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I've recently started making my own bread, and would like to try to make pumpernickel bread. A friend of mine once mentioned that this uses pumpernickel flour, but I'm unable to find this. The recipes I've seen for pumpernickel bread use rye flour and molasses (or other additives).

Is there such a thing as pumpernickel flour? If so, is it a darker flour that gives its color to pumpernickel bread? Or is traditional pumpernickel bread made with regular rye flour, and is dark because of a very long baking time?

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1 Answer 1

Pumpernickel is made from rye flour. If a recipe refers to "pumpernickel flour", they are probably referring to coarse-ground rye flour, which is coarser than you'd use for regular rye bread. Coarse ground rye flour allows you to make the superdense pumpernickel breads you may be familiar with from Germany and Skandinavia. This style of pumpernickel, which is the traditional variety, is dark colored not from molasses or other additives, but from very long cooking (as in 8 to 16 hours).

If you want a lighter pumpernickel, more like the pumpernickel sandwich bread sold in the USA, use regular fine-ground rye flour combined with wheat flour, plus coloring agents. This is also the mix used for pumpernickel bagels.

As a personal recommendation, I suggest using dark malt syrup as your sugar and coloring agent for American-style pumpernickel rather than molasses. Dark malt syrup can be obtained from brewing supply stores.

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