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German Pumpernickel

This recipe bakes one loaf tin size 22 cm long x 14 cm wide x 8 cm high

Preparation time: 2 days, 6 hours
Cooking time: 14 hours
Ready to eat: 3 days, 8 hours


Shipton Mill (
• Organic Chopped Rye for Pumpernickel
• Cut Malted Rye Grain
• Organic Dark Rye 1350 Flour
• Organic Rye Grain (Berries)


Sourdough Soaker
• 30g rye sourdough starter
• 210g Organic Chopped Rye
• 210g bottled or purified still water

Mixed Rye Soaker
• 45g Organic Chopped Rye
• 45g Cut Malted Rye Grain
• 90g bottled or purified still water

Scalded Berry Soaker
• 120g Organic rye grain (berries)
• 120g boiling water

Additional Ingredients
• 330g Organic Chopped Rye
• 90g Bottled or purified still water
• 13g Kosher Salt
• 20g Caraway seeds (optional)
• 55g Maple syrup
• 17g Black Treacle (molasses may be a substitute but never tried it)
• 1 tbsp Sunflower oil (to grease the tin)
• Organic Dark Rye 1350 Flour. You may not need this. Used to stiffen up dough if too wet.

Baking Instructions

Day 1
1. Prepare the Sourdough Soaker. Combine in a bowl, cover and leave to ferment for 16-24 hours.
2. Prepare the Mixed Rye Soaker. Combine in a bowl, cover and leave overnight.
3. In a pan, prepare the Scalded Berry Soaker. Pour the 120g of boiling water over the rye berries and leave overnight.

Note: The Sourdough Soaker and Mixed Rye Soaker will end up looking a bit dry but this is normal. Do not add more water.

Day 2
1. Add another 1.5 litre of water to the Scalded Berry Soaker, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 1 hour until the berries are soft. If you pinch a cooked berry the husk (bran) should separate, and the inside (endosperm) should look and feel like a grain of cooked rice. If the berries are still a bit firm, top up the water a tad and continue to simmer until soft. Don’t overcook them, so keep an eye on them. When ready, strain the berries and discard the water, then set aside to cool. The berries must be cold before adding to the mix.

2. Combine all 3 Soaker ingredients into a large bowl (I use the mixer bowl). Add the 330g extra Organic Chopped Rye, the 90g of water, 13g of salt, 20g Caraway seeds, 55g of maple syrup and the 17g of Black Treacle then mix on low speed until all the ingredients are mixed together well, then cover the bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Note: The mixed dough should not be wet or sloppy. It should stick together and not fall apart. It should peel off the side of the bowl easily and stick to the inside of a tablespoon when held upside down. If it is too wet, add some Organic Dark Rye Flour a bit at a time until it stiffens up.

3. Use a silicon brush to grease the loaf tin using the 1 tsp of Sunflower oil then place the dough into the tin and even it out over the dough surface. Make sure you push the dough firm into the corners of the tin. You don’t want any air pockets gathering there.

4. Prove the dough. Cover the tin — if you are using a Pullman tin, use the tin cover, otherwise place the tin into a plastic bag to ensure the dough doesn't dry out. Leave to prove for about 3 hours, depending on room temperature and environment. In the UK I leave it for 3 hrs in spring time temperatures. The dough should have visibly risen. Since there isn’t any yeast in this recipe, don’t expect it to rise too high.

5. At this stage, preheat the oven to 150°C.

6. Brush the top of the dough with a little water then fully wrap the tin with 3-4 tight-fitting layers of tin foil to avoid steam escaping. You do not want the dough to dry out during the long baking process. Note: If you use a Pullman tin with its lid, it is still advised to wrap the tin with these additional foil layers.

7. Place the foil wrapped tin on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 14 hours. If you place it in the oven at 6pm, it will ready at 8am the next day.

8. After being in the oven at 150°C for 1 hour, turn down the temperature to 120°C for the remaining 13 hours.

Day 3
1. After the long bake, turn off the oven and leave the tin in the cooling oven for another hour.

2. Place the tin with the baked loaf in it upside down on a flat surface (I just use the kitchen top) then remove the tin. You may need to knock the sides if it is stuck in the tin.

3. Wrap the hot loaf in a kitchen towel or muslin and leave for 24 hours to cool. Note: This is an extremely important stage. It’s very tempting to cut into the warm loaf but if you do, it will very likely crumble and fall apart. It needs to fully cool to set.

Day 4
Use a good bread knife and cut into thin slices. I typically cut it into 3-4mm thick slices then place the sliced loaf into the freezer. It will stay good in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

Best toasted on high until almost crunchie then smother in butter.