This week for Tuesdays with Dorie, the recipe was Pumpernickel Loaves. Whenever the TWD recipe involves yeast, I have the best of intentions but time usually gets away from me. I really do best with yeast recipes where I can do part of the work on day and some the next day. I really wanted to make this one, so I tried to plan the time to do it. I didn’t quite follow my plan, but I did get the recipe baked. So what if it came out of the oven at 8:30 pm?
Pumpernickel bread requires quite a few ingredients: chocolate, molasses, rye flour, caraway seeds. The most challenging ingredient to find was prune lekvar or prune butter. This is an ingredient common to Jewish cuisine, and there is a fairly large Jewish population not too far from my town. The grocery stores in that town have great Jewish food sections and I was able to find it. Now I just need to decide what to do with the rest of the jar!
I halved the recipe and made one really big loaf. I followed the recipe otherwise, but the one thing I couldn’t do was grind the caraway seeds. I tried in a small food processor and with a mortar and pestle and I didn’t have much luck. Did anyone figure out a good way to grind them up? This bread takes a while to make, but there’s a lot of down time while the bread is rising. I did an ok job of shaping the loaf as the recipe specified, but the ends of my loaf are a little untidy. You hang the loaf in a hammock-like contraption to help shape the loaf, and that was quite the feat. I did manage to wrangle something together using a coat hanger and a towel. It looked strange but worked!
This baked up very nicely, although I think the bottom crust got a bit too browned. I cut it the next afternoon, which I was a bit worried that the bread wouldn’t be as fresh, but it was fine. I love the flavor of this and it tastes like a store bought loaf. I really enjoyed baking this bread, even though it did take a really long time. Be sure to check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blog to see how others faired with this week’s recipe.
Recipe from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan, page 95