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The round loaf is a Bavarian pumpernickel bread. The other is a sauerkraut Rye that we will do later. I could have cropped the picture for this article but I thought our picture of the 2 breads for this class looked too nice.
I approach the subject of baking German style bread with much trepidation, as if I can hear my German Grandma with her Hoch Deutch accent telling me I don't know what I am talking about.
I use to dread her rebuke and now I miss it ..well.kind of
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard that the bread over in the New World isn't like what they make in Germany, and how can I make bread that will taste like what I can get in Germany.
Since I brought up the word nickel....that reminds me of the German bread Pumpernickel. What does that mean? Like many german words they put two or three together to make a new word. Like Hand = Hand and Schuh = shoe ...Handschuh becomes a word for a glove
The word nickel goes way back from the name Nicklolas which was a grand name meaning victory people. However , somewhere down the line the term 'Old Nick" became a name for a little devil ..or a bad spirit.
The German word pumper, can at best be nicely put, means flatulence.
So put the 2 words together and you get ....well you can guess yourself.
WHY THIS NAME for a nice tasty bread???
No one knows for sure and this fun name has been greatly studied as to it's origins. The Westphalians that developed this bread simply call it "Schwartz Brot or black bread, so it was probably named so when it was used for army rations and wasn't the best, especially because it is made from coarse cut grain,
As Ludwig Gleim, an 18th century German poet put it in his War Songs,
his invented character.....
"A man from Münster
filled with fear and hunger ,
took a prodigious
bite of Pumpernickel"
True Pumpernickel is made from Rye only.
Rye is a grain that can survive a winter freeze. It is very nutritious, and you can almost live on it. This is perfect for the Northern German regions where it is hard to grow wheat. It can even grow in winter when the sun shines, even when there is general snow cover. Winter rye is a crop that can actually be planted in the Fall.
More about Rye
However Rye has very little gluten so it is very hard to get any structure in your bread, and even shape it.
So I will start this subject with a bread that I did in an Artisan Bread baking class where you learn about making a starter. It is not as simple as adding yeast to dough, and there are no bread makers for these. However the finished product is well worth it.
I want to try many different German pumpernickels and develop many of the techniques to increase the Maillard reaction, which gives the deep dark color that happens when the carbs and the proteins react with heat.
So call me a "Pumpernickel" for writing about this great art where I am not an expert
but come with me and let's jump in together and get our hands sticky
and by Spring I bet we will learn a lot.
Bavarian Pumpernickel Bread
Come into the kitchen and let's make
Bavarian Pumpernickel with Step by Step Pictures
Some of the things you will need.
Medium Rye Flour
This is what rye flour looks like before it is ground.
Look for it in natural food stores or you can buy it online at Amazon very inexpensive.
Organic Rye Berries, 28 oz (793 g)
Bob's Red Mill Organic Pumpernickel Dark Rye Meal -- 24 oz
Want to Buy Bread Made in Germany?
very similar to this recipe I provided, using a 3 stage starter.
if you have never tried it you really should. I know that you usually don't spend 8 1/2 dollars on a loaf of bread but you will get many many meals out of this loaf and it will last a loooong time and stay nice.
This is deep frozen and shipped, and just as Rye is a hearty grain
so is this loaf and it arrives from across the ocean in great shape!
I have even refrozen half of the loaf , wrapping it in plastic wrap and then
foil and it was preserved just fine!
Go here to purchase some
German Rye Bread
I know the shipping charges are good sized
but if you order several other things
like a nice
Bratwurst Grill Fest package on sale now as a Super Bowl special
It cuts spreads out those charges and
I think you will feel it is worth it!