The texture of this loaf is medium-light making is perfect for sandwiches and toasting. The overnight rise makes this pumpernickel easier to knead than most rye recipes. Hints: Spray the loaves with water to develop a good thick crust. Rye flour can make for a heavy bread, so don't force in more of the white flour than required to handle the dough. If you don't want the shininess or the caraway seeds of the glaze, that step can be omitted.
SOUR PUMPERNICKEL BREAD FIRST DAY PREP: Make up the sponge by combining in a large bowl all the first-day ingredients, mixing in the flour 1 cup at a time until the mixture is wet and smooth. Cover with a wet towel and allow to stand overnight in a draft free place.
At least 12 hours later, stir the sponge down to its original size. Sprinkle the salt and soda over the surface, then stir in. Stir in the rye flour. Pour 1 C. of the white flour over your kneading boards, scrape the batter onto it, and knead the flour in. Then knead in the caraway seeds. This dough never completely stops sticking, so you can expect to use another 1/2 C. of white flour to sprinkle the board and your hands as you knead for another 5 min. to achieve a dough that can just be handled. Grease two baking sheets and sprinkle them with white cornmeal. Tap the sheets to spread the cornmeal evenly.
Divide the dough into thirds and shape into three oblong loaves. Place two loaves on one sheet and one loaf on the other, leaving room between the loaves for spreading. With a sharp knife or single-edge razor, slash each loaf diagonally with three slashes, 1/4 to 1/2-inch deep. Cover the loaves with a dry linen dish towel and put into a warm, draft-free place to rise for 2-3 hours. The loaves will look well risen and the slashes will gape wide. Gently, slash again into the same slashes, but only 1/8" deep. Spray the loaves with water.
Starting in a cold oven set at 375^, bake for 40 minutes. After the loaves have been in the oven for 10 min., pull forward and spray them again with water. After 30 min., apply the glaze: Mix the egg yolk and water together, brush thinly over the loaves with a pastry brush, then quickly sprinkle with caraway seeds. After 40 min., when the loaves are =almost= done, shut off the oven and allow to sit in the closed oven for another 10 minutes. This AVOIDS scorching. Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.
SOURCE: BAKE YOUR OWN BREAD, F&S Dworkin From The Cookie-Lady's Files REformatted for MM:dianeE 6/29/93 ----