Classic Pumpernickel Rolls

A Hearty Old World German Bread

These Classic Pumpernickel Rolls are a delicious dark robust in flavor addition to the dinner table. This hearty old world bread has been transformed into a modern day version. Making these rolls have brought back a nostalgia of making homemade bread back on the farm. Loving this recipe in how dense and thick it is. Long have been the days of finding heavy dark rolls in the grocery store. This is a go to recipe of a European dark heavy version that you will keep going back to just as I do.

Classic Pumpernickel Rolls. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

History Of Pumpernickel Bread

These beautiful dark breads of dark rye flour came from Westphalia Germany and first referred to in print in 1450. The first dark rye breads were coarsely ground and fermented with sourdough starters. Although there are other flours such as wheat and barley mixed with the rye today it is considered a low glycemic index bread and rich in fiber and low in saturated fats. Being that pumpernickel bread does steady blood sugar levels it does digest slowly.

This is a photo of a hand holding half of a broken slice of pumpernickel roll.
Classic Pumpernickel Rolls. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

With all this health and long history we may ask, what does the name pumpernickel mean? One would think that it meant something scientific, but only on the end on how the body reacts and the superstitions of the times. Pumpernickel comes from the German word “pumpern” meaning “intestinal wind” and “nickel” derives from the word goblin or devil. So, it is humorous in it’s naming, because we must find out for ourselves in what truth there is in this title of this delicious bread.

How To Proof The Yeast

Bread making is all about time. Proofing the yeast is very important. You don’t want to make a whole loaf of bread and not have the yeast rise. So mix the yeast, sugar and hot liquid together. In this case I use hot coffee. Yeast should be proofed at 120 to 130 degrees. After the yeast starts to foam and float to the top of the bowl it is a good yeast to use for your recipe. This should take about 5 minutes to see if the yeast is working.

How To Make The Pumpernickel Dough

After proofing the yeast for the Classic Pumpernickel Rolls it is ready to create it’s magic. First add all of the rest of the liquid ingredients together with the proofed yeast. Second mix all the dry ingredients together and create a well shape in the middle of the flour. Pour the liquid into the well. Fold the edges of the flour mixture over onto the liquid in the middle of the well. Keep folding it over on top of each other and mix it with your spoon. When it creates a thicker mass take it out of the bowl and knead the bread on top of a floured surface. Knead the bread until it is smooth and elastic like. Put it in a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and put it in a warm place. Let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

This is a photo of a teal bowl with a red towel half covering fresh rising pumpernickel bread before baking it.
How To Make The Pumpernickel Dough. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

How To Form The Classic Pumpernickel Rolls

After the pumpernickel dough has risen take the dough out of the bowl it was in and put it on a surface to cut it. Cut the dough in half and then into 5 pie shape pieces on both halves (like in the YouTube video). You will have 10 pieces in total. Take these pie shapes and fold the corners under so that it is smooth on top. Place them on a large cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and cornmeal. Put the rolls on top of the prepared parchment. Cover in plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise again for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

This is a photo of pumpernickel rolls rising in a warm spot under plastic wrap on a parchment cornmeal covered cookie tray
Second Rise for Classic Pumpernickel Rolls. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

Baking The Classic Pumpernickel Rolls

After the rolls have risen a second time bast the rolls with a plant based milk. I use coconut milk for this. Sprinkle the tops with caraway seeds. Put the rolls in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can check if they are done before the 30 minutes if you tap the rolls and they sound hollow. This is a good method because sometimes ovens are hotter then others.

This is a baking try of classic pumpernickel rolls with caraway seeds on top on cornmeal covered parchment paper.
Classic Pumpernickel Rolls. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

Serving Classic Pumpernickel Rolls

These rolls pair up with most any meal but they are perfect with soups, stews and cabbage dishes. They can be smothered in a vegan cream cheese with, pickled veggies, olives, chives or onions. Let’s not forget that these rolls make great burger buns and sandwiches. Try it out and see what you can come up with. I am sure you will be making them again.

I hope you like these Classic Pumpernickel Rolls as much as we do. Enjoy!

This is a large wooden bowl lined in towels holding classic pumpernickel rolls with caraway seeds on top.
Classic Pumpernickel Rolls. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

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Print
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This is a photo of Classic Pumpernickel Rolls topped with caraway seeds in a large wooden bowl lined in hand towels

Classic Pumpernickel Rolls

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  • Author: Spicy Saucy Vegan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Breads
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: German
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These old world rye German Classic Pumpernickel Rolls are deliciously hearty. Match these robust dark bread rolls with most any meal, soup, stew or just eat as they are. These rolls are so sturdy you can slice them and use them for burgers or sandwiches. Make them ahead of time for the work week or for guest. This recipe makes 10 large rolls. Enjoy!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Classic Pumpernickel Rolls

  • 2 1/2 cups Organic All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups King Arthur Organic Rye Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Navitas Organic Cacao Powder or Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 5 Tbsp Dry Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups Warm Coffee, (120 to 130 degrees to proof yeast in)
  • 1/4 cup Organic Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Vegetable oil, (melt the coconut oil (coconut oil helps to keep the bread moist))
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Sea Salt


Instructions

Proofing The Yeast

  1. In a medium bowl add the warm coffee at 120° to 130°. Add the sugar and yeast. Set aside in warm area for 5 minutes. The yeast will become foamy at the top of the bowl if the yeast is good. If it does not activate discard and try another packet of yeast.

Putting Together The Dough

  1. In a large bowl put all the dry ingredients together and mix well. Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and set aside.
  2. Take the proofed yeast mixture and add the molasses, maple syrup and oil. Mix together gently do not over stir.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into the formed well hole in the flour. Fold the flour mixture over on top of the liquid and keep doing this until you can stir it together into a firm mass.
  4. Take the dough out of the bowl and place onto a floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and no longer sticky. This should take about 8 minutes or you can use a stand mixer.
  5. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Place a towel or plastic wrap over the dough and put it in a warm area to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  6. When it is done take out of the bowl and cut in half. Then cut each half into 5 pie shapes (like in the YouTube video) Fold the pie shape corners underneath and create a smooth top to create the roll.
  7. Put the rolls on a prepared sheet pan with parchment paper and cover it with corn meal. (Do not oil the parchment paper). Place the rolls on top of the cornmeal surface. Cover the rolls in plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350° 15 minutes before the rolls are ready.
  9. Take the plastic wrap off of the rolls and bast with a plant based milk. Sprinkle caraway seeds on top (optional) and put in the oven for 30 minutes. You can check if the rolls are done by tapping them to see if they sound hallow. This is a good method because every oven is different.
  10. When they are done move them to a bakers cooling rack until they are cool or serve them hot right away or wrap them in a kitchen towel to stay warm right before dinner. Enjoy!

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