We are so used to having our bread taste like, well, bread– a little yeasty, wheaty, and a whole lot of carby deliciousness.
So, whenever we come across a bread that doesn’t fit this description, it can be pretty confusing.
Pumpernickel is one such bread that’ll leave you questioning its flavor profile.
Is it sweet? Is it savory? What does pumpernickel taste like, really?
Well, the answer is both straightforward and complicated at the same time.
Pumpernickel bread tastes like rye bread– but not all rye bread tastes like pumpernickel.
Confused yet? Let’s break it down in this blog post.
What is Pumpernickel?
Pumpernickel is a type of rye bread that originated in Germany, mainly made from coarsely ground rye and sourdough starter.
As a result, the bread is super dense and heavy.
Many people also say that the bread can be “hard to digest,” and that’s where the name “pumpernickel” comes from.
But there are several other stories about the origins of pumpernickel.
And while some explanations make sense, others are downright hilarious.
For example, a widely accepted meaning of the word pumpernickel is “devil’s fart,” or “farting devil,” – a definition included in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
If we go by this explanation, we totally agree that pumpernickel doesn’t sound very appetizing.
But trust us, the bread tastes nothing like what its name suggests.
Instead, many people worldwide are fans of the flavor and the health benefits that come with it.
What Does Pumpernickel Taste Like?
The natural brown color of this bread already gives a hint of its taste.
Yes, it is earthy to your palate and has lingering sweet accents.
This combo flavor makes it a special bread you can enjoy whichever way you want.
Pumpernickel has a taste profile that ranges from sweet to sour.
This dark and almost black bread has a coarse texture with no or very little crust, making it a really unique variant.
It’s a perfect bread to snack on when you need an extra energy boost because the carbs and protein are quite high.
Many like to compare it to the much similar-looking rye bread.
While it is true that they both last pretty long and are convenient, they aren’t the same.
So, what’s different?
Pumpernickel is denser and more flavored than regular rye bread.
Since the former is cooked at low heat for a long time, it tastes sweeter.
This bread has a low glycemic index (GI), meaning that it won’t trigger blood glucose and cause any spikes in your sugar levels.
So, diabetics can enjoy it as much as any other person.
Besides that, it is also a good item on weight-loss diets because of the high fiber content.
You’ll feel satiated even after just a few slices of this bread which is a healthy way to diet.
Also, bodybuilders and other athletes can rely on this bread while working towards their goals.
It can help with overall performance and muscle definition when consumed appropriately.
How to Bake and Serve Pumpernickel?
While looking for pumpernickel bread at your local grocery store or pumpernickel recipes online, you’ll likely stumble upon two kinds – the OG traditional German-style pumpernickel and other non-conventional recipes.
In fact, modern and modified pumpernickel bread recipes are quite common, and they usually include ingredients like molasses or brown sugar to make the bread more accessible to a broader audience.
Typically, a traditional pumpernickel loaf is made by soaking rye kernels overnight and then grinding them into a coarse meal.
This process can be quite time-consuming, which is why many people prefer the easier route of using pre-ground rye flour.
Once you have your rye flour ready (or if you’ve opted for store-bought pumpernickel flour), mix it with water, salt, and sourdough starter.
Then, let the dough rise for several hours.
After the dough has risen, shape it into a loaf and bake at 190°C for about 25-30 minutes.
As for serving your pumpernickel bread, you can use the bread for appetizers or as part of the main meal.
For example, you can slice the bread and top it with cheese, smoked salmon, or avocado for a delicious and healthy snack.
Or, if you want a more substantial option, you can use pumpernickel as the base of a Reuben sandwich or slather it with peanut butter and jelly for a classic PB&J sandwich.
Pumpernickel has taken over the bread maniacs and overwritten the stone-etched facts about bread.
You now have a better and more nutritious answer to all your bread woes.
The most significant benefits you’ll receive from this are regulating your blood sugar levels and managing a healthy weight.
And if you’re really cautious about your food habits and what you add to your system, switching from plain white bread to pumpernickel can be a significant step.
Now don’t wait any longer to get the perfect diet; it’s all just a grocery shopping away.