Pumpernickel bread with sourdough starter

Well, even if this gets filed in the ‘failures’ category, I have learned a few things from this bread-making process, one of them is a tip from “The Big Bang Theory’ episode last night. ‘Pumpernickel’ means ‘fart goblin’ or ‘fart devil’ in German. (see Wiki for more information on the nickname) While my bread didn’t smell like a fart, it didn’t smell like roses, either.

The process
1. Make a sourdough starter
-for 5 days I let a cup of flour and cup of water take in all the micro-organisms from my kitchen and ferment into a sourdough starter.

Kind of cute, right?

2. I then mixed the sourdough starter into a sponge which included carob powder, more flour and water. This sponge was stirred occasionally and let to ferment for 24 hours.

Making the sponge

3. Then I stirred in the remaining ingredients; the remaining rye flour, 4 shots of espresso, molasses and salt. The final texture was hard to get my spoon through but still sticky and moist. This sat for 8 hours.

yeah, I know what it looks like.

4. I poured the dough into a casserole dish and let it sit for 3 hours. Then I baked it at 350F for 2.5 hours. Once complete, the surface was crusty hard and the interior soft and porous.

Ready for heat.

It looks delicious, doesn't it?

The taste, however, ….weird. I originally thought to break out the espresso, carob powder, and molasses just so I could identify what tastes were from which ingredients, oh I wish I had done so.

It tastes bitter, a little dry, and overall…weird. It obviously needed more molasses or perhaps brown sugar. The espresso would make it bitter. I think the carob powder was the main culprit. …it’s not good. I’m not going to use it again. Also, this was a sourdough starter, not active dry yeast from a packet.

This recipe came from Katz’s ‘Wild Fermentation’. First recipe…good texture but I’m going to have to watch his ingredients carefully. In searching online, some suggested cocoa powder but no one suggested carob powder. Lesson learned.

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1 Comment »

  1. Jackie Hartson Said:

    Actually, it looks more like a brownie. Maybe a baker at your locality can share a secret or two?


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