Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until the dough is elastic and slightly sticky.

  2. Let the dough rise in a lightly greased, covered bowl for 1 to 2 hours; it should become puffy.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface. Gently deflate it, and shape it into a ball.

  4. Place the shaped loaf onto a lightly-greased or parchment-lined sheet pan or into a round lidded stoneware baker (our cloche is a good option here) and cover with the lid.

  5. Let the loaf rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it's almost doubled in size.

  6. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  7. Slash the loaf diagonally in several places.

  8. Bake the loaf for 35 to 45 minutes until it is crusty, and a digital thermometer inserted into the center reads 190°F to 200°F. If using a stoneware baker, remove the lid for the final 5 minutes of baking for a crusty top.

  9. Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool completely.

Tips from our Bakers

  • While both the rye dough improver and the rye flavor are optional, we recommend using them if you can. The dough improver helps to improve the loaf's rise and texture, while the rye flavor adds authentic pumpernickel flavor.