Pumpernickel rolls

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

A recipe from the Good Food collection.


90 g (3¼ oz/¼ cup) molasses

30 g (1 oz) unsalted butter

3 teaspoons active dried yeast

30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

1½ tablespoons caraway seeds

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 teaspoon sea salt

300 g (10½ oz/3 cups) rye flour, plus extra, for dusting

375 g (13 oz/3 cups) strong flour


1. Put the molasses, butter and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the butter has melted, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

2. Combine the yeast, cocoa powder, sugar, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, salt and 200 g (7 oz/2 cups) of the rye flour in a large bowl. Pour in the butter mixture and, using a wooden spoon, mix until well combined. Mix in the remaining rye and strong flour, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

3. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turning to coat in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a draught-free place for 45–60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

4. Knock back the dough by punching it gently, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 even portions (or 16 if making dinner rolls). Shape each portion into a round, then roll to form an oval shape.

5. Transfer the rolls to two greased baking trays and dust the tops with extra rye flour. Using a sharp, lightly floured knife, make three 1 cm (½ inch) deep cuts across the top of each roll. Cover with a damp tea towel (dish towel) and leave to rise in a draught-free place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

6. Bake the dinner rolls for 25–30 minutes, and the lunch rolls for 35 minutes, or until they sound hollow when tapped on the base. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

7. Pumpernickel rolls are best eaten the day they are made, but can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks.