Positively Perfect Gluten Free Pumpernickel

Positively Perfect Gluten Free Pumpernickel

If you have a copy of my gfJules™ Bread Baking e-book, I hope you have already put this gluten free pumpernickel recipe to good use! If you don’t have my e-book, welcome to a whole new world of gluten free bread baking with a sneak peak of one of the recipes you’ll find inside.

gluten free pumpernickel loaf gfJules.com

This gluten free pumpernickel recipe will turn everything you knew (or thought you knew) about gluten free bread on its head … in the best possible way: the dough is as wet as cake batter; the ingredients are crazy; the loaf size is huge; the bread is moist enough to be sliced so thinly you can almost see through it; and the crumb is soft and pliable and it stays that way for days. I also offer directions to bake in a bread machine or in an oven — your call.

gluten free pumpernickel cucumber

In other words, this gluten free pumpernickel just might become your new favorite gluten free bread for sandwiches or just for munching! I feel a cucumber sandwich coming on!

Gluten Free Pumpernickel Hummus-SandwichEnjoy this aromatic homemade gluten free pumpernickel while its baking and for days of sandwiches thereafter!

Homemade Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread gfJules.com

gluten free pumpernickel loaf gfJules.com

Positively Perfect Gluten Free Pumpernickel

Yield: 1 3-lb loaf
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes


  • ½ cup water or plain yogurt
  • ½ cup apple cider (or apple juice or gluten free beer)
  • 2 large eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 3 Tbs. molasses (or dark agave nectar or pure maple syrup)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups gfJules™ All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat or millet flour (certified gluten-free)
  • ¼ cup milk powder, dairy or non-dairy NOT reconstituted (Coconut Milk Powder) or almond meal
  • 3 Tbs. granulated cane sugar (or granulated unrefined sugar like coconut palm)
  • 1 Tbs. cocoa powder (unsweetened, not “Dutched”)
  • 1 ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 -2 tsp. orange peel, grated (optional)
  • 2 ¼ tsp. rapid rise yeast (1 packet) (Red Star® Quick Rise)


Mixer/Oven Method:

Bring all wet ingredients to room temperature (including eggs). Mix eggs, molasses, oil and cider vinegar in a large mixing bowl.  Combine dry ingredients, including yeast, in a separate bowl and whisk well.

Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet, adding the apple cider and water last to keep the flours in the bowl while mixing.  Continue to mix on medium speed until all lumps are smooth, approximately 3-5 minutes. The batter will be very wet like a cake batter, not like a typical bread dough.

Meanwhile prepare one 9×5 inch bread pan and three mini loaf pans, or two 9×5 inch bread pans or one 12×4 1/2 inch bread pan by oiling well. Pour batter into pans, but do not fill more than 2/3 full.  Cover with oiled parchment paper and allow to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place like an oven set to 200F then turned off. Watch to be sure the loaves do not rise above the top of the pans.

Preheat oven to 350°F (static) or 325°F (convection) and bake mini loaves for 15-20 minutes, larger loaves for 35-40 minutes, removing only when internal temperature is 205-210°F and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before removing to finish cooling on a wire rack.  Slice once cooled.  Keep fully cooled loaves in a zip-top bag at room temperature.

Bread machine method (3lb loaf):

*This recipe makes a large loaf, so set your bread machine to its largest loaf setting (3lbs if that's an option). Because of the size of the loaf, a typical bread machine cycle may not bake it all the way through. Be prepared to add time at the end of the bake cycle, either on the machine if it will allow it, or by preheating your oven to 350° F and moving the bread pan to the preheated oven to add bake time.

The bread may sink in the middle somewhat (I've made several of these breads in various breadmakers, and they sometimes look a little funny on the top edge (a little like bat's ears - my kids love it, actually!), but the crumb is still gorgeous and the loaf should still cook all the way through, once it's reached an internal temperature of 205 - 210° F).

For those of you who have the T-fal® Breadmaker I recommend, the loaf below was baked in that machine. The gluten-free cycle does a great job and no time needs to be added.

Bring all wet ingredients to room temperature, whisk together, then pour into the bread pan. Whisk together dry ingredients (except for yeast) in a separate bowl, then pour on top of the wet ingredients in the pan.  Make a well in the center with your finger, then pour in yeast.

Set bread maker to gluten-free bread setting, OR, if your machine does not have a gluten-free setting, use “Dough” setting or a setting for mixing and rising only. Do not let the machine “punch-down” the bread or set for second rise. After rising, set machine to “Bake” for 60 minutes.

Remove only when the bread has come to an internal temperature of 205-210°F. If necessary, add bake time to the bread machine or when finished the bread machine cycle, finish baking in an oven preheated to 350°F.

Leave bread in the pan for 5-10 minutes before inverting gently to remove. Finish cooling on a wire rack and slice when cooled. Keep fully cooled loaves in a zip-top bag at room temperature.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Pin it for later!

This Gluten Free Pumpernickel recipe will make your day! Oven or bread machine directions -- either turns out this beautiful, moist, flavorful loaf!

Homemade Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread gfJules.com
Homemade Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread gfJules.com

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78 thoughts on “Positively Perfect Gluten Free Pumpernickel

  1. I made this recipe yesterday and while I love the test t did not rise and cannot be used for sandwiches. I followed the recipe including warming the oven at 200 (& then turning it off) but nothing. The yeast was recently bought. I used the plain yogurt instead of water, and the buckwheat flour.
    What could have gone wrong. Cooked in 2 of the 9 x 5 bread pans.

    • Hi Sheila, thanks for sharing your recipe notes. Any other ingredient substitutions? Did you use my gfJules Flour? Egg substitutes? What kind of milk powder did you use? What was the consistency of the dough/batter before baking?
      If the loaves didn’t rise at all, even though the yeast was recently bought, I would still look to the yeast as the problem. Check out this article on yeast and next time proof the yeast first to be sure it’s not an issue with inactive yeast.

  2. Here’s an idea to get more of a deli rye type of flavor. Instead of water/yogurt and the cider, you can replace both with a gf dark stout (I use Steadfast oatmeal stout). I would cut the molasses in half, skip the cocoa and orange peel. I would use half of the caraway seed and also add a tsp of dry dill weed and 2 tsp dried minced onion.

    • Hi Dale, yes I really do like the T-fal Bread Machine. I use it for most of my gluten free bread baking when I’m doing bread tests so that I have a constant I can test against. It’s a solid machine for a reasonable cost. Have you seen my review?

  3. Pingback: Easy, no fuss Smoked Salmon Sandwich! - We Care Healthcare

    • That’s a high complement, Janet!! Thank you so much, and congratulations on a wonderful loaf of gluten free bread!!!

  4. I’d love to try this recipe but when I checked out your flour blend it includes corn, which I can’t have. Would this work with another brand of GF flour blend?

    • Hi Wanda, what kind of machine do you have? Can you program it for a longer bake or can you add a just bake setting at the end? This does make a large loaf, and where the bread machines run into trouble isn’t so much in it spilling over as in not getting cooked all the way through. You can certainly halve it, but the loaf will be much smaller and the bake time on the machine will likely be too long unless you can set it for a 1 1/2 lb loaf.

      • I have a Hamilton Beach HomeBaker Breadmaker. I’ve checked the manual since I’m
        a newbie. and I do have the option to bake. I also have an instant thermometer so I’m going to try the full recipe and bake more. Worst case scenario is that I’ll use the bread for a Reuben casserole 😊 thanks for the links/tips. My daughter has requested pumpernickel and I’m determined!

  5. Thank you so much for this recipe! I tried another one that I found online and it was terrible. I threw it away (which is something I don’t do). I tried your recipe and was so happy! It actually tastes like real bread! Not cardboard! I need to try more of your recipes. Thank you SO much!!! NOTE: I was surprised that the yeast isn’t put into warm water first. So interesting but it worked!

    • So glad you didn’t give up, Christie!! And yay for great gluten free pumpernickel! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know how much you liked this recipe!

      • Did you come up with the idea of doing the yeast this way? I’m just so curious why it works! I’ve done so much baking and have never seen this.

    • Hi Patricia, you should be able to make this recipe into a round loaf, although I’ve not tried it yet myself. The dough for this bread is very thin and wet — much more like a batter, so you want to make sure you don’t make the round size too small, requiring it to rise very tall without support. Another recipe to try is my gluten free Boule Bread!

    • Hi Yvonne, I haven’t adapted the recipe for use with my bread mix yet, so as of now, no. I hope you have some of my gfJules Flour on hand so you can make it soon, though!

  6. Hi Jules,

    I did your pita bread recipe using your flour and substituting the eggs (Bob’s Egg Replacer) and the oil (apple sauce). The result was great, even without the course salt, which I cannot use. What a treat.

    I plan to move on to try your other breads. I have no choice but to substitute the oil and egg. Will it also work with apple sauce (equivalent amount? Thank you so much.

    • Hi Ginette – I’m so happy you enjoyed success with my pita recipe, even with those substitutions. In this recipe there is not much oil, so that should be ok to use applesauce, but it’s important that the recipe not be too liquid-y, since it already is a very wet batter. I haven’t worked with that egg replacer before, but usually enjoy flaxseed meal + water as an egg replacer in my yeast breads. Please let me know how it goes so others who may need to avoid those ingredients will also learn what works best in this recipe. Good luck!

  7. Just made this today. Oh. Boy. This. Bread. It is seriously delicious, even my picky hubby said so! He. Left to the vet, to pick up our ???? up, who had bad teeth, poor ????, when he came back, first words out of his mouth, any left? Hah! I cut the recipe in half, because it is only the 2 of us, he wants his share lololol!