Pumpernickel bread is a kind of German bread that is already being made way back in the 1450s. Pumpernickel bread possesses a dark color, almost no crust and taste that is reminiscent of rye. The traditional way of making this kind of bread is by combining both coarse and fine rye flour and then introducing a sourdough starter and, occasionally yeast. the dough is then baked extremely slowly, sometimes lasting up to 24 hours. The cooking temperature is usually under 300 degrees fahrenheit or149 degrees celsius. This is what gives the bread its distinctive dark brown to almost black color.
Pumpernickel bread is usually baked in small covered loaf tins in Germany. But in other countries like America, the dough is often hand shaped and usually doesnt go through the extremely slow cooking process. In order to get the distinctive dark brown color in American pumpernickel bread, additional ingredients like chocolate, coffee or molasses are usually incorporated. Additionally, caraway seeds are are also added. American pumpernickel bread is usually made from a mix of both wheat flour and rye flour. It does not use a sourdough starter and it also has a taste that is vastly different from the traditional German pumpernickel bread.
Even though American style pumpernickel bread is quite easy to find in many bakeries, the traditional German pumpernickel bread is quite difficult to find. One of the reasons for this could be that fewer bakers have actually mastered the traditional style of baking this type of bread. One way to more easily source German pumpernickel bread is by ordering it online.