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My homemade pumpernickel bread is too dense

I baked pumpernickel bread for the first time. It came out really dense but the flavor is great. Unfortunately the rest of my family believes it is too dense to eat. How can I lighten it? I used rye flour, bread flour and wheat bran with cocoa powder and molasses as sweeteners.

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Monita_photo

Monita is a recipe tester for Food52 and a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

It may not be your ingredients but other steps in the preparation process. For example:
1) Was the yeast good and did it proof before using it?
2) Was the dough kneaded until smooth and bounced back?
3) Did rise properly - did it over-rise?
4) did the dough get too hot while rising?

fearlessem added over 1 year ago

In general the pumpernickle breads I've been successful with have included additional Vital Wheat Gluten. Because Rye flour is low in gluten, it is difficult to get the gluten development that provides structure for the bread to rise (and get less dense).

NLS added over 1 year ago

Thank you both. I didn't use wheat gluten -maybe that was the problem. I will also monitor the rise more carefully. I'm new to baking bread but have been successful with plain white loaves. This weekend, second attempt!!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 1 year ago

I second fearlessem's response. I always add gluten when using more than a tiny percentage of any non-wheat flour, for just this reason. I also allow for a longer rising, as that seems to help. ;o)

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