the top of the surface of the warm coffee. If it did not activate the yeast discard it and try a different packet of yeast.
  2. While your yeast is proofing prepare the two loaf pan and coat them with vegetable oil, if you are going to use them. Or you can use a non stick metal baking sheet pan and shape your loaves into shapes when they are done and put them on the metal baking sheet pan.
  3. After the yeast has proofed in the coffee and sugar mixture add the molasses, maple syrup, and vegetable oil. Mix slowly together. Do not over stir.
  4. In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients together and mix together well. Create a well hole in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the wet ingredients into the hole. Fold the flour over on top of the liquid in the hole. Stir together with a large wooden spoon.
  5. When you can no longer stir it then start mixing it together with your hands. When it is all mixed together either knead the bread in the bowl or on a clean surface for 8 to 10minutes, or you can use a stand mixer. Knead the dough until it is smooth and no longer sticky.
  6. In a large oiled bowl place the dough inside of it and cover with a moist towel. This helps stop the dough from drying out. Set the covered bowl with dough in it up in a warm place in the kitchen and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes.
  7. At 20 minutes before the dough is done rising preheat your oven to 375°
  8. When the dough is ready knock back the dough before shaping into 2 loaves and placing into your prepared oiled loaf pan. Or, shape them and put them on the metal baking sheet pan.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes. The dough when tapped should sound hallow.
  10. Cool on a rake before slicing.
  11. You can store bread at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 8 weeks.

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