Home Bread-Bakers v104.n015.2


"Werner Gansz" <wwgansz@madriver.com>
Sun, 14 Mar 2004 08:33:41 -0500
Several excellent recipes for rye breads have appeared on this list over 
the years including Rose Levy Beranbaum's Jewish Rye and a sour rye posted 
a few weeks ago by Fred Smith (v104.n009).  These two make for an 
interesting comparison between a sour and non-sour rye with similar 
ingredients.  I have been looking for a "historically informed" 
pumpernickel recipe for several years.  The only one I have found that 
seems authentic is on Samartha Deva's site


This recipe actually uses old stale pumpernickel crumbs in the dough to 
help give the bread a lighter texture.  (I thought bread bakers used to go 
to jail for adding stale bread to dough.)  Samartha's recipe is an attempt 
to recreate a pumpernickel from a modern German bakery.  Whether it is 
historically accurate is not clear.  Baking for 24 hours in a water bath 
makes me think that it is rather modern.  I made this bread with a whole 
wheat sourdough starter converted to a rye starter by refreshing it in rye 
a few times and it worked out great.  The first try was a bit mushy but by 
the second try the texture lightened up and the rye slices were great for 
open-face pastrami sandwiches.  (This bread is too crumbly to make a 
handheld sandwich.)  Put a slab of the rye under a slice of pot roast or 
meat loaf smothered in gravy.

I do have a question that the experts here might be able to answer.  There 
is obviously no organization to police bread names (except in France) so 
anybody can call any bread by any name.  Modern recipes for pumpernickels 
should more properly be called "espresso" bread or "cocoa" bread or 
"chocolate" bread for all the food coloring ingredients that get 
added.  What I would like to know is: What makes a Jewish Rye bread 
different from a Rye bread and how are they each different from a 
pumpernickel?  Is a Jewish Rye simply a rye bread using Kosher 
ingredients?  I used to think that a pumpernickel had a sweetener of some 
kind (like barley malt syrup or molasses) but I see those in rye bread 
recipes also.  If anyone has a reference to a historically-correct 
pumpernickel please post it.

Thank you