How to make German black bread

Written by samantha lowe | 13/05/2017
How to make German black bread
German black bread is a form of rye bread that keeps for a long time. (Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images)

German black bread was a staple during WWI and WWII. Its extensive nutritive value and long shelf life, as well as its inexpensive cost, made it the perfect food for the army to provide its fighters. Also known as pumpernickel, the bread is still enjoyed in the country and around the world. Creating your own authentic German black bread is simple and only requires the right ingredients, tools and time.

Grease the inside of the Pullman pan with the vegetable oil, smearing it with the waxed paper square.

Combine the bread yeast, white sugar, all-purpose flour, medium rye flour, whole wheat flour, bran flakes, salt, instant coffee powder, unsweetened chocolate, caraway seed and powdered onion in the large bowl.

Mix the water, molasses and cider vinegar in the small bowl.

Pour the contents of the small bowl into the big bowl. Combine them until they are thoroughly mixed and create a large ball.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it for 8 to 10 minutes, until it is elastic in nature. Shape it in to a ball.

Insert the dough back in the bowl and cover it with the damp towel. Place it in a warm area, covered, for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 107 degrees Celsius (225 degrees Fahrenheit).

Press the dough in the bread pan evenly. Close the lid.

Place the bread in the oven. Cook for 3 1/2 hours, or until a bamboo skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Turn off the oven and let the bread sit inside it, closed, for 2 to 3 more hours.

Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool completely before removing.


If you do not have a Pullman pan, use a regular bread pan and cover it with two layers of tinfoil before baking to ensure it does not become too brown.

Things you need

  • Pullman pan
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Waxed paper square
  • 2 tsp bread yeast
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 62 g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) medium rye flour
  • 240 g (2 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 17 g (1/2 cup) unprocessed bran flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 14 g (1/2 oz) unsweetened chocolate, ground
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • 1 tsp powdered onion
  • Large bowl
  • 267 ml (1 1/8 cup) water
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Small bowl
  • Damp clean towel
  • Bamboo skewer

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