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?

3 Answers 3


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, and some food stores with large "natural foods" sections.

  • Or you could buy actual pumpernickel flour, which is made from a different part of the rye berry.
    – user37762
    Aug 23, 2015 at 0:08
  • 1
    @Goldfish That's one of the things this answer suggests. And I don't think it's made from a different part of the berry, it's just whole-grain and coarsely ground like the answer says.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 23, 2015 at 1:29
  • Goldfish is right, it's a different part of the rye grain - exploratorium.edu/cooking/icooks/07-28-03.html
    – user40141
    Oct 19, 2015 at 15:32
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    @user40141 That page says exactly what I did: it's just whole-grain. That does mean that it includes parts of the rye berry (the bran and germ) that regular rye flour doesn't. But all rye flour, including pumpernickel, includes the the endosperm. So it's not a different part of the berry, any more than whole wheat flour is a different part of the wheat berry from normal wheat flour.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 19, 2015 at 20:40

King Arthur sells a Pumpernickel Flour which is made with whole grain rye.


Think Whole grain wheat flour vs regular wheat all purpose flour. Pumpernickel has the "bran" ground in. If you mix 1/2 rye to pumpernickel it will be a little lighter. Freeze any left over pumpernickel flour as it will go rancid quickly. Check kingarthurflour.com for flours and recipes if you do not have a Wholefoods or health food store near you

  • King Arthur brand "Pumpernickel flour" is how that particular company labels their wholemeal rye flour. It's not a general term. "Dark rye flour" is more common, though something simply labeled "rye flour" is also likely to be wholemeal.
    – Sneftel
    Feb 20, 2020 at 16:24

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