This gluten free pumpernickel bread recipe makes the most flavorful gluten free sourdough sandwich bread. It’s a healthy, vegan, gluten free loaf made with whole grain flours like buckwheat flour, teff flour, brown rice flour, seeds and without added commercial yeast.
Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread
Looking for a pumpernickel gluten free bread recipe, you’ve come to the right place. This is my version of gluten free pumpernickel bread made with only wholesome ingredients which yields a deep brown color, sweet, “dark chocolate / coffee” flavor and earthy aroma.
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Is The Original Pumpernickel Bread Gluten Free?
Unfortunately, no. Rye flour (the main ingredient) contains less gluten than wheat flour but still has gluten.
Before going gluten free, it was favorite bread. But it wasn’t long until I figured out a way to come up with a gluten free pumpernickel bread recipe, because I miss it too much!
Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread With Sourdough Flavor
The recipe requires a gluten free sourdough starter, if you already have one, great! You’re almost set to bake. If you don’t, no worries. You can learn how to make a sourdough starter and bread very easily..
The original Pumpernickel bread is usually made from only coarse rye grains and dark rye flour, therefore a substantial starter is needed. The sourdough is taking a few days to rise the bread.
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But since this is a gluten free sourdough pumpernickel bread recipe I replaced the rye with buckwheat flour and teff flour. They both have that earthy flavor and color.
In order to avoid the commercial yeast I’m using my gluten free sourdough starter (brown rice based) – it will bring out the perfect sourdough flavor. I use the same starter for my regular gluten free sourdough bread recipe.
The traditional pumpernickel bread is also baked for 16 to 20 hours in a steam oven. In order to produce a very dark color, and a soft crust.
Fortunately my gluten free pumpernickel sourdough bread recipe requires about 8 to 10 hours of waiting the dough to rise and another 60-70 minutes of baking.
Easy Gluten Free Sourdough Bread With Healthier Ingredients
Comparing to the traditional sourdough breads this recipe is easier to make and healthier because:
- There’s no kneading
- It’s made with whole grain flours, no starchy flours like potato or tapioca
- There’s no commercial yeast, no xanthan gum, no oil and no baking powder
- The bread is gluten free, dairy free and egg free (vegan).
Tips For Making Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread
1. The warmer the spot the quicker the bread will rise. The ideal temperature is somewhere between 75-85 F.
2. For the flour, use whole grain flours. Try to avoid overly starchy, gummy flours that have no nutritional value.
3. Not all flours are the same. It’s best not switch back and forth between brands when you first activate your starter. It’s too confusing and you won’t know where you went wrong. Also try to feed your starter with the same flour from which it’s made.
4. To make this gluten free pumpernickel loaf even more nutritious I also added ground pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds.
5. To get that distinctive pumpernickel dark flavor and color, use caraway seeds, coriander seeds and cacao powder. I’m sensitive to cacao so I used carob powder instead, which worked fine.
6. As binding agent (what usually gluten is) I used psyllium husk and flax meal. This combination provides more fiber, texture and flexibility to the final baked bread.
How To Store This Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread
To store, is best to slice the entire bread and place the slices in a plastic bag in the freezer. You can keep it for up to 4 months.
Or if you anticipate to eat the bread within 3-4 days, store it at room temperature in a sealed container.
To defrost just throw some slices in your toaster whenever you want fresh warm gluten free pumpernickel bread.
Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread Recipe (Sourdough, Vegan)
For Starter Activation
For Forming The Gluten Free Pumpernickel Loaf
- 1.5 cup buckwheat flour - organic
- 2/3 cup teff flour - organic
- 1/2 cup flax meal - (ground golden flax seeds)
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds - (ground like flour)
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds - (ground like flour)
- 2 tbsp psyllium husk
- 2 tbsp caraway seeds - (ground like flour)
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds - (ground like flour)
- 2 tbsp maple sugar - or coconut sugar
- 1.5 tbsp pink Himalayan salt - or 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 2.5 cups filtered water - (+2 or 3 tbsp more if needed)
- 2 tbsp cacao powder - (optional – for a more dark color) or carob powder
Activate And Bring To Room Temperature Your Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
- If you just bought your dehydrated gluten free sourdough starter, then read the instructions on how to activate in the booklet that comes with it, or read similar instructions in the notes below. If you don't have a starter, read how to make your own in this post.Once the starter is active (is bubbling regularly within a day of feeding) take the amount of starter you need (1 cup) and place it in a large bowl. The rest feed it and place it (back) in the fridge.
- Then to the gluten free starter add 1/3 cup of brown rice flour and 1/4 cup of water. Mix well. This step will activate the cold dormant starter that you just took out of the fridge. If your starter is thin and watery, use less water. Let the mixture sit in a warm (not hot) place for 3-4 hours until is light and bubbly. If it's cold in your house – then it might take 5-6 hours.
Form The Gluten Free Pumpernickel Dough
- Once the starter is ready and active (you can see when a starter has peaked because it will have a dome-shape on top) add the rest of ingredients.Mix to combine. The dough should look like a thick pancake batter or like a brownie batter. No kneading required.
- Prepare the baking pan by lining it with parchment paper, it will prevent sticking. I'm using an extendable baking tin. It has no bottom so it's easy to remove while baking. It extends in and out easily.Scrape the dough into the pan and smooth it out.
- Cover with a plastic wrap or a towel to seal moisture and let it rise in a warm place approximately 4-5 hours (it might take an hour or two longer during winter). It depends on how warm is your kitchen. If your place is cold it might need longer than that. Once I let it sit overnight (10 hours) but it was too much, and the dough deflated.
- Preheat oven at 425 degrees F (220 C).Once ready to bake, remove the wrap, cover with an aluminium foil to seal moisture (without touching it), turn the temperature down to 380 F (200 C) and bake for 30 minutes.
- Then remove the foil. At this time you can also remove the baking tin (for an even baking on all sides) and bake for another 40-50 minutes until it's not soft to the touch anymore.
- Allow to cool completely before handling or slicing! The longer the better. I usually slice it the next day and freeze it.
Tips For Making Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread
- To measure the flours I scoop the flour into the measuring cup then tap the cup once and then I use the back of a knife to level off the top. Do not dip the measuring cup into the flour, you’ll get more than you need.
- Sifting the flours will clear out any lumps and bring more air into the dough.
- The finished batter before baking should have the consistency of a thick pancake batter, I found the best results to be achieved when it looks like a thick oatmeal porridge. But be careful if it’s too thick it will not rise much. If it’s too thin it will not bake evenly in the middle, the texture will be more gummy.
- To store for longer periods of time (use your freezer), slice the entire bread and place the slices in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 4 months.
- To defrost just throw some slices in your toaster whenever you want a sandwich.
- Or if you anticipate to eat the bread within 3-4 days, store it at room temperature in a sealed container.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.
Enjoy this gluten free pumpernickel bread recipe and leave me a comment if you make it, I would love to hear your thoughts! Your feedback is super helpful for me and readers. Thank you!