This is a good old-fashioned pumpernickel bread recipe. No bread machine here. Get your hands in there and knead! The aroma of the bread while baking and then the taste of the finished bread will be worth it.
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit in a warm place until the yeast mixture turns bubbly (about 5-10 min.).
In a large mixing bowl (I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer with a dough hook), combine remaining 1 cup water, molasses, salt, shortening, caraway seeds and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth.
Slowly beat rye flour into the yeast and molasses mixture. Mix in the all-purpose flour and mix until it is a soft, smooth dough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. If dough is too moist, add a little more flour. If dough is too dry add a little more water.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes.
Lightly grease (or spray with cooking spray) a large bowl. Add the dough, turning once to coat the entire surface of dough with oil. Cover dough with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
Punch down dough. Separate dough into 2 equal parts. Form 2 round, slightly flattened loaves. Score a 3/4 inch deep 'X" into the tops of both loaves with a sharp knife.
Grease (or spray) a large baking sheet; sprinkle with cornmeal. Put the loaves on top and then cover with a clean cloth and let rise until doubled - about an hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degress F. Bake 30-35 minutes or until crusts are dark brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped.
Remove from baking sheet and cool on a rack before slicing.