Classic Pumpernickel Bread

"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."
photo by PanNan photo by PanNan
photo by PanNan
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by BakinBaby photo by BakinBaby
photo by cookin_nurse photo by cookin_nurse
photo by MomLuvs6 photo by MomLuvs6
Ready In:
2hrs 35mins
2 loaves




  • 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.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Hudakore
    Looking 'forever' for the perfect pumpernickel bread recipe and, eureka, I've found it! Totally authentic, hearty pumpernickel and easy to make. Thank you for sharing. It's a 'keeper.'
  2. CarrolJ
    I discovered that I'm just not a fan of pumpernickel bread. However my DH loves dark breads so I gave it to him to enjoy. The 4 stars are because of his enjoyment of the bread. Nothing to say against the chef. She has a lot of wonderful recipes and this one is part of the many good ones. If you like pumpernickel bread...then you should indeed make this one. Made for PAC Spring 2012.
  3. BakinBaby
    Nice flavor. I cut the recipe in half and it turned out great, one loaf. made for shady ladies team, ZWT7. Yummmmm
  4. Andi Longmeadow Farm
    Old fashioned is right, I feel like "Popeye" with huge strength in my arms now! This is a lovely loaf, I followed another reviewer and made two smaller loaves. this is perfect with a nice, mellow, butter on top, and so loved by all at home. Followed this exactly, and it came out perfectly. Made for ZWT7
  5. cookin_nurse
    Unlike any other bread I've ever had. Very yummy and delicious! made for ZWT6 voracious vagabonds!


  1. abrunell
    1st time was dense. 2nd time I added steam tray below (baking sheet with 1/4 inch of water) and baked for 45 minutes. Lighter and better texture. Both times, good flavor
  2. Galley Wench
    Great bread! Baked a small loaf in a preheated cast-iron dutch oven and the other is 'fermenting' in the refrigerator; plan to bake today. The only thing I did differently was cut the recipe in half to make two small loaves. I use instant yeast for my bread baking so cut the amount to 1 tablespoon. Also substituted coffee for half of the water. Used my Kitchen Aid to mix and knead. Made for ZWT #6. Thanks for sharing


Hello! I have a wonderful husband and two fantastic kids. I love to read, have fun with family and friends, stay active with: running; soccer; golf; biking; hiking; and gardening. I love to travel. I'm looking forward to more international travel someday. Cooking has become a passion for me. I love to read cookbooks, watch the Food Network, and try new recipes. I have way too many cookbooks! A few of my favorites are: Barefoot Contessa (any - but especially 'Family Style'),Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals 2, Roasting by Barbara Kafka, Beyond Parsley & The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook. I try to carefully choose recipes that I think my family will enjoy, which is why most of my ratings are 3-5 stars. Happy cooking!
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