Pumpernickel Sourdough

I have been making this bread for a few years now. I can’t remember where I found the original recipe, but I remember having to tweak it to make a sourdough version. My daughter is obssessed with it, so I thought I’d share :wink:

  • 1/3 c sourdough starter
  • 1 3/4 c water
  • 1/3 c molasses
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 c rye flour
  • 1 c hard red wheat flour

Mix all ingredients. It will be quite sticky!
Let dough sit 15 minutes, then sprinkle with all-purpose flour and mix/fold. Repeat three times. At this point, you can knead it with your hands and place in a clean, oiled bowl for overnight rising. I allowed mine 15 hours, since it has been chilly here.

In the morning, form the dough into a boule and proof for about 2-3 hours.

Bake at 450F for 20 minutes on a pre-heated baking stone. I threw in about 1/4 cup water before shutting my oven door to set the crust. Then, reduce the heat to 400F for 10 minutes more.

Internal temp. of the loaf should be 200F at this point. If not, reduce oven temp to 375F and bake for 10-15 minutes more.

I am not really precise about my starter hydration, but I’m pretty sure it is close to 100%.


Looks delicious! I will give it a try…

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I just sampled a slice from my first bake - YUM! Thanks for the recipe!!

I did make some modifications. I love molasses, but I thought 1/3 cup might be overwhelming [to me] so I backed off to 1/4 cup and added more water to 1/3. I also converted to grams (weight vs volume). I mixed flours and 1 3/4 cup water, let sit for 2 hours, added the rest and mixed in a stand mixer. I then added a bit more flour. It was still what I call “ciabatta” consistency, but I knew flour would absorb more in the overnight. This morning, I thought I was in trouble as the dough was over the bowl top and probably at 2.5 - 3 times rise as in over proofed, but I shaped and baked after only 1 hour (I was afraid to go longer and end up with bricks) hence the bit of flour you see in the slices. So, am happy with my measurements (ultimately :slight_smile: ), but will watch the bulk next time. Still, flavor, crust and crumb, I am very happy with.

Below what I ended up with for my conversion:

261 grams White flour (I use WheatMT which is a hard red with high protein so close to bread flour)
140 grams Breadtopia bolted Rye
231 grams hard red wheat flour (WheatMT Bronze Chief)
1 3/4 cups water

82 grams starter (100% hydration)
1/4 cup molasses with water added to make 1/3 cup (next time, I might reduce molasses a bit more to 3T)
3 T cocoa
1 3/4 tsp salt

I split the dough to make 1 boule and 1 bread pan loaf. Baked boule in covered dutch oven, bread pan loaf in cast iron bread pan using a 2nd bread pan as a lid.
500F for 10 min, 450 for 20 min, remove lid, 10 min uncovered. Internal temp was 203F when I removed the loaves.


Oh my goodness! Those loaves look perfect! I personally love molasses :slight_smile:

Im so glad you took the time to make this and that you enjoyed it. It’s one of our all-time favorites!

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Thank you for sharing! I make a sourdough rye that is nothing but rye berries ground. I just refresh my rye starter in a quart jar night before baking, use 15 grams starter mixed with half onion finely chopped, sautéed, and a Tbsp. of caraway seed, 20 ounces rye flour. Let sit about 8 hours, then add a Tbsp. salt and stir in, then another 20 ounces of rye flour. It should be stiff - sometimes have to add a tad more flour. I spoon into two glass bread pans sprayed very well (just shy of 3 lbs. dough in each pan), smooth the tops with wet hands, let sit on counter an hour or two until you see the bubbles forming in dough, then into 325F oven for an hour and a half. Check temp, internal temp should be 205 to 210. They are bricks! And SOUR! But some of my customers are addicted to them - mostly Eastern Europeans, but some adventurous Hoosiers! LOL I also do sourdough boules, and I am going to try your recipe. It’s a good crossover - a little of both. And it is BEAUTIFUL!!

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Oh, dear, I don’t see any way to correct an error. Does anyone else? If so, let me know. I made a whopper

It is 15 OUNCES starter, not 15 grams. So if anyone is wanting to try this, you need a lot of starter - 15 ounces (about 100% hydration, but I don’t measure, just go by the texture) to the 40 ounces total rye flour.

I’m sure people will see your response! If you want to edit, use the pencil icon under your post.

I noticed that you mentioned “Hoosiers” :slight_smile: I’m originally from Evansville!
Your recipe sounds interesting. I love rye… might give it a try! Thanks!

Thanks for the recipe! One question… Is the overnight rise in the refrigerator?

I’m at the other end of the state - Mishawaka, near South Bend. (Can’t see where one ends and the other begins!) I can see a pencil under this post, but not under the original.

I let it sit on the kitchen counter covered with a damp towel. :slight_smile:

Thanks! I’’ be making this next week!

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This looks great, I love pumpernickel and can’t wait to try it.

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Hi Melissa,
Thanks for the post!! If I mix all ingredients, there won’t be any AP flour left over to sprinkle. How much flour should be used on each of the four sprinkles (the first and then 3 more) ? Thanks in advance as the photo look delicious, and I’m anxious to try it.

I usually sprinkle enough to cover the dough… maybe a small handful each time. I’m sorry I don’t have exact measurements. By the last time, the dough should be firm enough to handle without sticking to your hands. I hope this helps!

That is a tremendous help. Thanks, and I’ll post a photo if it turns out well.

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