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Sourdough Pumpernickel Bread

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

Author: Gwen Adams

Sourdough Pumpernickel Bread Recipe

This bread, made without the help of commercial yeast, is a great accompaniment to borscht or any other hearty soup. It's made with whole grain rye flour, a.k.a. pumpernickel. Rye flour has less gluten-forming protein than wheat, and so creates a denser bread. For an even heartier loaf, substitute a cup of whole wheat flour for a cup of the all-purpose.

After you've put the dough together and shaped it, it'll need to rise for 2 or 3 hours. If you make one loaf, it'll need to bake for about 45 minutes. Two loaves will each take about 35 minutes. Take this timing into consideration before you start.

At a glance

24 servings
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:


  • 1 1/3 cups ripe (fed) sourdough starter
  • 1 cup room temperature water, black coffee, or potato water (water in which potatoes have been boiled)*
  • 2 cups pumpernickel flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • *See "tips," below.



  1. To make the sponge: Measure the starter into a bowl. Add the coffee or potato water, pumpernickel, and onion. Stir together, cover, and let bubble away at room temperature overnight.
  2. To make the dough: The next day, stir the oil, salt and molasses into the sponge. Stir in the flour 1 cup at a time, until the dough comes together.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding only enough additional flour to keep it from sticking to your hands.
  4. There are a number of ways to shape this dough. Make one large round loaf, which you'll place on a pumpernickel-sprinkled baking sheet. Or make two smaller versions of the same thing. Or place the entire amount of dough into a large (10" x 5") loaf pan. Or divide it in half, and use two smaller (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") loaf pans.
  5. Cover the loaves with a piece of lightly greased plastic wrap. Let them rise in a draft-free spot. You can predict the amount of rise somewhat by the temperature of the space where they're rising: at 55°F to 60°F, they'll probably take 3 to 5 hours to rise; at 65°F to 70°F, 2 to 4 hours.
  6. A short time before the loaves have doubled in size, place them in a preheated 350°F oven; they'll continue to rise during the first 15 minutes of baking.
  7. Bake two smaller loaves for about 35 minutes; one large loaf will bake for about 45 minutes.
  8. The loaves are done when the centers measure 200°F when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and put on a rack to cool before slicing.
  9. Yield: 1 or 2 loaves, 24 servings.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 slice, 60g
  • Servings Per Batch 24 servings
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 144
  • Calories from Fat 14
  • Total Fat 2g
  • Saturated Fat 0g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 199mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 29g
  • Dietary Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 3g
  • Protein 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.