An amazing soft and flavorful pumpernickel roll that is ideal for sandwiches, or even toasted with butter and served with soup.
OH THE MEMORIES
There was a sandwich. It was such a good sandwich but, alas, it was down in Florida at a sandwich shop, and I was way up in North Carolina. I attempted to get them to give me the recipe, but I don’t think they believed that I wasn’t the sandwich place across the street, because they wouldn’t tell me a single ingredient. That said, this masterpiece was served on a soft pumpernickel roll that was ever so perfect for it. And long after I figured out a recipe for the sandwich, I could not manage to make those sandwich rolls.
WHERE I FOUND IT
After many years of searching my cookbooks, and online, I finally pulled out my bread machine recipe book – the one I got with the machine when it arrived as a gift from my brother, in the early 1990’s, and adapted their pumpernickel bread recipe. And while baking is typically an adventure in discovering different ways of defeat for me, this time the light shone down on me, and the pumpernickel roll gods released their magic and bestowed it on my creation.
WHAT YOU NEED
So here’s the recipe, and how it comes together. You’re gonna want a mixer of some sort. I use the KitchenAid with a dough hook, but if you want to mix this dough by hand, you just go right ahead. Not me. You’re gonna need:
- Bread Flour
- Rye Flour
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Corn Meal
- Dry Milk
- Softened Butter
- A little extra butter, melted
See recipe card for quantities.
USE YOUR MIXER!
To make the dough, combine in a mixing bowl the bread flour, salt, dry milk, softened butter, rye flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, cocoa and molasses. Put your yeast in a separate bowl and add the water which has been heated to between 105-110˚,and the yeast, and sugar for the yeast to feed on. Let that proof for 5 minutes, and if it’s not evident that the yeast is alive then curse a little under your breath and get on over to the store and buy some new yeast.
Once the yeast has proofed, add the yeast and water mixture to the mixing bowl.
Then mix it all on low for 10 minutes until it forms a rather sticky brown dough. It may or may not be too wet. If it is, you’re just going to add a little more flour as you knead it on the counter.
Put your dough hook on the mixer, set the mixer on low, and let it knead the dough for 10 minutes. The result will be a rather sticky, yet pliable, dough that you probably won’t need any flour on the counter for when you knead it for a minute or two before rising. One time that I made this, however, it was waaaaay sticky, and I did have to sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour on it as I kneaded it by hand, just so it would quit sticking to my hands and the counter at the same time.
After the ten minutes, remove the now beautiful brown dough from the mixer, pulling it away from the hook, plop it onto your counter and give it a one or two minute knead. The dough will be a rather sticky, yet pliable, dough that you probably won’t need any flour on the counter for as you knead it. One time that I made this, however, it was waaaaay sticky, and I did have to sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour on it as I kneaded it by hand, just so it would quit sticking to my hands and the counter at the same time.
RISE AND SHINE
Form it into a nice big ball, put a couple of teaspoons of oil in a bowl and wipe it all around until the inside is well greased, and then roll the dough around a couple of times until it is evenly coated. Place the bowl in a warm place, covered, and let it rise for an hour, or until about doubled in size. It’s gonna get big!
When it has risen, once again plop it out onto the counter, and punch it down to get the gas out of it. Then cut it apart into 7 even pieces. I weighed them, but you can just do it by eye if you have a better eye than I do. My dough weighed 1002 grams, so I made seven 143 gram balls, by cutting the dough into pieces and then weighing each one and adding or subtracting pieces from it until the weights were roughly even. You can just eyeball this, but I wanted them to come out roughly even, and I’m so bad at guessing the weights that I use my scale. I picked 7 because when I did 6 they were too big. That works for me. You do you.
SHAPE THOSE ROLLS
Shape each one of them into a ball by stretching the dough around on the sides and pinching the bottom. You will end up with nice balls of dough which you then want to roll in your cupped hand, see picture, for about 20 seconds apiece.
Let them sit under a damp towel for five minutes to relax the gluten after all that activity, and then flatten those suckers out by squeezing lightly between your fingers and slightly stretching until they have become discs roughly the size of the sandwich roll you want. Then lightly dust with flour – I put flour in a sifter and just gently tap it over each one to get a very light dusting. This keeps the towel from sticking to the dough during this second rise. After letting them rise for another hour or so, they are ready to be put into a 350˚ oven for 16 – 20 minutes.
AND THEN THEY’RE DONE
When they come out of the oven, brush them with some melted butter to give them a nice sheen. That sheen will dull as the butter dries, but the sandwich rolls will be much more beautiful. After they cool on a rack for a short time, they are ready to cut open and use for sandwiches, or to toast for a snack.
Store these Sandwich rolls in a large plastic bag. They should stay fresh for at least 3 days, and I’ve gotten them to last a week.Print
A delicious soft pumpernickel sandwich roll that looks professionally made and will outshine anything you can get at the store.
- 3 ½ cups bread flour (16 oz.)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. dry milk
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- ¼ cup rye flour
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 3 Tbs. cocoa
- 3 Tbs. molasses
- 1 5/8 cups water heated to 105˚-110˚ (13 fl. oz.)
- 1 ½ tsp. dry yeast
- Flour for dusting the rolls
- Butter for greasing the pans
- Put 1 ½ tsp. yeast in a bowl and add 1 cup of water which has been heated to between 105-110˚. Reserve the remaining water. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar for the yeast to feed on and let the yeast proof for 5 minutes.
- While the yeast is proofing, combine in a mixing bowl 3 ¼ cups bread flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 tablespoons dry milk, 2 tablespoons softened butter, ¼ cup rye flour, 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, ¼ cup cornmeal, 3 tablespoons cocoa and 3 tablespoons molasses.
- When the yeast has proved it has proofed, pour it into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients, pour your remaining water into the proofing bowl to get all of the yeast mixture out, and pour that into the mixer bowl as well.
- Turn the mixer on low, and mix for 10 minutes. The dough may be very sticky at this point, but should be cohesive.
- Remove the dough from the mixer, plop it on the counter, and knead it for another minute or two, incorporating a little flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking to everything. Pat into a happy sized ball.
- Grease a new bowl with 2 tsp. vegetable oil, and put the dough ball in the bowl, rolling it around to coat with oil. This will prevent it from sticking to the bowl as it rises.
- Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once risen, plop back onto the counter, and punch it down to let out the air. Weigh it, if you like, then cut it / tear it into 7 roughly equal sized balls.
- Take each ball and roll it (without any flour on the counter), under your cupped hand until you have something that looks like a smooth ball. Place under a damp towel while you do the other ones.
- Let the dough rest again, this time for 5 minutes, to let the gluten calm down a bit. This will make the stretching easier.
- Flatten each ball, and use your fingers to make them into a circular disk about the width you think you’d like your rolls. Place them on a greased cookie sheet. I use two cookie sheets so that when they rise they won’t all stick together.
- Lightly sprinkle flour over them to keep the rolls from sticking to the towel, and then cover them with a dry towel, and place them in that warm place for them to rise for another hour.
- After about 45 minutes, preheat your oven to 350˚.
- When the timer goes off, remove the towel, place the pans in the oven, and bake for 16-20 minutes.
- Melt 2 Tbs. butter in a small pot, and use a pastry brush to brush the rolls when they come out of the oven.
- Let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes.
- Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
Keywords: bread, pumpernickel, rolls, sandwich