Why'd you have to go and make things so complicated... (Tuesdays with Dorie BwJ: Pumpernickel Loaves)

This week's Tuesday's with Dorie left me feeling like I stepped into the middle of an Averil Lavigne song.

Just saying...

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).
Peace out.

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.


  1. Great post. You do make me giggle! :) I couldn't have made this, if it wasn't for the video.

  2. Oh my goodness ... prune levkar? Holy moly. As always, I salute your commitment to that book. I made a wonderful pumpernickel loaf once from one of KAF's recipe - awesome, and quite straightforward, as anything from KAF always is. (Sling? Really?) I don't think I would've identified prune as an ingredient in pumpernickel. Ya learn something new every day. :)

  3. A very unusual pumpernickel...I am glad the result has turned out so good!

  4. I cut mine in half too and kept worrying that I would err and use all of the chocolate. e.g. Love your sling!

  5. LoL, nice tricks within the sling.....
    lots of sugar content within the prune made the dough is sticky...
    i guess all the effort is totally worthed then!

  6. Oh my, I was wondering whether I should attempt this but glad I didn't in the end. So complicated. But I bet it tasted good, huh?

  7. I didn't even get to read this recipe, much less make it, but the thought of prune levkar again, and so much of it because some recipes in that book are for a family of 54, makes me lazy from the start. It looks good though Cher! And you're funny making it over and over again. I do love pumpernickel but can totally relate to the annoyance of sticky doughs!

  8. Glad you loved the final result - it's all that matters at the end! I also could not punch that hole in the kitchen towel to make the sling :)

  9. Yeah, I balked when the recipe suggested making a hole in your kitchen towel and inserting an S hook! I don't have S hooks lying around, and don't have enough kitchen towels to punch holes in. I'm glad the bread was worth the trouble!

  10. So which is your favorite pumpernickel recipe? This one was plenty complicated, you are right! Suspend the bread in a sling? I didn't punch holes in my towels either, that is crazy talk! Gotta improvise that one!

  11. Hard to believe, but there WAS an ingredient left out of that recipe - caution tape! Dorie needs you to edit her next cookbook!

  12. I am glad that you enjoyed this bread because it sure sounds like a lot of hassle.

  13. I'm the worst when it comes to halving recipes. Even though I write the amount next to the orginal, I always end up using original amounts toward the end. I think making the sling was the funnest part of this recipe. I must say, Lauren, is crazy for punching holes in the towel. They are just to darn expensive for that!

  14. Should have made a half batch, too...knowing no one would want a slice but me! Yup, complicated plus crazy ingredients. Glad I made this, but never again :)

  15. Oddly, we just installed a pegboard in our kitchen (ala Julia herself!) and I had an array of hooks from which to choose. Plus lots of old nasty kitchen towels just begging to be perforated (so I could buy new ones!). Agree that the ingredient list was a bit excessive, as well as the multiple rises, but I've already got demands to make more... Funny how the memory of the work fades once you've tasted the end result. Great post.

  16. I've really enjoyed reading your post. It was funny and entertaining and TRUE....
    I was so glad I'd seen the video: it made everything so much easier :-)

  17. I left out the caraway, used apple butter instead of prune lekvar, and just ignored the whole "sling" thing. Guess what? I still had some pretty awesome bread. Cheating? Yes, it was. Am I sorry? No, I am not.


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