Pumpernickel Loaves #TuesdayswithDorie

Pumpernickel_Loaves (2)Pumpernickel_Loaves (3)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? ย 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 loavesย here.

View the recipe here.

Submitted to Yeastspotting.



  1. Never knew that pumpernickel was made with prunes.

    Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had pumpernickel before.

  2. Very adventurous! Your loaf looks great and I could have used those photography tips last week:@)
    PS-I always chuckle at your hubby, my oldest son is exactly the same way. The funny thing is, when he was a baby I couldn’t shovel food (ANY food) in fast enough! Oh well…

  3. Lizzy, I don’t blame Bill for not touching the pumpernickel. A friend from Germany brought back some and after one bite, I am sorry to say, I threw it away. Not my kind of bread too ๐Ÿ™

  4. What an interesting loaf. I made pumpernickel once before, but don’t remember prune juice or using a sling. I remember it being moist and tasty, but also not one of my favorites. Yours looks perfect.

  5. You make bread baking look so easy Liz, this loaf looks wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚ I still can’t notice the blackened parts even after you mentioned it. I’ve been too scared to try making pumpernickel bread since I’m afraid my hubby may not try it either ๐Ÿ™ Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great week!

  6. Very interesting indeed to add prune butter. Pumpernickel is one of my favorite bagel / breads andy yours looks absolutely fantabulous =) Thank you for sharing the video link, Liz.

  7. Prune butter? Where can I find this magical sounding stuff? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in the store. This bread sounds like fun to make, at least once!

  8. What an amazing job you did with this bread. I like that you left out the caraway seeds.. I’m not a big fan of those. Sorry Bill didn’t try it at least. You sure put in a lot of work and effort on this bread… It looks wonderful! Even if you don’t make this bread again…you can take a bow on what you did here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I like pumpernickel because of the name…such fun, but like you it isn’t my first choice of bread. Your loaf looks great though, I couldn’t tell the blackness at all.

  10. I love pumpernickel bread, in fact I’m enjoying a pumpernickel bagel right now! Hope to find time to try the recipe soon!

  11. Liz: I love pumpernickel bread…but I have never seen a loaf as pretty as yours. Your technique rocks!!!

  12. Your loaf looks beautiful!

  13. I like a good pumpernickel, but I’ve never made on before. That’s why this one is bookmarked for a future run in the kitchen. Who knew prunes were a natural preservative? Liz, you’re a dear for fessing up about the slightly blackened loaf. I’d have never thought that was the case…it looked like the patina of a well-baked loaf to me!

  14. My favorite kind of sandwich bread!

  15. whoa. that’s an intense process lol

  16. It’s been far too long since I’ve hard pumpernickel. Your braid is perfect!

  17. You are the master of braided breads. WOW! This is beyond beautiful!!!
    Once I get my KitchenAid, I will also make this!! ๐Ÿ˜› And that prune butter sounds soooo good!

  18. Oooh, Oooh, Oooh! Your bread looks so beautiful! I’d love to find a blog photography class. Can you share where you found it?

  19. Liz you are becoming the braiding queen! This is a beautiful loaf (great work on the photos with new tricks) and so full of flavor indeed. I would also opt for no caraway seeds, for once I agree with your hubby ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. This bread looks beautiful and perfectly braided! I have never tried pumpernickel bread before but it sounds interesting.

  21. That’s a very different and beautiful pumpernickel, Liz.

  22. I love pumpernickel bread. Yours looks like it came from a bakery! It’s gorgeous!

  23. Lizzy, I adore your gorgeous, and delicious pumpernickel bread. I love caraway seeds in rye bread, but no need to have caraway seeds in pumpernickel; at least I’ve never had them that way. I also love the pumpernickel-rye swirl so much, as well. Love the recipe, and I will attempt to try to make this, hoping it will turn out! xoxo

  24. I knew about the prunes and molasses, but I didn’t realize there was espresso and chocolate in there, too. That is a lot of flavor! I don’t think I could pass a brown loaf over on my family. I think you must have gotten an A in that self taught photography class ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Ah Lizzy love this loaves look delightful:)

  26. I think your bread looks great but I’m with you. I’ve never been a big pumpernickel fan. Maybe it was always the caraway that scared me away. But my in laws go out of their way to get a good pumpernickel loaf.

  27. Love the braided pumpernickel loaf! Learning that prunes are a natural conservative was new to me too. The prune lekvar recipe from BWJ is super easy and fast to make.

  28. Beautiful pics! Love the braided loaf…what a lovely look. I ended up making my prune lekvar, as I could not find it anywhere. It was definitely an interesting array of ingredients. Glad I tried it and really glad I watched the video first!

  29. Lizzy,
    I haven’t had pumpernickel bread in a while. Your bread looks delicious.

  30. Hotly Spiced says:

    As soon as I read the title, I knew Bill would have gone hungry. I’m not a fan of caraway seeds either so I would have left them out as well. I think the braiding looks very good and if you hadn’t have said anything I never would have known it had a black crust! We all have disasters in the kitchen as you know! xx

  31. I enjoy pumpernickel but only on the odd occasion. Not sure that makes sense but if that’s all the bread I had to eat, I’d be like Bill. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. What a gorgeous loaf of bread and I’m a pumpernickel fan! Nice job ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. You always make gorgeous breads!

  34. How delicious, Liz! You make it sound so easy xo

  35. Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen says:

    What a gorgeous loaf!

  36. pumpernickel is one of my favorite breads of all time. I love love to have it but only have it when I buy it. So glad to see this recipe to make it myself

  37. Who would have thought that prunes do so much? I never would have guessed! I love pumpernickel bread (but without the caraway seeds). No doubt I would have loved this loaf!

  38. You make these loaves look so perfect ๐Ÿ˜€


  39. Beautifull bread, lovin it’s shape and also it’s flavour……
    btw, i guess you should had your own baker brand Liz…..

  40. Great post, I think I still need to get myself to that blog photography class! ๐Ÿ™‚ braided loaves are so creative, love it!

  41. Not a beginner’s loaf, but one I would definitely make. Though I’d buy the prune butter… They look sensational Liz, in spite of the darkened crust!

  42. Very interesting list of ingredients and good move omitting the caraway seeds. You’re a brave soul to tackle this one Liz and you pulled it off!

  43. You’re so smart to watch the videos! I wish I had thought to do that. I was very confused by the instructions for shaping the bread. I’m so impressed by your photography skills – you would never know that the bread was burned.

  44. I’m going to have to take a look at that video! I recall trying a bread with molasses, espresso and chocolate powder but not the prunes. For some reason I have always avoided pumpernickel (maybe it was the caraway seeds) but I really want to try this one. Pinning this for later. Beautiful loaf of bread, blackened or not! ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. lol!! Love hearing Bill stories!! You have quite the picky bunch!!! The loaf still came out beautiful in our opinion!!

  46. What a gorgeous loaf – isn’t it supposed to be dark like that ๐Ÿ˜‰ Pumpernickel and rye – with seeds – are my favorite sandwich breads.

  47. I love pumpernickel bread and yours looks absolutely perfect. You’re right the ingredients sound crazy but I can see how they would add more moisture and richness of flavor to the bread. I’ll have to check out your links and the recipe in Dorie’s book. She sure must adore you for sticking with her weekly recipes all these years. You’re so dedicated.

  48. oh, come on bill! that braided loaf looks great, and you’re right, I can’t tell the crust was a bit well done. ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. I love the braided loaf – good idea! Your breads look wonderful.

  50. It’s funny, I love pumpernickle bread but do not have the desire to bake it. Chocolate chip challah, yesโ€ฆpumpernickel, not so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. Gorgeous bread!
    It was a bit of a labor, but delicious

  52. Se ve muy delicioso tomo nota su pan es maravilloso me encantรฒ,abrazos.

  53. Oh Lizzy, what a lovely braided pumpernickel bread! And that knife, wow! I love it!
    Gorgeous pictures!

  54. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe! The bread looks delicious and very healthy

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