I made these biscuits to go with my Corn and Cheddar Cheese Chowder. I loved them, and even though I don’t think they are the most photogenic biscuits around, they have a really interesting earthy flavor and a tender texture. Pumpernickel bread is a traditional German peasant bread, made with dark rye flour. My biscuits aren’t nearly as dark as authentic pumpernickel, which gets its color either as a result of a long elaborate baking process, or, in the case of store bought loaves, the addition of caramel coloring. I used only half rye flour and half all purpose to maintain a light texture, but they do have the classic elements of pumpernickel bread — the rye, molasses, and dark unsweetened cocoa powder, along with the caraway seeds. You don’t taste the cocoa as such, it just adds a little mystery to the flavor profile. These were perfect with the creamy chowder and make having soup for dinner a little bit special. I’ve been experimenting for a while with whole grain biscuits and I have to say I’m loving the combination of the hearty grains with the tender crumb of a classic biscuit. It’s an easy choice when you want to put some kind of bread on the table but don’t have much time.
Dark rye flour is a little more difficult to find, which is why it’s nice that there are so many online sources. I’ve finally decided that the free 2-day shipping of Amazon Prime is worth it to me since I am always looking for usual food products and cooking supplies and it just isn’t worth the frustration or the gas to try to track them down individually. With the quick free shipping I can have almost anything I want in my kitchen in a couple of days. Cool.
- 1 1/2 cups dark rye flour
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (I like Hershey's Special Dark)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups (12 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- caraway seeds
- Set oven the 425F
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse to combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add in the pieces of cold butter, pulsing the machine about 20-30 times until the butter is incorporated.
- Stir the buttermilk and molasses together to completely mix the two. Slowly pour the liquid into the flour while pulsing the machine. Pulse just until the mixture comes together and holds together when pressed between your fingers. It will be crumbly.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and bring together by kneading just lightly.
- Pat or roll out to a disk about 8 inches round. Use a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to cut out 7 or 8 biscuits. You will need to reform the dough once for the last one or two.
- Set the biscuits on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and set in the refrigerator or freezer while you clean up. This will re-chill the butter for a better texture.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until risen.
- Brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle with caraway seeds.
- These biscuits are best when they are still warm.