snowy mountain

Pumpernickel Rye Bread

I struggled to find a recipe online for a bread made mostly with pumpernickel flour and no random potato or malt ingredients, so here’s one I made myself! Delicious soft out of the oven or nice and crispy toasted the next day.

We keep our apartment quite cool, so I let my dough rise in the oven (off) with a pan of very hot water under it.

Total time (including baking and rising): 3.5 hours. Makes one 8″ round loaf.

Materials: Mixing bowl; sheet pan; measuring vessels; wooden spoon; dishcloth. Missing materials or ingredients? Look here.

Ingredients (Substitutions):

  • 1 packet Red Star Organic Instant Yeast (0.32 oz) or Red Star Organic Dry Active Yeast (0.25 oz)
  • ¾ cup warm (skin-temperature) water
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 ¼ cups warm milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt (optional)
  • 3 cups pumpernickel flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Caraway and fennel seeds as desired (I use 2 tsp fennel, 4 tsp caraway seeds)


  1. Put ¾ cup warm (skin-temperature) water in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle 1 packet yeast over the water and let sit to activate for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Warm 1 ¼ cups milk and add the 1 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tbsp molasses to it. Then add the milk mixture (make sure it isn’t too hot–just skin temperature!) to the yeast.
  3. Slowly, stirring and eventually kneading, add ½ tsp salt, 3 cups pumpernickel flour, 1 cup all purpose flour, and caraway and fennel seeds.
  4. Knead until dough comes together and seeds are dispersed. The dough may be sticky, but you likely don’t need more flour. Oil the bottom of your bowl and place the dough in it. Wrap the bowl with a warm dishcloth, shirt, or blanket.
  5. Let the dough rise for ~2 hours in a warm place.
  6. Flip the dough out of bowl without deflating the ball. Cut into rolls or place in a buttered loaf pan.
  7. Let rise about 30 more minutes while the oven pre-heats to 400˚F.
  8. Bake at 400˚F for about 20 minutes, then 350˚F for another 15-20 minutes.

Greetings from our kitchen!

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