Pumpernickel Rye Wreath


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rye flour
2 tsp. granular yeast
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. caraway seeds
1/2 cup liquid  sourdough starter (room temperature)*
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil
1 egg separated
1 tbsp. water
OPTIONAL: a small round brie or camembert cheese and sliced almonds for center


1. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with a small greased custard cup in the middle. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the whole wheat flour, cocoa, salt and caraway seeds.
3. In another bowl dissolve the molasses and yeast in the warm water. Stir in the sourdough starter and egg yolk.
4. Mix in the melted butter or coconut oil. Beat in the rye flour mixing thoroughly.
5. Let the above mixture (called a sponge) rest in a warm place, loosely covered until doubled. (3 hrs)
6. When fully risen incorporate the whole wheat mixture and knead well about 5-10 minutes.
7. Dough should be soft and elastic but not too sticky. Let rest 10 min. Knead briefly again and let rise until double. When risen punch down and divide evenly into three pieces.
8. Roll each piece into a 25 inch (55 cm.) rope. Starting from the middle braid each side.
9. Now carefully arrange the braid around the greased custard cup to form a wreath. Cover loosely with wax paper and a clean dishtowel and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 1-2 hrs. When dough has risen, brush the braid with the reserved egg white beaten with 1 tbsp. water.
10. Bake the wreath in a 170deg C (350deg F) preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or when bread sounds hollow when gently tapped. Carefully loosen wreath from the pan and let cool slightly on a wire rack.

To serve: If desired brush cheese with a little of the egg white mixture and sprinkle with the almonds.
Place it on a cookie sheet under the broiler for not more than 60 seconds to soften the cheese and toast the almonds. Place in the middle of the pumpernickel rye wreath (you might have to cut a slice out first to ease it in).

*Tip: To make your own starter ahead of time see my Oct. 9th post.

Pumpernickel Rye Dough

Cut into three pieces

Roll into three ropes

Start braiding from the center

Finished braid

Wrap braid around greased custard cup