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Good pumpernickel?

v
valatiekil Jan 24, 2007 10:13 AM

I've found lots of good sourdough, decent baguettes, but can anyone recommend a place to find good pumpernickel in Boston or Cambridge? Thinking of it now with butter and radishes...mmm.

TIA

  1. b
    Bostonbob3 Jan 24, 2007 10:54 AM

    I would imagine Kupel's Bakery (Brookline) must have it. Give 'em a call.

    1. b
      Bostonbob3 Jan 24, 2007 11:04 AM

      What a coincidence. The Globe Food section has an article on a Russian bakery they rave about:

      International Natural Bakery
      128 Arlington Street
      Watertown
      617-923-1224

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bostonbob3
        Allstonian Jan 24, 2007 11:10 AM

        The Globe only mentions a "healthy bread" with pumpernickel in the blend - I've been there once and didn't see any pumpernickel as we know it.

        Clear Flour has a porter pumpernickel on Wednesdays and I may well be picking up a loaf to go with tonight's lentil soup dinner. I was also thinking of hitting Kupel's - haven't made up my mind yet and they're both on my way home.

        1. re: Allstonian
          galleygirl Jan 24, 2007 11:31 AM

          I bought a loaf of their darkest, at International, and I wasn't that impressed. Too sweet and soft to be pumpernickel, or rye, fo that matter...

          1. re: galleygirl
            c
            charlieg Jan 24, 2007 01:02 PM

            I had the same reaction to the same bread.

      2. Joanie Jan 24, 2007 11:33 AM

        I don't know what makes good pumpernickel, but the bakery in Roche Bros. in W. Roxbury has that along with a ton of other style breads, for <$3.00.

        1. v
          valatiekil Jan 24, 2007 12:19 PM

          Thanks all! I'll give Kupel's a try. That porter pumpernickel sounds very interesting, wish they made it on days besides Wednesday.

          1. a
            AnneM Jan 24, 2007 12:33 PM

            I've had Kupel's pumpernickel...yum, wish I had some toasted right now with butter.

            1. peregrine Jan 24, 2007 12:54 PM

              Kupel's also makes good pumpernickle bagels, for that quick fix.

              1. Allstonian Jan 24, 2007 08:02 PM

                I stopped at Kupel's. They didn't have any regular pumpernickel, but I got a loaf of "corn bread" (AKA Polish corn bread), which is an extremely dense, chewy sour rye. When I originally got to know this type of bread, about 25 years ago, the bakery I liked offered it in either a light rye version or a pumpernickel. Kupel's rendition is a marble of both.

                Sadly, it wasn't very good - hard and gnarled on the outside (so much so that it was very hard to cut!) and unpalatably dry inside. We cut it into thin slices and froze it - we're going to try it out as croutons for onion soup. I have to say, I think Kupels' bagels are decent but nothing to swoon about, and their breads often disappoint me. I think they're running on old reputation and a severe lack of competition - I miss the days when they were only one (and even then not my favorite) of several good Jewish bakeries along that stretch of Harvard Street.

                Luckily I decided to hedge my bets and also went to Clear Flour for a loaf of the porter pumpernickel, and I'm happy to report that it's excellent. It is unfortunate that they only make it on Wednesdays, but it's worth keeping an eye out for it. When I first cut it I was a little dismayed - it's very light in color, not much darker than a whole wheat bread. But I could smell a tempting rye tang, and the flavor was wonderful. It's not as fine-grained and dense as I might like - not sure how it would stand up to radishes - but it was the best I've had in a long time.

                BTW, Clear Flour also does a German rye on Thursdays and Saturdays (plus Wednesday and Friday after 5:30) and a Vollkornbrot (much like those dense, imported, super-thin-sliced German rye breads) on Fridays and Saturdays.

                1. z
                  zigzag Jan 25, 2007 10:28 AM

                  I have gotten a what I think is a great loaf of sliced pumpernickle at Darwin's. They either have it on the day old shelf or often after 4 p.m. will sell what's left of day's fresh loaf.

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