This Weekends Bread

This weekend I did a large bake. I attempted the light honey wheat and the Italian White breads that I had made previously. They turned out OK but I didn't get the rise out of them that I would like. Will need to practice those some more.

I also experimented with what I am going to call "pumpernickel in quotes". The reason I call it that is a true pumpernickel is usually 100 percent rye, take 5 to 30 hours to bake and has a whole bunch of ingredients. I just don't have time for all that. So, what I did was take the transitional rye recipe that I have been successful with and tweeked it with some cocoa powder and coffee to make a reasonable substitute. The recipe is below and takes some prep work the night before you want to bake the bread.

"Pumpernickel in Quotes"

Makes 2 - 1lb loaves


8 oz coarse rye flour
4 oz white rye flour
4 oz whole wheat flour
1 oz cocoa powder (dark is best)
1 tsp salt
13 1/2 oz plain yogurt

Mix all the soaker ingredients together in a bowl until the flour is hydrated and the ingredients come together into a ball. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.


16 oz white bread flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
10 oz black coffee at room temperature (can also use espresso and water)

Mix the biga ingredients together until they form a ball of dough. With wet hands, knead the dough for about 2 or 3 minutes. The dough should be very tacky. Let rest for 5 minutes. Prepare a large plastic storage container with some spray oil. Knead the dough with wet hands for another minute. Place dough in plastic container and let stand at room temperature for 2 hr until it doubles in size. Degas the dough after 2 hrs and place back in plastic container and refrigerate over night. It will continue to rise overnight and will approximately triple in size.

Before making the final dough, remove the biga from the refrigerator 2 hours in advance to allow it to come to room temperature.

Final Dough

All of the soaker
All of the biga
2 oz coarse rye flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
0.5 oz instant yeast
2 oz molasses
1 oz buckwheat honey
1 oz olive oil
Extra white rye flour for adjustments

Using a pastry scraper, cut the soaker and biga each into about 30 small pieces. Dust the biga with the coarse rye flour to keep the pieces from sticking together. Place pre-doughs in a large bowl with rest of the ingredients. Mix with spoon or wet hands until the dough roughly comes together and then turn out on a well floured counter or cutting board.

Begin to knead the dough. Depending on the amount of mixing in the bowl, knead for 4 to 6 minutes until the dough is uniform. Try to only add as little flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Do not over knead or the rye flour will become gummy. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes while you prepare a clean bowl with spray oil.

After resting, knead for another minute, form into ball and place in the prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 - 60 minutes or until it gets to 1 1/2 times its original size.

After the first rise, turn the dough out on a board dusted with rye flour and divide in 2. Form each into a loaf and place in oiled 4" by 8 1/2" bread pan. Mist the top with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise a second time for another 45 to 60 minutes until about 1 1/2 times original size.

When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 425. While the over pre-heats, remove the plastic wrap and slit the top of each loaf with a clean razor blade. When oven is ready, place the pans in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350. Bake for 20 minutes and then rotate the pans. Continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees and the top sounds hollow when tapped.

When done baking, remove from pans immediately and set on cooling rack. Cover with dish towel and let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing. The cooling is an important step because the bread needs time for the internal structure to setup before you slice it.

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