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Pumpernickel Bread

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raw vegan gluten-free Pumpernickel Bread on a dehydrator tray

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

Pumpernickel is traditionally a dense, slightly sweet bread that is made with coarsely ground rye.   Well, I can’t say that there is anything “traditional” about the ingredients used in this recipe, but I promise you this… it doesn’t lack even a bit in the flavor department.

The look, texture, smell, and taste remind me precisely of pumpernickel bread.   The three most essential ingredients that give this recipe the pumpernickel flavor are the caraway seeds, espresso powder, and cacao.

If you are not able to eat oats, you can use raw buckwheat that has been sprouted, dehydrated, and ground into flour. Or you could even use more almonds.

The psyllium husks give the bread that great spongy texture, and I don’t recommend omitting it; you can, if you want, be aware that the composition will change.

I also used the almond pulp in the recipe; this is a by-product of making almond milk.  I highly recommend it because it helps the bread’s texture as well.

If you try something else out instead, keep me posted on how it goes.  I spent a great deal of time on fine-tuning this recipe, so I encourage you to make it as is the first time around, then experiment from there if you wish.

I paired this bread with my Vegan Leek & Herb Cheese, and it was downright delicious!!  I hope you give this recipe a try.  Many blessings and joy in the kitchen. amie Sue

raw vegan gluten-free Pumpernickel Bread displayed on barn woodIngredients:

yields 1 loaf


  1. In the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the oats and almonds, processing until they are a small mealy texture.
  2. Add flax, psyllium, caraway, espresso powder, cacao, coconut crystals, garlic, and salt.  Pulse together and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond pulp, zucchini, carrot juice,  and sweetener.  Mix well with hands to blend everything together.
    • To make the sugar replace the 6 Tbsp of liquid sweetener with 1/4 tsp Liquid NuNatural Stevia + 1/2 cup more of carrot juice.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well.
  5. On a cutting board or piece of parchment paper, place the dough in the center and shape into a log.  Sprinkle the top with black and white sesame seeds.
    • If you have the time, I recommend that you cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight, so the flavors have time to meld.
    • If you don’t have the time, proceed with step 6.
  6. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove and place on a cutting board and cut into thin slices.  Place each one flat on the mesh sheet.
  7. Continue to dehydrate at 115 degrees for 4+/- hours.  Until firm on the outside but a little moisture left in the center.
  8. Allow cooling before wrapping up.  You can store the bread on the counter for several days but to extend the shelf-life, place in the fridge.  This bread does freeze well and should keep up to 3 months.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

Culinary Explanations:

  • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F)?  Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
  • When working with fresh ingredients, it is essential to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).
  • Don’t own a dehydrator? Learn how to use your oven (here). I do, however honestly believe that it is a worthwhile investment. Click (here) to learn what I use.

57 thoughts on “Pumpernickel Bread

  1. Deborah G says:

    Thanks as alway for your great recipes! I have recently found I am having difficulty with almonds, seems I am allergic. Do you have a recommendation on an alternate nut that creates the pulp needed for this recipe?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Deborah, Sorry to hear that. You can nut pulp from any nut and you can also do it with sunflower seeds. I haven’t tried other nut profiles with this bread. Each one is going to effect the overall flavor. But if I am looking to replace almonds, I tend to use cashews since both are fairly neutral in flavor. I hope this helps. amie sue

      • Deborah G says:

        Thank you AmieSue,
        This really helps. I will play with sunflower seeds since I do not get any pulp when I make cashew milk. Have a great week and thank you as always!

        • amie-sue says:

          Your welcome… keep me posted Deborah. So far my week is going wonderful. Spent part of the day creating raw foods and the other half cleaning. All is good! Be well and rest often. :) amie sue

    • Gwyneth says:

      I have found that a half and half mixture of pecans and walnuts to work very well in recipes that call for almonds.

      • amie-sue says:

        Awesome, thank you Gwyneth for letting me know. Happy that it all worked out and it was tasty. Have a wonderful day, amie sue

  2. Barb says:

    beautiful! Just curious why you soak and then dehydrate rolled oats. Rolled oats can’t be sprouted and soaking is usually to soften…or germinate, but if you then dehydrate them, it’s not for softening, so wondering what the purpose is for the soaking. You photos are always beautiful. Thanks for posting

    • amie-sue says:

      You can purchase raw oats Barb. The soaking process of them helps to remove some of the phytic acid and in the end, our bodies digests them easier. In some recipes I use the oats wet and in other I dehydrate them first. Just depends on the recipe and the texture I am after. Plus, I have a strong habit of soaking and dehydrating all the nuts, seeds and oats that come into the house. That way they are ready to go when inspiration hits me, which is OFTEN. hehe

      Have a great evening, amie sue

  3. Diana says:

    Dear Amie Sue,
    Thank you for the great recipe and good ideas … just I am not sure about: “1 Tbsp instant espresso powder”… that means coffee, right?
    Have a good day,

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Dianna,

      Espresso powder is different from coffee… commercial espresso powder is made from espresso beans that have been ground, brewed, dried, and then further ground. You can use fine ground coffee beans if you have them.. taste test along the way. Espresso powder is more concentrated in flavor. I hope this helps. Have a blessed evening, amie sue

  4. ben says:

    Looks good. I suppose one can skip the cacao & agave? I’d like to keep it savory. Maybe a date or two instead, maestro?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Ben… this is a savory bread even with the use of those ingredients. It is the combo of all the ingredients that give it that pumpernickel flavor. You can substitute any ingredient as you see fit… but I can’t guarantee the end result in taste. :) Keep me posted if you play around. amie sue

      • ben says:

        I will. It won’t be until after next weekend, though. I’ve had very good luck doing my thing with your creations; no credit to me, all credit to you, since the recipes are sound. So I’m optimistic.

        • amie-sue says:

          Awe, thank you Ben. :) I love that you experiment and work recipes to fit your tastes and needs. Many blessings and happy holidays! amie sue

          • ben says:

            Fantastic! Thank you.
            As discussed above, I omitted agave, coconut crystals, cacao powder & espresso powder.
            I used 6 prunes & pureed the zucchini with it.
            The dough is savory, redolent of caraway, simply superb. This will be a base for sun-dried tomato & olive open-faced sandwiches this coming week.
            I offer my experience to encourage other site users: Amie-Sue’s creations are structurally sound, so they can stand adjustments & innovations.

  5. janet says:

    Dear Ami-Sue,
    pls tell me with what you think I could substitute the coconut crystals, what is it? As here we do not have that.
    thanks, your big big fan

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Janet… what do you have available in a dry sweetener form? :) amie sue

      • Michelle says:

        Ooops, I just asked this question on the Seed of Life Loaf page, and just got this idea, when reading your question above.
        Would date sugar work?
        I think so.
        Do you think date sugar would work if one could not get the coconut crystals at ones local health food market?
        Thank you so much for sharing, as always, and for inspiring so many of us.
        You are so creative and I believe a true artist. Besides your really innovative and creative recipes, your choice of typefaces and styling for your photographs is exceptional. That’s coming from one artist to another! I feel like we are kin.
        Thank you so much, and many blessings to you, Sister!

        • amie-sue says:

          Good evening Michelle,

          Date sugar will work just fine as a substitution to the coconut crystals.

          Thank you for all the wonderful words of encouragement. It means a lot. :) We all have gifts and passions, I am quite blessed that I found this avenue in which to share mine. Have a blessed weekend Michelle and thank you again. amie sue

  6. Jan Ogden says:

    Hi Amie Sue, Can hardly wait to try this bread. Looks so yummy. I did want to ask you; do you have a good source where you can get cashews at a reasonable price?? We have a pecan farm, so I use a lot of them in my recipes… But not for the cheeses. Thank you so much for sharing so many beautiful recipes with us. You are sooo amazing!! I try to share your site with as many as I can. thank you again, jan

  7. Michelle says:

    Dear Amie-Sue,
    OM Gooodness! You did it again! Look at this beautiful bread! I can hardly believe it is raw, and cannot wait to try it. I looks absolutely amazing! You really have an exceptional gift, in creating these awesome raw wonders.
    I just spent all evening making quarts and quarts of almond milk, to get 2 cups of almond pulp, so I can make another of your beautiful breads, and I saw this beautiful new pumpernickel loaf. Don’t have all the ingredients to make it right away, so will be making one of your other loaves tomorrow, then this one will be next, for sure.
    I have not been straining out the almond pulp, just left it in my milk, as I did not need much pulp before now. But now that I have discovered your beautiful breads, I will be straining out the pulp, for sure, to build up a good stock of it, in the freezer. I am also going to have to start using more almond milk too (yumm!), to facilitate my new found bread passion!
    I would just like to thank you from the whole of my being, for your passion and gift, in creating these wonderful, raw, healthy recipes and for being so kind as to sharing them all with us. We all are very blessed!
    I will let you know how the breads turn out. The Seed of Life Bread was absolutely out of this world. It spoke to my very being. It lasted only 3 days, and that was difficult! I had to restrain myself from eating the whole loaf the day it came out of the dehydrator.
    Which one is your favorite bread? May I come and intern with you? That way I will be able to taste them all! Ha ha..
    Happiness and Blessings to you, my friend.

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh Michelle, You do have a way of making me smile, giggle and blush. :)

      It would be grand if you lived next door because I ALWAYS need taste testers. Poor, poor Bob (HA!) he has a tough job. hehe I do share with others so I can get a full view of what people think of the recipes. Anywhere from raw food eaters to the most SAD eaters out there.

      Anyway, it sounds like you are going into milk production. lol I have tons of almond pulp in my freezer but that hasn’t always been the case. I was put in an unique situation for a time being were I was making almond milk for a family. They paid for the almonds, I made the milk. They just wanted the milk and I got the pulp. Very sweet deal. Do you have anyone that you could do that with? Even sharing the cost of the nuts and then giving them the milk and you retain the pulp… you just never know. :)

      My favorite raw bread? Oh I don’t think I can narrow it down to one. I am such a bread lover that I LOVE them ALL. lol But I will say that this last one could almost be pegged as one of my top favorites. I love the sweet ones and savory ones. When I make them, I try to wrap up individual slices and freeze them. This stops us from eating it all at once. lol Or at least slows us down. :P

      I hope you had a great weekend. Time is flying by so quickly! Sleep well my friend, amie sue :)

      • Michelle says:

        Dearest Amie-Sue,
        Wow, what a great deal, making almond milk for a family, who paid for the nuts and did not want the pulp!
        I am now making the almond milk for the pulp, and am loving the milk so much too! I can just drink a pint of it in one go, it is so delicious! A win, win situation, having delicious milk to drink and pulp to make amazing bread!
        I was making only cashew milk/cream previously, by not straining out the pulp.
        But I think almond milk is probably healthier than cashew milk, as it has more protein in it, I think? Now I will be alternating, to get the health benefits from both. I just love this, as I really missed drinking milk and eating bread, after becoming dairy & gluten free. You changed my life for the better in so many ways, and I am so grateful to you.
        Thank you so much for making it so easy for us to be healthy and thank you for being so generous for sharing your gift.
        One can just see and feel the LOVE in each recipe! They remind me of the movie “Like Water for Chocolate”, so much passion!
        Blessings to you, dear friend.

        • amie-sue says:

          Good morning Michelle,

          Creating nut milks / pulp is really great. You can use any nut and just about any seed… each giving a bit of a different flavor. I would recommend to rotate them to get an even amount of nutrients from them. Brazil nut milk would be wonderful for the selenium too. It just makes me smile to read that you are once again enjoying bread and milk… in such a healthier way. I really appreciate hearing this. :)

          Have a blessed weekend! amie sue

  8. lucia says:

    hallo amie-sue, loving your ideas, wondering how to substitute moist almond pulp with dried one, as I never do more than a liter of almond milk at the time, I am always left with only about 1/3 of a cup of moist almond pulp… I have found it easier to pop it in to my dehydrator (as it is on almost all the time :)), then freezing it, so I have plenty of fine almond flour…any idea how to use it in your recipes, which are calling for moist almond pulp ? thank you so much for sharing your world :) it is truly amazing :) Lucia

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Lucia…

      Oh good question about using the dry almond pulp. I prefer using it moist so I stock pile and freeze it after making nut milks. I rarely use it dry, and for my breads, I haven’t ever tried it. I have made so many raw breads and worked hard to find the right ingredients to give us the texture and taste that I am aiming for. After finding what I feel works great, I don’t venture to far.

      If you want to try it in the bread recipes, I encourage you to give it a try but you will need to play around with the amounts, watching how dry the batter is and accommodating that by adding more liquids in. It will make the bread more dense, so keep that in mind. I am sorry that I don’t have a straight, black and white answer.

      If you give it a whirl, keep me posted. :) Many blessings, amie sue

  9. Marlene says:

    I made this bread today! Wow! It was wonderful! The taste is just like pumpernickel bread that is baked. I would give this bread 5 stars! This recipe is a keeper!! Thank you for sharing your recipes! You are a very generous person with God-given talents! Have a Happy New Year! I know I will be making a lot more of your recipes this year!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Marlene,

      You have no idea how reading this made my day. It brings me joy to see such excitement and joy in others as they (you) try the recipes. And most of all… like them. hehe I am so thrilled that you found a keeper recipe with this. I LOVE all the raw breads here… in fact I am releasing another one tonight, so good timing. :) Happy New Year and many many blessings, amie sue

  10. Marlene says:

    Since your raw breads are so good, I was wondering if you can make a recipe for a raw “Boston Brown Bread”? Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes!!! You are very talented! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hmmm, I am not familiar with Boston Brown Bread… so let me do some research and see what I can do. :) Many blessings Marlene, hugs

  11. Rhondy says:

    Hello Amie Sue,

    I made your raw pumpernickel bread. The detailed work you put into fine tuning this recipe is evident. It was very much reminiscent of raw pumpernickel bread of which I am a fan.

    However, I substituted honey in place of the agave and found the bread a bit sweeter than I expected or would prefer. Was it the honey that changed the sweetness factor? You did say in the comments that this bread is a savory bread even with the sweeteners. I did not make any other changes. I did use an espresso powder from Whole Foods called Lavazza Caffe’ Espresso that did not say instant on the label. Do you think may have disrupted the flavor balance?

    Many of your breads have become staples in my household and I was hoping to add this one to the list as a savory bread to use for sandwiches. I also plan to make the cheese that you recommend paring with this bread.

    Amie I do intend to make the bread again and would like to know what you may suggest. I do not use agave. Do you think Coconut Nectar might work in its place or could I delete the honey altogether? Please let me know what you think.

    I am always searching to expand my knowledge of raw and plant based based “live” food preparation techniques and handling. As always, your site offers this opportunity with well thought out and expert food recipes that provide truly nourishing alternatives supporting a healthier life style and greater wellness. For this I am thankful.

    Have a blessed week.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Rhondy,

      I am glad that you made this bread and enjoyed it. There is just something special about pumpernickel. :)

      The might have elevated the sweetness, it has a different sweet flavor than agave. It can also be your tastebuds… you might be more sensitive to sweets than me. You can always cut down the measurement of the honey in the next batch and see if that makes a difference. Or omit it. The idea of using coconut nectar is a good one, since it lends a brown sugary flavor which would complement the pumpernickel taste. You will have to fine tune it to your tastes.

      I wouldn’t think that the espresso powder that you used would have disrupted the sweet flavor unless it has other fillers in it other than straight coffee. I quickly looked it up and see that there is a variety of espresso powders so not sure exactly which one you used.

      I really appreciate all your kind words Rhondy. I hope that my site continues to aid you in your journey. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. It means a lot to me. Have a blessed evening, amie sue

  12. Victoria says:

    Hello Amie-Sue,

    I am soooo happy that I stumbled onto your site. I am transitioning into the Vegan and Raw Food lifestyle and have already seen improved benefits to my health.

    Although it is a challenge for a busy bee like me-I am enjoying preparing and eating the food and the positive health benefits.

    This is the 3rd recipe of yours that have I tried that has turned out DELICIOUS!!!
    I halved the recipe as a trial run- mistake! I should have did the full monte because this Pumpernickel bread is delish! I only have enough to make 2 sandwiches.

    I do not have a fancy dehydrator yet, so I used my Nesco brand that I purchased from Walmart.

    I get home late from work tonight, so my bread dehydrated for 12 hours.
    The bread is still soft and the flavor is awesome! The only ingredient I left out was the expresso-I’m one of those rare people who does not like the taste of anything coffee. :o

    I now have a great sandwich bread to make my lunches! My next batch I will double this recipe!
    Now for the cheese- you have too many to choose from-but I have 2 in mind and I will post my results when I make it. :)

    Thank you for sharing your Raw inspiring recipes, I am having fun making them.

    God Bless!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Victoria,

      It was so nice to hear from you. I am so happy to hear that your health is improving. The power of whole foods is quite amazing. Thank you for trying my recipes. I hope that you continue to find some to fit into your menus. :)

      I giggled as I read about the bread. Even a full recipe isn’t enough. It is so darn good that we go through it quick around here. Please do keep in touch. I love hearing how the recipes go for others. Many blessings and have a wonderful week. amie sue

  13. Rhondy says:

    Hello Amie,

    Just wanted to update you regarding the sweetness factor after subbing honey for the Agave in the pumpernickel bread recipe. Although the bread was a bit sweeter than expected with the honey substitution, I was still amazed at how reminiscent it was of the cooked pumpernickel bread. I knew that if would be beyond perfect for my liking if it were less sweet.

    Strangest thing happened after freezing the bread
    (while I figured out what would be its new use if not a savory sandwich bread). After taking it out of the freezer the flavors had deepened, the extra sweetness was not very noticeable if at all, and texture seemed to have improved becoming even more sponge-like. I spread it with almond butter and it was UNBELIEVABLY GOOD hands-down. I kept taking a bite and saying, “This bread is really good…this bread is really good.”

    Okay, all, please allow me a moment to compose my otherwise reserved and demur self. With all said and done, I now have another wonderful recipe to offer to friends and family in need of diet makeovers and better food choices as they are encouraged to seek greater health and wellness.

    Again thank you and may your mind and heart be blessed with all that is needed to be a greater blessing.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Rhondy,

      It is always a pleasure to hear from you. I love the feed-back. :)

      The flavors deepening doesn’t really surprise me… I find that many raw recipes get better the next day or there after. It gives the ingredients time to meld together. I am just happy that you enjoyed it. You will be blessed in sharing the gift of health through food. Have a wonderful day, amie sue

  14. Monika says:

    Hello Amie, I have a question: what is rolled oats? Is that oat flakes? Thanks a lot! Monika

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Monika,

      When oat flakes are made, whole oats are steamed to soften them and then they are rolled out to flatten them. The flattened oats are then flaked into small pieces of material which will cook very quickly while retaining the nutritional value of whole oats. So basically they are the same but when flakes they are a more processed version of rolled oats. For raw purposes you should try to get ahold of raw rolled oats for this recipe. https://nouveauraw.com/special-raw-ingredients/truly-raw-oats-vs-standard-oats/

      Have a great evening, amie sue

  15. Rhondy says:

    Hello Amie Sue,

    I am a fan of this bread (and many other of your wonderful breads. I have made it twice and now will be making it again
    for the third time.

    I have always used in the past rolled, soaked and dehydrated oats as instructed in the recipe. However, I have whole oat groats soaked and dehydrated ready to be ground into flour. My question is how much flour does one cup make of soaked and dried “rolled” oats? Knowing this, allows me to make the substitution using dried whole oat groats?

    Thank you in advance for your generosity and assistance.


  16. Penny says:

    I’ve just taken the bread out of the dehydrator! It’s flavour and texture are sensational…I’m thrilled that it was not only crazy delicious but that it looked exactly like a loaf of bread. It cut beautifully and stayed together. My husband said it was his all time favourite so far….thank you Amie Sue, your recipe totally rocks it!

    • amie-sue says:

      Penny, I am so proud of you. :) Through our emails back and forth.. I am so glad that you didn’t give up. You have officially made me hungry for this bread again! hehe I think I better make a loaf for my Bob too! Thank you so much for sharing. Blessings and love, amie sue

  17. Beth says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,
    Thanks for your recipes. I had decided to just forgo bread as I couldn’t find a raw recipe I liked. That is gonna change now.

    Have you experimented with chia instead of flax? Ground flax sticks to my teeth.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Beth,

      I do hope that you try one of these raw bread recipes. They are so wonderfully yummy, if you ask me. :) You can use the same ratio of chia seeds as you would flax. Have a blessed evening and keep me posted if you try one. amie sue

  18. Azna says:

    I may have asked this question on another recipe of yours but is it safe to eat grains that are raw, even if they are soaked and sprouted? I was on another raw website where the raw food expert said that grains have some sort of toxin that can only be neutralized if cooked. So please clarify this for me since I have health issues. I am on a raw food diet to help clear up the issues and I would like to be able to eat raw grains if I know for sure they will not cause additional problems for me. Thank you so much for all that you do and for your amazing raw recipes that you so generously share with the world.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Azna,

      This is a topic that goes back and forth. Which grain are you referring to? You mentioned that you have health issues, so I can’t really advise as to whether or not they are right for you. Some raw foods are harder for the body to digest and assimilate… grains can be one of them. Can you share some links to what you are reading? amie sue

  19. Lisa says:

    Hello Amie-Sue,

    I truly like and enjoy your recipes and website. Both are the best I’ve seen.

    I notice you use Agave in this and other recipes. I know there are a lot of pros and cons about Agave; therefore, I choose to use Maple Syrup (just my own personal preference). My question: Can I use Maple Syrup or Raw Honey successfully in this recipe?

    Thanks soooooo much for soooooo many awesome recipes.

    • amie-sue says:

      You are so welcome Lisa. Thank you for the sweet words and so thrilled that you are enjoying my site. It’s my heart and soul.

      When I first started raw, raw agave was the best thing out there… over time new information comes out about ALL sweeteners… so over the years, my usage of different sweeteners (raw or not) have changed. But to answer your question, yes you can use maple syrup. I use that more often these days. Raw honey will be fine in this recipe as well. Good luck and keep me posted. :) amie sue

  20. Antonia says:


    I purchase my flax already ground up. How much would I use of that? Still the 1/3 cup?

    Thank you.

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