Every once in a while my wife decides that she wants to make something different. She adapted a wheat bread recipe that she and our daughter came up with and Voila! Out comes a new pumpernickel bread recipe. The first loaf to come out of the oven smelled absolutely heavenly! The ones that followed smelled and tasted even better after she tweaked the recipe. It is so good that I decided to share it with the rest of the world. So here goes.
This recipe makes either two loaves of bread (free form or loaf pan) or 24 rolls. It requires either a 1/2 sheet pan or two loaf pans for bread or a 9 x 13 pan for the rolls. If you have a stand mixer (KitchenAid or the like) it will take about 15 minutes to prepare the dough. Mixing by hand will take a while longer.
2 1/4c. water
1/4c. dark molasses
1/4c. dark brown sugar
4oz. (4 sq) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/4c. olive oil
4T. orange zest
2T. powdered cocoa
1/4c. orange juice
1/2c. ruffage (rye seeds, caraway seeds, etc.)
2c. whole wheat flour
2c. rye flour
2 1/2c. bread flour
Place the water, yeast, dark molasses, melted chocolate, dark brown sugar, olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, salt, cocoa and gluten in the mixer bowl. Mix by hand until all of the ingredients are combined. Add the rye and whole wheat flour and mix by hand until combined. Place the bowl in the mixer, run on low and add the ruffage. Add the bread flour, 1/2c. at a time, until combined. After the last 1/2c. is combined, run the mixer on medium until the dough is of uniform consistancy.
Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and knead for 3-5 minutes, sprinkling with bread flour, until dough is no longer sticky.
Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a warm, damp towel. Let the dough proof for 2 hours or until it has doubled. Punch down the dough and remove it from the bowl. Knead until it is smooth. It it happens to be a dry day, you might have to sprinkle a little water into the dough to remoisten it while you knead.
For loaves: Form into two loaves and place on a greased or corn mealed 1/2 sheet pan or in two loaf pans. Cover the dough with a warm, damp towel and let rise for 45 minutes.
For rolls: Separate into 24 pieces, pinch round and place in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Cover the dough with a warm, damp towel and let rise for 45 minutes.
Uncover and place in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven and let the rolls or free form loaves cool. If you are using loaf pans, remove the bread from the loaf pans and set them on a cooling rack.
Note: For a harder, crunchier crust, put a pan of water in the oven while things are baking.
Now you're ready to eat. Don't hold back... you know you want to try that delicious pumpernickel bread!