Recipe swap: pumpernickel bread

It’s swap time! Christianna this month proposed a wild rice stuffing. Almost immediately I decided to swap wild rice for wheat or rye berries. I thought for a while and then it came to me: pumpernickel bread.

I am not talking about american pumpernickel bread, I’m talking about the original pumpernickel bread. The German version. While pumpernickel bread over here is pretty much bread whit molasses for dark coloring, the German version is much more like a pudding than it is a bread. The German version includes all sorts of berries and seeds and they are cooked slowly in a steamy oven. The end result is a sort of steamed grain pudding.

A slice of this bread with jam or marmalade is a great way to start your morning . And a slice of this with ham at lunch is going to keep you full for quite a while. Also it is great with smoked or cured salmon.

Now click on the frog to see what my fellow bloggers did!

Recipe swap: pumpernickel bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Yield: 1 Loaf

Recipe swap: pumpernickel bread


  • 1/2 lb rye berry
  • 1/4 lb wheat berry
  • 1/2 lb flour
  • 1/4 lb sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 lb flax seeds
  • 1/4 lb pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp activated dry yeast
  • 2 tsp salt


  1. Soak the rye and wheat berries overnight in water to soften them up. I once tried making the bread without presoak and it wasn't a bit too crunchy.
  2. When the berries have softened up, Drain them and in a bowl mix all the ingredients.
  3. Put in a buttered and floured sandwich bread mold and bake at 260F for 3 hours. The oven should be steamy, so put a pot with water at the bottom of the oven.
  4. At the end of the cooking process, cover the bread with aluminum foil and let it rest in the turned off oven for another 2 hours.

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46 Responses to Recipe swap: pumpernickel bread

  1. meg pettibone says:

    So many great comments but so few followers actually tried your recipe. I did. Made it yesterday and it is delicious but one problem. The rye did not soften overnight and I neglected to test it. Whoops. I also neglected to replenish the steaming water in the oven-so the pan went dry a couple of times. I don’t believe this contributed to the crunch. It seemed perfectly baked inside. But it does fall apart. Would kneading help? Thanks. This first try, since it is rather tedious chewing, I’m going to try to turn into a sort of bread pudding.. Thanks. I will make this again, many times I’m sure.

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  4. Federica says:

    ciao!!grazie che passi sempre!!bellissima questa ricetta!!

    ps: se fai qualche mia ricetta e la pubblichi fammi sapere, io poi inserisco sempre il link nel post di riferimento di quella specifica ricetta.

  5. This looks GORGEOUS! I NEVER make bread and am realizing that I need to rectify that, and this one looks too delicious to skip. Printing to adapt for my diet. Thanks for it, and congrats on Top9 partner! Sorry it took so long to comment… been a busy month and am just catching up on the delicious swappers! Happy February!

  6. Alli says:

    Oh my goodness…your bread looks so good! So hearty and packed with protein and flavor. I really can’t wait to try you recipe.!

  7. Shumaila says:

    I have never had a pumpernickel bread but I like the idea of a steamed grain pudding! Great take on the swap!

  8. Ally says:

    Nothing is sexier in a loaf of bread than lots & lots of whole grains, to be covered in butter & jam!

  9. Purabi Naha says:

    Congrats on top 9 Pola! This looks so appetizing! I loved the way you made it. Awesome presentation as well!

  10. I am sure this bread is flavorful. What more with so much goodness. Got to go look for the ingredients and bake this bread.

  11. Manu says:

    Ohhh mamma quanto mi piace!!!! I used to eat this so much in Germany and Denmark… it is fantastic with smoked salmon! Amazing recipe Pola! Well done and congrats on another well deserved Top 9!!! :-))))))))

  12. Gio says:

    questi tipi di pane tedeschi li adoro!
    la loro consistenza mi piace tanto 😛

  13. Rachel says:

    I am making this. As soon as I can get to the bulk foods section of my grocery store for all the ingredients I am soaking those grains+seeds overnight and making this bread! Yum! I love breads that are heavy on the whole grains and light on the flour but I’ve never baked them myself. Your recipe is so simply and wonderfully written (unlike many bread recipes)!

  14. Laura Rees says:

    This looks realllllly yummy. Seems like the perfect vessel for some juicy cherry preserves and maybe just a touch of cream cheese…

  15. as a german, i fully approve… the pumpernickel recipes i’ve found in american bread baking books are really just wheat bread w/ a little rye – nothing like what i’m looking for when i think pumpernickel! thanks for posting!

  16. I love your recipe. It is easier that the one I have in my bread baking book. Keeping it. Big-big thanks!

  17. Alida says:

    Please visit my blog there is a surprise for you!

  18. Raymund says:

    I never tried a bread like this, definitely will give it a shot if I have a chance.

  19. I love that you went out on a limb with this recipe, and transformed it into something totally different. Great take on the swap, and the bread sounds amazing!

  20. Jamie says:

    This is so creative! Whenever I see pumpernickel bread I think of my Aunt’s spinach dip that she serves with the round pumpernickel bread – thanks for bringing up some great memories!

  21. Kim Bee says:

    Congrats on top 9!

  22. ping says:

    Congrats on Top 9!
    You’re right about the American styled pumpernickle … dark bread! I love this grainy version better.

  23. I love this type of Rye and Pumpernickle bread. We often buy it our local CoOp. Your version looks beautiful and I’m thrilled that I now have a recipe to make this! Thanks Pola!

  24. Cucina49 says:

    This makes me think I haven’t really had good pumpernickel bread. Your recipe looks wonderful–I’m thinking a couple of slices of these with some good butter and a couple of radishes would be a great light lunch.

  25. Alida says:

    I love German bread. I learned to appreciate it whilst living in Germany for a while. It is such a healthy, flavorful bread which is definitely a winner. Pumpernickel bread with jam is to die for. Mmm…

  26. Lana says:

    I love German pumpernickel bread! It’s one of my favorite treats when I visit my sister in Frankfurt:)
    Now I have to go and hunt the wheat berries for this recipe! Look how gorgeous it is!
    BTW, Gnocchi with Savoy Cabbage sound amazing (Savoy Cabbage is so wonderful and so underrated:)

  27. Ely says:

    io adoro questo pane, una versione simile c’è all’Ikea, esiste il preparato e io lo compero spesso. è favoloso con burro e marmellata ma anche con il miele o con un buon gorgonzola 🙂
    Ciao Ely

  28. Kiri W. says:

    Being German I have to say – your rendition looks perfect! 🙂

  29. Julia says:

    Oh wow, I’m really intrigued by your take on the recipe swap! I can imagine eating this for basically any and every meal of the day, I love all of the ingredients!

  30. Daniela says:

    Sai che non conoscevo questa ricetta, ha letteralmente stuzzicato il mio appetito, segno subito la ricetta. Buona settimanaDaniela .

  31. Alda e Mariella says:

    Ciao piacere di conoscerti, come vedi ricambiamo volentieri la visita! Complimenti per il blog e per il piatto delizioso!
    Un abbraccio a presto!

  32. Pola! This is gorgeous bread! I have learned something new today about Pumpernickel’s as well, thank you. Since becoming gluten free this bread (well the Americanized pumpernickel I suppose by your description) has not been something I can enjoy but so loved the flavor of it. I’ve not seen a bread quite like this and love all the texture! Very clever girl….

  33. You made that Pola? That is amazing… I love this kind of bread…must be my German genes.

  34. That looks bursting with goodness! I’ve eaten plenty but never tried to make it myself-perhaps I should now! 😀

  35. Now THIS is Pumpernickel. I think i would love it best with that smoked salmon on top, with a little dill and cream chesse.. ooh you are making me hungry!

  36. Great post – this bread sounds really good, and as you describe, very versatile. Something to try over a weekend for sure. I wish I had a slice ready to go for breakfast tomorrow morning.

  37. omg, I am sure this is delicious and healthy, unlike american bread which sadly is mostly pap these days. I’m gonna make this. I hope I can find the berries. thanks for posting.

  38. I really like hearty breads and this pumpernickel is wonderful. The photo of the slice with jam would be a perfect breakfast for me tomorrow:)

  39. I love dense breads like this. I’m sure my husband of German descent would love it, as well. 🙂

  40. What a great recipe! I haven’t had real pumpernickel in … five years? Six years? Thanks for reminding me of what a great dish it is!

  41. It looks like such a wholesome delicious bread full of all that goodness! Would love a slice of this for my lunch topped with some tomato and avocado…yum!

  42. Kim Bee says:

    I haven’t had pumpernickel in forever. This looks so hearty and inviting. Great way to mix up the original recipe. The photo with the jam is amazing.

  43. Wow, what a great idea! And it looks like such an easy bread to bake… I love it!

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