Pumpernickel is a very heavy, slightly sweet rye bread traditionally made with coarsely ground rye. It is often made with a combination of rye flour and whole rye berries. At one time it was traditional peasant fare, but largely during the 20th century various forms have become popular items of delicatessen. Pumpernickel has been long associated with the Westphalia region of Germany. The first written mention of the black bread of Westphalia was in 1450. Although it is not known whether this, and other early references, refer to precisely the bread that came to be known as pumpernickel, there has long been something different about Westphalian rye bread that elicited comment.
Contributions by Garion96, William Rubel, and 220.127.116.11.