Homemade Pumpernickel Loaf

As I mentioned yesterday in my post on Pear, Brie, and Spicy Brown Mustard Grilled Cheese, this is the first time I have ever tackled making homemade pumpernickel bread. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor complexity that went into this bread. Whoever first invented this must have either seriously known what they were doing or was trying to clean out their kitchen cabinet in the form of throwing everything into a loaf of bread. I like to think it may be my second theory.

This bread is not for the impatient. It has 2 rising cycles so I recommend whipping this up on the weekend when you are planning to be hanging around the house anyways. Or even if you weren’t planning on hanging out around the house all day maybe this can be your excuse? Don’t want to go visit that weird uncle you’ve been putting off seeing in St. Louis? Tell him you’ve got some bread to make that just can’t wait another weekend. He will…probably not understand but at least you’ll get some amazing bread out of it and your home will smell like a fresh bakery!



Homemade Pumpernickel Loaf

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon carraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water (no more than 110 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour


In a small saucepan, combine the water, molasses, milk, butter, caraway seeds, salt, instant coffee, and fennel seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Whisk in the cornmeal and immediately remove from heat. Add the cocoa powder and coconut oil and stir until dissolved. Let the mixture cool slightly (set aside for about ten minutes).

Using a stand mixer with a bread dough hook, add the warm water, yeast, and sugar to the bottom of the mixing bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until the yeast becomes foamy. Add in the rye flour, all purpose flour, wheat flour, and the cocoa cornmeal mixture and mix on low until combined. Turn mixer up to medium high and let mix for ten minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and transfer to greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for two hours or until doubled in size (it’s very cold in the Midwest this week so it took my dough two hours but it may take less if it’s warm and cozy in your home).

Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover again with a kitchen towel. Let rise for another hour.

Fill a water bottle with water and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut two diagonal strips in the bread and stick in the oven. Spray the bread several times with the water bottle during the first 15 minutes of the baking process (this will help to keep the bread moist). Bake altogether for an hour.

Enjoy fresh topped with spicy mustard or try out my grilled cheese.



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    Hi…just started to make pumpernickel loaf and do not see the amount of molasses I am to use…not listed in the ingredients. Can you help please? Thank you!

    • Shellywest
      Liz Robinson
      February 10, 2014

      Hi Hi! Thanks for catching – it should be 1/4 cup molasses. Hope that helps!!

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