My friend Sigfrid (Mother superior) that grew up in Münster...
you know the city famous for the cheese here in the states.
This place is the home of Pumpernickel and where it is still traditionally made in the original style. This traditonal style is one that we see most in our specialty deli's .
I remember years ago some really small litle loaves of brown bread that were called cocktail pumpernickel that was average tasting at best. It tasted like dry wheat bread that had black food coloring added to it. That is not the good stuff.
The good stuff is square loaf pan and about 3 to 4 inch square , something you would make with a Pullman Loaf pan.
Münster has an interesting history as this is where the treaty was drawn up for the 30 years war in the 17th century. This bread was a local thing then but really didn't get noticed until delegates from different countries came for the first time to Westphalia. In fact many of them didn't really know how to appreciate it's dense dark sweet flavor, and Sigfrid says that when she was growing up and traveled to Bavara you couldn't even find it.
Now as it has become more popular It is imported all over and you can get it easily.
Since this is such a hard style of bread to make like they do in Münster, as it is baked in steam ovens for 16 to 20 hours I didn't want to tackle trying to make it.
I am providing some nice recipes that you can use it for .
This is the good stuff. I really enjoy this, for appetizers, topped with an egg for breakfast , or with Westphalian ham for appetizers.
The state of Westphalia is located in Northdern Germany
This wonderful book called Culinaria Germany shows how it is made in Westphalia, The man is holding a very gooey looking dough and then it is put in square pans like a Pullman loaf pan. Then baked in a steam oven for a very long time. In the 16 to 20 hours the deep dark color is formed and many of the starches turn sweet due to the Maillard reaction.
However Rye has very little gluten so it is very hard to get any structure in your bread, and even shape it.
Quarter a slice of Pumpernickel, or cut it in diagnols and put a little quark or cream cheese on a slice and top with some smoked salmon lox, purple onion slice, capers and a dill sprig
Another friend from Westphalia Dieter sent me some Zucherruebensirup ( a wonderful thin mild molases type syrup and said that they serve potato pancakes on a piece of toasted pumpernickel and top with Apfeflmus (fine pureed applesauce)
While we are on the topic of Westphalia, I had some wonderful Westphalian Ham and Emmantaler cheese after a party, If you have never had Westphalian ham, you should try it.
We have all heard of prosciutto but Westphalian ham arguably came first and
I enjoy much more with it's smoky flavor.
and wanted to do something fun with it. I have always early on in my chef carrer loved the Northern Italian dish that is also enjoyed in Switzerland called Saltimboca. It is often a chicken breast that has prociutto wrapped around it and stuffed with sage leaves. I wanted to add the Emmantaler cheese and