Howard wrote:The request for a pumpernickel recipe got me to thinking about what exactly IS pumpernickel. Turns out it's not so clearly difined. Some say it's just highly flavored dark rye bread. According to the Wikepedia,
"Traditional German pumpernickel contains no coloring agents (such as molasses), instead relying on the Maillard reaction to produce the characteristic deep brown color, sweet dark chocolate coffee flavor, and earthy aroma. Loaves produced in this manner require 16 to 24 hours of baking in a low temperature (about 250°F or 120°C) steam-filled oven."
Anyone have any experience baking bread with this technique?
Also, one theory about the name says that it's based on the German "pumpen" or flatulence and Nickel from one of the various names for the devil.
And before you say anything, if I can't be a food geek here, then where?
Bob Ross wrote:I love the various theories about the derivation of this word. There's a punctured balloon about the French naming it after horse food on their march to Moscow at Words@Random.
The same source prefers a variant of the theory you cite:
Pumpernickel 'a coarse, dark, slightly sour bread made of unbolted rye', is from German, as one might expect. The word was originally used in German as an insulting term for anyone considered disagreeable. Its elements are pumpern 'to break wind', and Nickel 'a goblin; devil; rascal', originally a nickname from Nicholas. Pumpernickel, in other words, literally means 'farting bastard'.
See also the entry at [url=http://www.snopes.com/language/stories/pumper.htm[url]Snopes[/url]. [I like the little Snopes reference page which will lead you to the search engine.]
The OED has no truck with either theory:
[G., also pompernickel (in use 1663); also (earlier) a lout, a booby. Origin uncertain.]
Bread made (in Germany) from coarsely ground unbolted rye; wholemeal rye bread: associated esp. with Westphalia.
[The name was app. unknown in F. Moryson's time: cf. Itin. (1617) III. 50 That West-Phalians deuoure..browne bread (vulgarly cranck broat, that is, sicke bread).]
1756 NUGENT Gr. Tour, Germ. II. 80 Their bread is of the very coarsest kind, ill baked, and as black as a coal, for they never sift their flour. The people of the country call it Pompernickel.
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