I have a love-hate relationship with pumpernickel bread.
Love the end result.
Hate the sticky, seemingly impossible to get to come together dough.
The list of 937 ingredients.
And the caraway seeds (not a fan).
But somehow, I seem to end up making it over and over and over.
Usually a different recipe every time.
Cursing it along the way.
Singing its praises once I have that first bite.
See what I mean?
So, I keep on keeping on...
This week's version of pumpernickel elicited the same emotions in me.
Make prune lekvar. Seriously?
Grind caraway seeds... Ugh. (Although, I did use this step as a justification to leave out the whole seeds...)
Go on a cupboard scavenger hunt to gather all the ingredients. (I am pretty sure 88.26% of all my baking ingredients were on the kitchen island at one point waiting to be measured out to put in this bread.)
Oh yeah - I made the recipe even harder on myself by halving it and trying to remember to use the halved hand-written measurements - because nothing could ever go wrong there, right?
Prepare for 86 rises.
Make a bread sling?
What the what?
I was NOT putting a hole in a kitchen towel (as per the crazy instructions), so I found a way to knot it up over a hanger. (The family was amused by the hanging bread).
Finding an undisturbed location to hang that rising bundle of joy was a challenge in itself. (I seriously though about investing in a roll of "caution" tape so that I could cordon off the area.)
Bake the loaf.
Wait for the loaf to cool and wait for that moment when the loaf could finally - finally - be cut into and for one brief moment I was able to forget my litany of objections to making it in the first place (even down to the prune lekvar).
This post participates in Tuesdays with Dorie. A link to the episode with Julia & Lauren Groveman can be found here. Lauren Groveman shares her recipes for pumpernickel loaves over here, on her site.