Easy Pumpernickel Bread Recipe

Pumpernickel loaf with slices
Carolyn Taylor Photography/Stockbyte/Getty Images
  • 2 hrs 50 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs 15 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 2 small round loaves (serves 15)
Ratings (36)

Have you ever wondered if you could make your very own, homemade pumpernickel bread without the frustration of a difficult recipe? Making your own pumpernickel bread is so easy and it costs less than the store-bought pumpernickel bread. What’s more, home-baked bread tastes better and is healthier for you. This recipe makes two small, round loaves of pumpernickel bread.

Bread Baking Tips

  • Learn how to make braided rolls with these pictured instructions.
  • Keep yeast stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator. Heat, moisture, and air kills the yeast and prevents bread dough from rising.
  • To keep bread soft, store in a plastic bag.
  • To prevent the molasses from sticking to your measuring spoon, coat the spoon in a tiny amount of cooking oil.
  • An opened jar of molasses lasts up to one year.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water (warm)
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • 2 tbsp caraway seed
  • 2 3/4 cups rye flour
  • 3 cups bread flour (approximately)​

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, add the warm water and yeast. Stir mixture until the yeast is dissolved.
  2. Stir in the molasses, salt, shortening, caraway seed, and rye flour.
  3. Mix in 2 cups of bread flour. Slowly add the remaining bread flour until you have a dough that can be kneaded. You may or may not use the full amount of bread flour that is called for, depending on your ingredients and weather.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, knead in more bread flour, a tablespoon at a time.
  1. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Flip dough over so that top is also lightly greased.
  2. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in warm, draft-free place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Punch down the dough. Cover it again and let it rise for another 45 minutes.
  4. Punch down the dough a second time. Turn out onto lightly floured board or surface and knead dough briefly.
  5. Cut the dough in half. Shape each half into a small, round loaf.
  6. Grease a baking sheet. Sprinkle the sheet with cornmeal, optional.
  7. Place both round loaves on the baking sheet, cover, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  8. Bake loaves at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on.
  9. Remove from the oven and let loaves cool on a rack.
  10. Loaves can be wrapped in plastic and frozen for later.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 108
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Unsaturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 814 mg
Carbohydrates 18 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 2 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)