What Does Pumpernickel Bread Taste Like?

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In this article, we’re covering pumpernickel bread. You’ll learn all about the taste and texture, stellar sandwich ideas, and how to make homemade pumpernickel that will make your home smell heavenly.

Pumpernickel on a breadboardSave

Let’s get started…

What Does Pumpernickel Taste Like? 

Pumpernickel is a variety of rye bread with a deeper grainy flavor than what you’ll find in the ones marked “rye bread” on the package.

If there’s caraway in it, it’ll have the herbal quality of rye bread. However, this characteristic is muted as there’s usually less caraway than in rye recipes.

Because so many pumpernickels are made with sourdough starters, they can be slightly tangy, but also mellowly sweet and molasses-like. In short, they’re distinctive and delicious.

Like most breads, Pumpernickel can also be stored by freezing. Here’s our quick guide.

Pumpernickel Texture 

This bread may remind you of whole wheat in density. In contrast, rye bread is typically light and fluffy in weight and feel.

Pumpernickel does not tend to have a thick, crunchy crust. Most often, the whole loaf is soft. If it’s blended with wheat flour, it will be lighter in texture.

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What Gives Pumpernickel Its Flavor? 

Pumpernickel dough is allowed to sit for several hours, after which it’s slow-baked. These techniques give the bread time to develop its flavors, though sourdough cultures are big elements behind the complexity.

There are also many different variations of pumpernickel. Breads from Germany (where pumpernickel comes from) are darker and richer while pumpernickels in the U.S. are frequently mixed with wheat or white flour, making them milder.

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Can I Substitute Rye Flour for Pumpernickel? 

If your recipe is asking for pumpernickel flour but all you have is rye, you won’t have any problems. Pumpernickel flour is rye flour, just coarser.

The real changes are going to come into play if you use wheat or white flour instead. These will completely alter your end result, so they don’t make good substitutions.

What Do You Eat with Pumpernickel Bread? 

Pumpernickel makes excellent sandwich bread. It grills nicely and matches strong ingredients, so try a grilled tempeh “reuben” with vegan Russian dressing and sauerkraut.

Because the flavors are so pronounced in pumpernickel, it’s a good bread to place on a platter with dips, olives and crudites. Who says you need crackers?

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Pumpernickel Recipe Tips 

The smell of freshly baked bread is one of life’s little pleasures. Check out these videos for simple recipes that even novice bread makers can master.

This recipe will make a bread like the famously rich, dense German breads.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rye flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Bulgur wheat
  • Molasses
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt

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If you don’t have a lot of time, you can make this pumpernickel version. It’ll be more like a flavored rye, which is to say, it’ll be mighty tasty.

Get these ingredients:

  • Bread flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Rye flour
  • Yeast
  • Salt
  • Cocoa powder
  • Ground coffee
  • Caraway seeds
  • Warm water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Molasses

Wrap Up 

Pumpernickel is a kind of rye bread that’s usually darker, denser and deeper in flavor. Traditionally, it’s slow-baked, but if you want to make it at home, there are shortcuts you can take with the right ingredients. Grill it up as a sandwich with your favorite fillings or enjoy it as toast in the morning with vegan cream cheese. 

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