Sourdough Pumpernickel

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“A good bread that gets along well with cheeses and corned beef or pastrami. I started with a recipe from King Arthur Flour web site and made many changes over time. It now bears little resemblance to the original recipe.”
1hr 5mins
2 loaves

Ingredients Nutrition

  • sponge
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (133 gm flour, 133 gm water)
  • 1 13 cups black coffee (room temperature, 298 gm)
  • 2 cups stone ground rye flour (261 gm)
  • Dough
  • 2 teaspoons salt (table, 14 gms)
  • 14 cup molasses (57 gm)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (131 gm)
  • 2 cups bread flour (267 gm)
  • 12 cup water (scant 1/2 cup, luke warm, 105 gm)


  1. Using a proofed 100% hydrated starter, make the sponge in a large bowl.
  2. Cover and let sit on counter for 5 to 12 hours at room temperature. Longer times means a more sour bread.
  3. Add the dough ingredients to the sponge and mix well.
  4. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Knead by hand for about 5 minutes adding water or flour to keep the dough tacky, not sticky (not actually coming off on your hands).
  6. Place in a bowl that has been sprayed with oil and cover to let rise. I have a spot that averages 80 F for this and it's ideal.
  7. Stretch and fold every 40 minutes and return to rising, covered.
  8. When 1.5 times it's original volume, (2 to 3 hours depending on temperature) divide and form 2 loaves (freeform or 8 x 4 pans). If freeform, use a rising baskedt or a floured, cloth covered colander.
  9. Rest for 1 hour 30 minutes at 80 F or until it increased in size by 1.5 times.
  10. Preheat oven and a pan on the bottom of the oven for water to generate steam. As loaves are placed in the oven, add 2/3 cup of hot water to the pan.
  11. I invert the loaves onto parchment, score and set on a baking stone, but a sheet pan can be used.
  12. Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes until 205 F internal temperature. I rotate the loaves after 15 minutes and remove the steam pan at that time.
  13. cool on racks.

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