|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
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
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
Pumpernickel - crustless full grain or cracked
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
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
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.