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Sourdough Pumpernickel

Try this flavorful bread on your Thanksgiving table…

1 1/2 cups active sourdough starter*
2 tablespoons caraway seeds, chopped
2 cups unsifted rye flour
1/2 cup boiling black coffee
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup dry skim milk
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons melted shortening
1/2 cup whole milk
2 3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 package active dry yeast

Pour boiling coffee over chopped caraway seeds. Let the mixture cool and then add it to the rye flour and starter, which have previously been mixed well. Let stand for 4 to 8 hours in a warm place, preferably overnight. Then add the molasses, dry milk, salt, shortening, liquid milk, unbleached flour and yeast. Mix well. Cover the bowl and let rise to double. Then knead on floured board and shape into two round loaves on baking sheet. Let rise until double again and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Serves 10.

* What's sourdough starter? It's a mixture of flour, water and a yeast culture. And you can make it yourself. Here's what you'll need:

1-1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 cup spring water

1. To prepare the starter, place the milk in a mixing bowl.
2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk.
3. Whisk in the honey and 1-1/2 cups of the flour.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature (72 to 76 degrees F.) for 72 hours (3 days).
5. After 72 hours, stir in the 1/4 cup water and whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup flour.
6. Cover again with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours; the mixture should be bubbly and have a sour, tangy aroma and taste.
7. Remove the amount of starter the recipe calls for and set aside.

8. Transfer the remaining starter to a sterile' glass jar and replenish it by mixing in 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup flour. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


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