Dark Pumpernickel Rye Bread

My love affair with Pumpernickel began when I arrived in the United States twenty some odd years back and the romance to this date is still going strong. Me and my Pumpernickel are quite the pair. When it is sold out at the farmer's market or local baker's, to say I feel a sense of betrayal might be an exaggeration, but I get a sinking feeling of deep disappointment. My heart is set on Pumpernickel and I can't pick a second 'yeasted' best. Don't they know to reserve it?! I would appreciate it!

Just when I thought our relationship couldn't grow any deeper, my flame was re-ignited, intensified, as I took it to the next level, baking not one but a few loaves throughout the week and weekend. The sensation even started at the very first steps of mixing the dry ingredients. As the waft of onion powder particles were floating in a cloud above the bowl from a 'woosh' of that extra dash I added for good measure.
As I wonder if the cocoa would taste chocolate-y or bitter, just to watch my fears dissipate into thin air as my dough evolves into a dark delicious beauty, no bitter edge, only good ole' Pumpernickel self. Speaking of love there was no long lost one between me and molasses, but it did indeed enhance my Pumpernickel. I did however, for my peace of mind, use organic molasses for my fling with this gooey substance.
As most of you are well aware of my professional collaboration with Red Star Yeast, I thought how fun would it be within that realm of collaboration to do a rye bread series. This is the second installment in the series. The first one, if you missed it, was Marbled Rye Bread.
Please read all instructions and cook's notes below before proceeding. Original recipe for small, medium and large loaves can be found at Red Star Yeast's site here. Directions in original recipe are also for bread machine, mixer and food processor methods.

Dark Pumpernickel Rye Bread
Medium loaf

Red Star Yeast original recipe

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brewed coffee, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons dark molasses
1 1/4 cups bread flour
1 cup medium rye flour
5 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Sugar in the Raw or regular sugar
3/4-1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 1/4oz packet)
Touch of canola oil

Optional:
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Combine 1 cup bread flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, onion powder, and yeast in a mixer bowl. (Reserve 1/4 cup bread flour and all of the rye four.) Combine liquid ingredients and heat to 120° to 130° F in a separate bowl.

Combine dry mixture and liquid ingredients in mixing bowl with paddle attachment for 4 minutes on medium speed. Gradually add rye flour and enough of the reserved 1/4 cup of bread flour to form a firm dough. Knead with dough hook 5 to 7 minutes to a moist, supple, elastic and smooth consistency.

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. It has to be only a slight film of oil. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe, about 1 hour. Punch down dough to remove air bubbles and shape dough into a round loaf. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or a parchment paper lined 8-inch layer cake pan. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in warm place until indentation remains after touching (about 30 minutes). Bake in preheated 400° F oven for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Optional: Combine 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch; heat to boiling. Five minutes before the loaf is finished baking, remove from oven and brush top with cornstarch glaze. Sprinkle with caraway seeds, if desired. Return to oven and bake approximately five more minutes until glaze is glossy and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool before slicing.

Cook's notes:
1. In all batches I added 1/4 teaspoon onion powder extra to the 3/4 teaspoon called for in the medium loaf for a total of 1 teaspoon onion powder.
2. In half of the batches I added 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds, reminiscent of how I like my Pumpernickel bread and bagels with that extra caraway texture and flavor. In the other half of the batches I stayed seedless, true to original recipe.
3. You could add as little as 3/4-1 teaspoon salt.
4. I like my dough moist and supple. 1/4 cup of the extra reserved flour is enough. My mantra is moist and supple dough.
5. I criss crossed some loaves, some loaves I didn't, as you can see, just before baking.
6. In all loaves I brushed with water cornflour mix five minutes before bread was done baking as suggested in the recipe. It does lift the sheen and exterior of the loaf from a mat look.
7.  Water boiling point is at 212F (at sea level) so 130F will register at warm. Boiling point is affected by altitude and impurities in water. I brew the coffee then add the molasses and oil and let it cool and come to a warm 130F temperature.
8. I used canola oil but original recipe calls for any vegetable oil.
8. I used organic molasses as I haven't used molasses in years and I felt much more comfortable being reintroduced to it in an organic form.
10. Baking time suggested was too long in my oven. My loaf was ready at 25-30 minute mark.
  
Red Star Yeast Series:
Marbled  Rye Bread
Cinnamon Buns
Multi-Grain Oatmeal Bread
Yeast Pancakes