Dark, dense and slightly sweet, Danish pumpernickel bread is often made with a sourdough starter. This variation uses a more simplified method and contains a mixture of both rye and wheat flour to lighten the taste and make it slightly less dense. Serve in thin slices topped with crème fraiche, smoked salmon, dill and/or poached egg or toast it and serve with lashings of butter – I challenge you to stop at just one slice!






Skill level

Average: 4 (23 votes)


  • 300 g (2 cups) rye flour
  • 250 g (1⅔ cups) bread or pizza flour (see Notes)
  • 70 g (½ cup) rye flakes (see Notes)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500 ml boiling water
  • 40 g butter, melted
  • 2½ tbsp treacle plus 1 tsp extra, to glaze
  • 1½ tsp caraway seeds
  • 7 g (1 sachet) dried yeast
  • melted butter, to grease
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Combine the rye and bread flours, rye flakes and the salt in a large bowl. Pour over the boiling water and mix quickly with a wooden spoon to a dough. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until cooled to luke warm.

Pour the butter and treacle over the dough, sprinkle with the caraway seeds and yeast and then use your hands to mix until well combined.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and turn to coat in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight to prove.

Grease a 10.5 cm x 21 cm (base measurement) loaf tin with melted butter. Punch the centre of the dough down with your fist and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Shape into a log about 10 long and place in the greased loaf pan, pressing down to fill it. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until risen slightly

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the extra 1 tsp of treacle and ½ tsp water and brush over the top of the loaf. Sprinkle with combined pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour-1 hour 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

Stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool. Serve in thin slices.


•    Bread and pizza flour (also known as “strong” flour) has a higher gluten content than regular plain flour. This type of flour is more suited to use in yeast-based bread recipes like this loaf. It helps compensate for the low gluten content of rye flour and will help give a better final texture (the resulting bread will be more "bread-like" with a slightly chewy texture).
•    Rye flakes, also known as rolled rye, are whole grains of rye that have been steamed or roasted and then rolled (as rolled oats are). They are available from health food and specialty food stores.
•    This bread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days – the flavour and texture will actually improve with time. To freeze, either slice or leave whole and seal in a freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature or toast slices straight from the freezer.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Trish Hegarty. Food preparation by Wendy Quisumbing.


This recipe is from our online column, Bakeproof: Danish baking.