Posts Tagged ‘Baking’

Napoleon gave a common bread its name when he demanded a loaf of dark rye bread for his horse during the Prussian campaign. “Pain pour Nicole,” he ordered, which meant “Bread for Nicole,” his horse. To Germanic ears, the request sounded like “pumpernickel,” which is the term we use today for this traditional loaf.

Hearty Dark Rye Bread/Pumpernickel Bread

I read somewhere that Pumpernickel Bread is bread for grownups. I think that might be right. You either love the taste or deplore it. I happen to love it. It’s rich and hearty and great for sandwiches or just with cheese and your favorite glass of vino.

I used a recipe from the Betty Crocker’s 40th Anniversary Edition cookbook. It’s the first time I’ve made Dark Rye/Pumpernickel bread and I do believe it turned out just dandy. If you’re a grownup, you might enjoy it as well. ;-)

Hearty Dark Rye Bread / Pumpernickel Bread

3 pkgs active dry yeast

1.5 cups warm water (105º to 115º)

2.5 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup shreds of wheat bran cereal

1/2 cup dark molasses

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon caraway seed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2-2.5 cups dark rye flour


1/4 cup cold water

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch


Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Add all-purpose flour, cereal, molasses, cocoa, salt, caraway seed and oil. Beat on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. stir in enough rye flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn onto lightly floured surface, cover & let rest 15 minutes. Knead about 10 minutes until smooth & elastic. Place in a greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place about an hour or until double. Grease cookie sheet & sprinkle with cornmeal. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into round, slightly flattened loaf. Place loaves in opposite corners of cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place 40-50 minutes or until double.

Heat oven to 375º. Bake 30 minutes. Meanwhile head cold water and cornstarch to boiling, stirring constantly. Brush over loaves. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool on wire racks.

Makes 2 loaves (12 slices each); 120 calories per slice. Yum. ;-)

Here are a few fun statistics and facts relating to bread and wheat, the main staple used for making bread.They were borrowed from the Our Daily Bread site.
  • It takes 9 seconds for a combine to harvest enough wheat to make about 70 loaves of bread.
  • Each American consumes, on average, 53 pounds of bread per year.
  • Assuming a sandwich was eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it would take 168 days to eat the amount of bread produced from one bushel of wheat. A family of four could live 10 years off the bread produced by one acre of wheat.
  • One bushel of wheat will produce 73 one-pound loaves of bread.
  • Breaking bread is a universal sign of peace.
  • Farmers receive approximately 5 cents (or less) from each loaf of bread sold.
  • Bread is probably the one food eaten by people of every race, culture and religion.
  • Murphy’s Law dictates that buttered bread will always land buttered-side down.

Bon Appétit!


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“The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.”

-Steven Wright

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an avid cook. I like to cook. And…I like to bake stuff. It’s just that I have a few other things that I like to do more. I’m sure there are those among you who understand this conundrum. However, I’ve recently decided that I want to bake bread. Lots of bread. All kinds of bread. Okay, that’s not quite true. I want to bake all kinds of yeast bread.  It’s my Mom’s fault. She’s been baking bread & we got to help eat it when we went to see her. I mean, seriously, who can resist homemade bread?

So now I have three new bread pans & have been sorting through all sorts of bread recipes. Along the way, I’m seeing recipes for all kinds of grain breads, french breads, bread sticks, pizza dough….you name it.

Today it was Honey Wheat Bread. Although the recipe I used was called “Simple Whole Wheat Bread.” I found it on www.allrecipes.com.  I chose it because it has 5 stars with 733 reviews. Seems like a winner, huh? But since it is made with honey, I changed its name. One thing I noticed was the the photo on that site shows the bread with something on the top…like oats? Or wheat germ? Or something. And there’s nothing in the recipe that mentions putting anything on top. The next time I make it, I’m going to put something up there…. I tried dusting two of my loaves with wheat flour, but they did little to add top texture.

Honey Wheat Bread


  • 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast (If you’re measuring bulk yeast, that’s 4.5 Tsps.)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

I know why this recipe had so many good reviews. I’ll be giving one myself. It’s delicious! I took one of the loaves to some neighbors. It will be great for toast and sandwiches. I’m also anxious to try it with all wheat flour. This is an easy recipe. Give it a try, but do follow the directions to the letter regarding water temperature, etc. Oh, and I used my Kitchenaid mixer with the bread hook to do the mixing – when the dough wanted to crawl out of the bowl, I turned it onto the floured board to finish kneading and prepare it for the bowl to rise.

One note: The bread is nestled in one of my recent baskets. It’s a Twin-Bottomed Egg Basket with a four point God’s Eye lashing.

And all photography was done with my beloved Nikon D300 & Nikkor 85mm 1.4D lens.

Bon Appétit!

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