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European Rye Bread, Pumpernickel, Roggebrood Recipe

[rye bread]
roggebrood click to
[rye bread]
[rye bread]
roggebrood click to
for a 13x4x4 inch bread pan (33x10x10cm) I've come to like the Golden Barrel baking molasses

[The Face of Dutch] My grandfather told me that when they gave Napoleon a piece of rye bread, he said "C'est bon pour Nickel," - good for Nickel. Nickel was Napoleon's horse. My grandfather said that's why it's called 'Pumpernickel.' (My grandfather's family owned a chair that Napoleon had sat in.)

More Recipees - email - © Marco Schuffelen 2008.

This is an adaptation of a 'Red River' recipe:

for 10x3½ inch bread pan (25x9cm)

  • 2 cups boiling water (475 ml)
  • 1 cup 'Red River' (a Canadian cereal)
    • ½ cup cracked wheat (bulgur)(80 g)
    • ½ cup cracked or rolled rye (50 g)
  • ¼ cup molasses (60 ml, 85g))
    OR: 70 g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (120 g)
  • 1½ TBsp flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (90g) Kellog's 'All-Bran'
    • 1 cup (60g) wheat bran
for 13x4x4 inch bread pan (33x10cm)

  • 3 cups boiling water (700 ml)
  • 1½ cup 'Red River' (a Canadian cereal)
    • ¾ cup cracked wheat (bulgur)(135 g)
    • ¾ cup cracked or rolled rye (95 g)
  • ¼ cup + 2TBsp (or 1/3 cup + 1 TBsp) molasses (110 ml, 150g)
    OR: 120 g (½ cup + 1 TBsp) sugar
  • 1½ cup whole wheat flour (180 g)
  • 3 TBsp flax seed
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1½ cup (135g) Kellog's 'All-Bran'
    • 1½ cup (75g) wheat bran
  1. Two or three hours before baking (or the night before):
    1. Start heating water;
    2. Put bulgur, rolled rye and salt in a large bowl;
    3. Add molasses and then boiling water, stir lightly;
    4. (optional) Using a glass bowl, microwave for 1 to 1½ minute;
    5. Cover and let cool down to room temperature.
  2. Two or three hours later:
    1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C);
    2. Coat oven pan with butter, dust with flour;
    3. Add most of the remaining ingredients to mixing bowl and stir well -
      (wholewheat flour and flax seed to bulgur, rye, water and molasses);
    4. Stir in wheat bran, baking powder and soda and mix well;
    5. Put batter in bread pan, flatten, and cover bread pan carefully with aluminum foil;
    6. Put in oven and bake for 3 hours;
  3. After 3 hours of baking, remove bread pan from oven, leave covered for half an hour or so;
  4. Cut with a very sharp or an electric knife (if necessary, clean the knife a few times.)

See also recipe updates below

Rolled rye/rye flakes may be hard to find. Spelt flakes can substitute, and I've also tried a mix of four kinds of grain flakes. Oats might work too.

Flax seed not only provides the popular omega-3 but also gives some more cohesion to the bread.

You could sustitute some rye flour for the wholewheat flour, say 1/3, but it's not really necessary. I do not recommend it, because it makes cutting slices harder.

The molasses I like best are Plantation 'Barbados.'
I measure molasses by weight, pour it over the flours in the mixing bowl. It's much less messy than by volume.

It's very nice to add two or three handfuls of raisins to the batter - I feel very frugal when I don't. What would it cost? Two quarters? But we shouldn't get too much sugar and sweet stuff.

The first time I made this rye bread, the edges were so hard my teeth were wrenching in their sockets; the second time, I covered the batter with a piece of wax paper, but that didn't keep the sides moist and soft. Covering the bread pan with aluminum foil seemed to help: to professionalize that approach I bought a lidded 'Pullman' breadpan, and that helped, I keep it closed when it cools down, for two or three hours after it comes out of the oven. The sides are soft but the high moisture level may cause the lack of cohesion, crumbliness, it still comes out somewhat more crumbly than I'd like.
The boiling water is necessary to soften the cracked wheat, maybe also the rolled rye.

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