Sourdough Pumpernickel and … Pickle Juice?

I know I read about it somewhere else — adding pickle juice to rye bread, but I didn’t save it because I couldn’t imagine it’s taste. Then, several weeks ago, my husband brought home the “wrong” Reuben Sandwich. On Pumpernickel, served with a huge dill pickle that wasn’t properly wrapped. Pickle juice saturated the bottom piece of bread. It turned out to be one of the best Reuben Sandwiches I’ve ever had, even though it was too soggy… So, here is Sourdough Pumpernickel with Pickle Juice and Black Pepper.

Makes 1 loaf

Combine in a large bowl:

1/2 Cup mixed rolled grains (If you don’t have mixed grains available, just use old fashioned, slow cooking oatmeal.)

7GrainMix
Triticale, /trɪtɪˈkeɪliː/ is a hybrid of wheat and rye first bred in laboratories during the late 19th century in Scotland and Sweden.

2 Cups boiling water
2 Tablespoons butter

Pickle1
Stir this until it’s lukewarm.

Add:

1 tablespoon gluten (if you don’t have gluten available, use only 1 Cup of dark rye AKA Pumpernickel and 2 cups of whole wheat)
1/4 cup powdered milk (optional)
1/2 cup sourdough starter
2 tablespoons dill pickle brine (liquid leftover from a jar of dill pickles)

Pickle2
Gluten comes as a powder, and should be sifted in with at least 1 cup of whole wheat flour.

I cup whole wheat flour (unless you did not add gluten, in which case, add 2 cups of whole wheat.)

2 cups (approximately) dark rye flour AKA pumpernickel  (unless you did not add gluten, in which case, add only 1 cup dark rye flour.)

Stir very well, until a soft, smooth dough forms. “Knead” it a few times using the stretch and turn method. Cover tightly and let it sit for at least 2 hours. It will rise, but probably won’t double in size.

Picklle3
This is what mine looked like when it was ready to be kneaded in the stand mixer.

Knead in up to another 1 cup of dark rye flour and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. (It may take a little more or a little less flour, depending on the humidity and the water content of your flour.) You want it to just kiss your hand. (In a stand mixer or bread machine, knead it for no more than 10 minutes total.)

Shape it into a ball and let it rise and spread until double in size. (about 2 hours)

Preheat your oven to 400° F.   Slash , and bake for 20 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350° F and bake until done — about another 30 minutes.

SourdoughPumpernickelSliced
A fine example of bread that’s been cut too soon… My husband wanted a Reuben Sandwich less than 5 minutes after removing the bread from the oven. By the time I was done eating *my* sandwich, and went back to get a better picture, showing the proper crumb of the bread the entire loaf had been eaten…. Oh well, it tasted good.
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