I grew up eating dark rye pumpernickel and to this day it, and any kind of rye, remains my favorite kind of bread. Recently, I thought it would be fun to make my own. I went to the store and when I saw pumpernickel meal in the bulk bin, I scooped it into my plastic bag, tied a twisty around the opening, and wrote the bin number on the tie. I did the same for rye flour. I thought, I should write down the names on the tie, but didn’t; I would remember.
A couple of days ago, I looked at a recipe for pumpernickel and to my surprise, it did not call for pumpernickel meal. Instead it called for 1 cup rye flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. I instead used 1 cup each from the bulk bin bags. I couldn’t recall which was which. My sponge did not look like the one I made two weeks ago for my whole-wheat sesame bread. It looked dry with squiggly little pieces. I put it on top of the fridge to rise.
What was pumpernickel meal anyway? I did a search online and one thing I learned is that “pumpernickel” in German translates to “The farting devil.” Who knew? I also learned that pumpernickel meal is used to make traditional pumpernickel, the dense kind. Not what I had in mind, but pumpernickel meal might add interesting texture to my bread.
I began anew, this time following the recipe, except since I was not quite sure which was rye flour and which was pumpernickel meal, I took a wild guess and ended up with more dry squigglies. Rather than discard my mistakes, I combined both dough mixtures with two eggs, oat milk, melted butter and caraway seeds, lemon juice (just because), and a teaspoon of baking soda. I poured most of the batter into my oiled bread pan and the remainder into a baking pan. The batter here was flatter. I put the two pans into the oven at 350*.
The flatter batter was done first. It had a hard crust and moist interior. It tasted like a very delicious rye cookie. The bread pan variety tasted great by itself as well as with very ripe goat brie.