Homemade Pumpernickel Bread

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 15 min. + cooling


1 mini loaf (4 pieces)

Updated: Aug. 17, 2023
This light homemade pumpernickel bread is our absolute favorite. It uses molasses rather than sugar, and rye and whole wheat flour instead of white. Unsweetened chocolate is the secret ingredient that makes the taste outstanding! —Julie Wesson, Wilton, Wisconsin


  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat stick margarine, softened
  • 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup rye flour
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup whole wheat flour


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the molasses, margarine, chocolate, vinegar, salt, rye flour and 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Shape into a round loaf. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. With a sharp knife, make three shallow slashes across the top of loaf. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  4. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Homemade Pumpernickel Bread Tips

How do you store homemade pumpernickel bread?

Once it has cooled completely, store your homemade bread at room temperature in an airtight tin or container for up to 3 days.

What can you use if you don't have any rye flour?

In pumpernickel bread, there's honestly no substitute for the flavor of rye flour. However, if you're out of rye flour or do not prefer it, you can use whole wheat flour or even buckwheat flour instead. Here's our guide to some of the more common types of flour.

What can you do if the homemade pumpernickel bread dough is too sticky?

Kneading bread dough, especially a sticky one, can be tricky! Even so, avoid the temptation to add lots of extra flour to the dough, which risks the bread becoming tough. It can be helpful to lightly dust the work surface and your hands with a thin coating of flour before kneading. You can also use butter or cooking spray to grease your hands, too.

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 145 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 4g fiber), 4g protein.