Honest Pumpernickel Bread from a baby rye starter
This is a picture documentation of a process being explored. The real bread colors are actually darker than depicted which is due to the camera flash used and some pictures have been brightened to improve structure recognition.
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The background image is from the pumpernickel crumb baked.
Most pictures can be enlarged for more detail when clicked on - please read my disclaimer
HOME->SD->Honest Pumpernickel Bread->make rye meal->pilot run->second run->cooled down ->CQA
What is going on in this country (USA) in respect to the denomination of Pumpernickel bread makes me want to yell and scream!!!!

It can be understood when a home baker plays around and comes up with something s/he likes. But when so-called Master Chefs like Lauren Groveman on PBS video clips happily mix coffee, plums, wheat flour, yeast and some rye flour together, and calls this "making pumpernickel bread from scratch" with Julia Child just yelping about the great smell, or supermarkets having brown colored wonderbread mislabeled in a similar fashion, then is this a very good reason to scream FOUL and clarify the issue.

Pumpernickel bread is made from rye meal, salt, water and sourdough starter in a baking process which takes at least 16 hours!

The color and sweet -sour pungent taste and smell is produced by the special baking process where the the grain starches are changed by the Maillard Reaction (new window ) and give this bread its unique properties.

Other ingredients for coloring or sweetening like molasses, cacao, coffee, sugar, yeast, wheat flour, corn, etc. would violate the honest and pure pumpernickel spirit and make the product unsellable as Pumpernickel in other countries.

To back up this claim, I quote (translated) from the German book "Baking Product Manufacturing Technology" (Technologie der Backwarenherstellung) - also available in US as translation (Baking: The Art and Science) under section

"Special Breads with particular Baking procedures"

Pumpernickel - crustless full grain or cracked grain bread

Typical for pumpernickel is steamed baking for at least 16 hours in a steamed baking chamber. The bread obtains as a consequence of the conversion of starch decomposition products and browning by Maillard Reaction its dark, juicy, sweet-aromatic crumb. The addition of browning or sweetening substances is not allowed.
(end quote, underline emphasis by me)

Most recipes I found on the internet about pumpernickels or products sold at stores are shortcuts taken out of not knowing the real story behind pumpernickel baking or profit considerations to make another buck by compromise.

Arri London posted (nw) on rec.food.cooking (nw) and mentioned:

"People don't make this at home much! My mother said the local bakers where she grew up in Germany often left the dough to mature for 2 weeks. Using the sourdough is a shortcut."

Well, there you go - pure natural rye fermentation!

I am documenting my exploration into the honest and pure pumpernickel realm following this recipe (in new window) as much as possible. Here are my sketchy notes.
Exploration steps
  1. Creating an equivalent grain product to the German "Roggenschrot" used for Pumpernickel which is a very coarse rye meal according to my information without the germ but not commonly available in US.
  2. Bake a prototype
  3. Change parameters to refine the result and bake again.
  4. Publizice and expose the deceit going on.
HOME->SD->Honest Pumpernickel Bread->make rye meal->pilot run->second run->cooled down ->CQA
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