Dark Pumpernickel Loaves


Prune Puree:

Yeast Mixture:

Caraway Seeds:

Chocolate, Molasses, Espresso, and Butter Mixture:



Oil For Bowl:



  1. Oil a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Grind the caraway seeds in a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or food processor; set aside.
  3. Place prunes and ½ water in a small saucepan.
  4. Bring the prunes and water to a simmer.
  5. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove prunes from heat, add 1 tablespoon brown sugar mixing until incorporated.
  7. Add prune mixture to a food processor.
  8. Pulse until the prune mixture is pureed; set aside.
  9. In a large work bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in ¼ cup warm water; let stand until foamy.
  10. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup water, chocolate, molasses, espresso, butter, prune puree, and salt; stirring over low heat until the butter and chocolate melt.
  11. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat.
  12. Whisk the plain yogurt into the chocolate mixture.
  13. Add the yogurt and chocolate mixture to the work bowl.
  14. Add the ground caraway seeds, rye flour and 2 cups of the all purpose flour to the work bowl.
  15. Using a dough hook, knead the flour into the yeast mixture, adding enough of the remaining all purpose flour to achieve a soft, smooth, and elastic dough.
  16. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  17. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to the oiled bowl.
  18. Cover the bowl with a slightly damp towel (flour sack towels are great for this).
  19. Let the dough rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1½ hours.
  20. Punch down dough.
  21. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  22. Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
  23. For 2 round loaves, grease two 8-inch round cake pans, dust the bottom of the pans lightly with cornmeal.
  24. For 2 standard bread loaves, grease 2 standard size loaf pans and dust the bottom of the pans lightly with cornmeal.
  25. Divide the dough in half.
  26. For round loaves shape each half into a round ball and place in the prepared 8-inch round cake pans.
  27. For standard loaves, shape each half into an oblong loaf and place in the prepared loaf pans.
  28. Cover with a dry towel. Let rise until double in bulk; about 1 hour.
  29. Place one oven rack in lowest position in the oven.
  30. Place a second oven rack two positions up from the lowest rack, leaving enough space between the racks for a shallow roasting pan.
  31. Place a shallow roasting pan on the bottom oven rack.
  32. Pour 2 cups of boiling water into the shallow roasting pan.
  33. Preheat oven to 375°.
  34. Slash top of of each loaf 3 diagonal slashes.
  35. Mix together 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water to make a glaze. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to separate eggs.
  36. Brush the loaves with the egg white glaze.
  37. Bake the loaves until they sound hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes.
  38. Cool on a rack.


Molasses Butter is a great compliment to this flavorful bread.

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