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Pumpernickel and the Maillard Reaction


annecros
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I've been venturing into pastry and baking lately. I ran across this treatise concerning pumpernickel.

Click here

from the site:

Pumpernickel bread is made from rye meal, salt, water and sourdough starter in a baking process which takes at least 16 hours!

The color and sweet -sour pungent taste and smell is produced by the special baking process where the the grain starches are changed by the Maillard Reaction (new window ) and give this bread its unique properties.

Other ingredients for coloring or sweetening like molasses, cacao, coffee, sugar, yeast, wheat flour, corn, etc. would violate the honest and pure pumpernickel spirit and make the product unsellable as Pumpernickel in other countries.

To back up this claim, I quote (translated) from the German book "Baking Product Manufacturing Technology" (Technologie der Backwarenherstellung) - also available in US as translation (Baking: The Art and Science) under section

"Special Breads with particular Baking procedures"

Pumpernickel - crustless full grain or cracked grain bread

Typical for pumpernickel is steamed baking for at least 16 hours in a steamed baking chamber. The bread obtains as a consequence of the conversion of starch decomposition products and browning by Maillard Reaction its dark, juicy, sweet-aromatic crumb. The addition of browning or sweetening substances is not allowed.

Umm, I have been using molasses, and once cacao, I think. :blink:

I read it through, and am not sure I understand how it works. I understand how it works on a steak - the Maillard Reaction - but I did not expect to encounter it in bread baking.

The point may be moot, as I do not have a steamed baking chamber that can bake bread for 16 hours. But, I feel like I need to understand what is happening.

And, starch is just another word for sugar? Yes, or no?

Those pumpernickel baking Oma's were the bomb. Two days nursing a loaf of traditional Italian seems like a mini marathon to me now. Pumpernickel was a weekly duty to them. My hat is off. :biggrin:

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Sugar is not starch.

Sugars are components of starch. Starch is many sugar molecules joined together.

Like most chemical reactions the rate of the Maillard reaction is temperature dependant. WHile it happens quickly at roasting temperatures, in the internal temperature of the bread it is slow.

Thus many add products with like molasses that provide the colour and some of the roasted flavours instead of baking for the 16 hours plus.

Here is a Danish rye bread I like a lot: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1483924

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Bread dough, and rye gluten specifically, contains amino acids and sugars in the form of protein and starch. Add some heat and you get the Maillard reaction. When your bread is done and you toast a slice, it's Maillard again. Grilled meat or toasted bread, it's pretty much the same tasty process.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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So it is the slow application of the heat, and not the yeast's action to break down the gluten, that is the trick?

I always considered steam to be a great crust maker, but maybe not.

Well, maybe it's both.

How does rye gluten differ from wheat gluten?

Thanks for humoring me in my ignorance!

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Caramelisation is a different reaction to Maillard reaction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction Maillard reactions need an amino acid, a reducing sugar and alkaline conditions.

Caramelisation is oxidation of sugars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caramelization a different process.

Hot steam in the first few minutes of a bake does indeed make a great crust. It gelatanises the surface starch, making more of it available for the other browning reactions. It mostly a mechanical rather than chemical reaction.

Rye glutens are in the same family as wheat glutes, but less strong and stickier, so typical rye bread structure is more based on complex polysaccharides, including rye starch and pentosans.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Ah, so the almost blistered, super shiny finish I get on the long risen Italian is due to gelatnization. Makes sense. Water and egg white wash, and steam from ice being dumped into a cast iron pan.

"polysaccharides" would translate to complex sugars?

So the Malliard reaction in relation to pumpernickel is an inside out toasting? So to speak?

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Crust chemistry is very complex. The egg white will give shinyness, and also amino acids for the Maillard reaction.

I prefer not ice but water, but care of the burst of hot steam - shut the door fast.

Polysaccharides are carbohydrates like starch that are complex molecules built from many sugar molecules joined together, not just higher order sugars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbohydrate

For Pumpernickel you can think of it as a long slow toasting or roasting, developing toasty flavours.

rummages in old posts...here are some other crust treatments

DSC00136.JPG

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Bread is so interesting. I really am opening a horizon for myself here.

I see egg wash defined as a whole egg and water - and also defined as strictly egg white and a lot more water. I would think the yolk would add fat, the white protein.

Now see, with my limited knowledge, I thought of baking as a brutal high temp dip into hell.

It isn't always, I suppose!

Thank you.

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I meant to add you may have noticed the characterisitic dark colour and fine bubbles in the crust of a long retarded dough (overnight in he fridge, for example before baking). The dark colour is due to extra sugars from breakdown of the surface starch and the fine blistering from gas exchange from CO2 to air in the suface cells

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I meant to add you may have noticed the characterisitic dark colour and fine bubbles in the crust of a long retarded dough (overnight in he fridge, for example before baking).  The dark colour is due to extra sugars from breakdown of the surface starch and the fine blistering from gas exchange from CO2 to air in the suface cells

It was overnight in the fridge. Lovely crust.

How did they accomplish that without the fridge? On the windowsill?

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