Looking at the ingredient list for pumpernickel loaves made me wonder who the heck came up with this combination! Prune butter, espresso, molasses and unsweetened chocolate? Prunes, apparently, are a natural preservative…plus all 4 help give the rich, dark color of the classic pumpernickel loaf. And as, Lauren Groveman, the contributing baker for this week’s Baking with Julia recipe stated, they also provide a dimension of flavor. And then hanging the loaves in a sling for the last rise? Definitely an odd bread making technique. This was going to get interesting.
I made the dough as directed, using my professional KitchenAid for the kneading. I left out the caraway, hoping that the hubby would at least sample more than one bite. During the first of three proofing periods, I hunted down the video of the PBS episode where Lauren demonstrates her method to Julia. It helped immensely. I made one loaf her way and braided the second. What I didn’t count on was forgetting to turn down the oven after 20 minutes…the timer went off, but I was fiddling with making apple turnovers and just reset the timer, but not the temperature. Since I’ve finally graduated from the self taught Blog Photography 101 class, I’ was able to disguise a slightly blackened loaf in my photos. The insides tasted lovely with a creamy pat of butter, but the crust wasn’t especially edible. I don’t think I would have ever baked this variety of bread if not for the Tuesdays with Dorie group…it was good, and tasted exactly as pumpernickel should, but it’s not a bread I crave or have a desire to recreate again. And if you’re wondering, Bill just looked at the bread, but didn’t take the bait.
Curious about the sling? View the video on how to shape and bake these loaves here.
View the recipe here.
Submitted to Yeastspotting.