Breads & Doughs

Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread

4.59 from 279 votes
My Outback Steakhouse-inspired, lightly-sweet and perfect with butter, Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread recipe is one you'll make all the time.
A cutting board with a loaf of pumpernickel bread.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GETThis is my recipe for that soft, dark, perfect-for-an-appetizer loaf of bread you get at restaurants before your meal — except having to go out to get it, you can make it right at home. It yields 2 loaves as well.

Is there anything more exciting than when you sit down at a table at a restaurant, absolutely starving, and the waiter brings you a basket of bread? And can you imagine the number of relationships that must be saved from the side effects of being hangry?

My Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread is inspired by that bread you might find at Outback Steakhouse or other fine establishments. 

[ Out of yeast? Try my Hearty No-Yeast Bread! ]

This pumpernickel bread is perfectly soft and sweet, thanks to the molasses. Load a slice of this up with some butter, and you’ll have that “I ate too much complimentary bread and now I can’t eat my main course” feeling at home! 

Top-down view of my pumpernickel bread.

What Is Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread?

My copycat Outback Steakhouse bread is the North-American version-a slightly sweet, hearty loaf of pumpernickel bread, flavored with molasses and rye flour, which also includes wheat (flour-all purpose) flour for gluten structure and better rise and adds commercial yeast to shorten the baking time. It differs from the traditional pumpernickel bread which is a typically heavy, slightly sweet rye bread made with sourdough starter and coarsely ground rye berries. It is sometimes made with a combination of flour made from rye as well as rye berries.

Pumpernickel bread is different from rye bread because it is made from the whole rye berry, while rye bread is made from the rye berry’s endosperm. Light rye bread is made with white rye flour made by grinding the rye berry’s center endosperm. Dark rye bread can be:

  1. Made with flour from berry endosperm center+ cocoa powder or molasses for color, or
  2. Made with flour from berry endosperm’s part that contains more coloring pigments.

What You Need To Make Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread

Close up of the crumb inside my steakhouse pumpernickel bread.

How To Make Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread

If you’ve never made bread before, this is an excellent place to start! Follow these easy steps (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans and set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine both flours, cocoa powder, yeast, sugar, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the warm water, molasses, and oil.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry until your dough comes together. 
  5. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and is no longer sticky. This will take about 6-8 minutes. You can either do this by hand or using a stand mixer.
  6. Grease the bowl with a little oil and place in the dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size. This proofing will take about 60-90 minutes.
  7. Once risen, use your fist to push the dough down before shaping it into 2 loaves and placing it in your prepped loaf pans. 
  8. Cover the dough again and let it proof for a second time in a warm place until doubled. This will take around 45 minutes. 
  9. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for about 40 minutes. Allow the bread to cool on a rack before slicing!

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread

  • This recipe makes 2 loaves, and it freezes wonderfully. Slice your second loaf before popping it in the freezer so you can grab as many slices as you want at a time.
  • If you don’t have rye flour, the same amount of whole wheat flour works in this recipe as well. Store your whole wheat flour in the fridge to keep it fresh longer.
  • Make your own molasses! Molasses and treacle are the same thing, you can use either. 
  • Make the dough and proof it the day before and bake it off the next day.
  • You can make these into rolls or small loaves too!

How Do I Store Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread

You can store the bread at room temperature for up to 3 days. Alternatively, slice and store it in your freezer for up to 8 weeks! 

Butter on a slice of my Outback Steakhouse inspire pumpernickel bread.

Make More Bread!

Want to go deeper?

Don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!


Full (and printable) recipe below!

Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread Recipe

4.59 from 279 votes
My Outback Steakhouse-inspired, lightly-sweet and perfect with butter, Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread recipe is one you'll make all the time.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 loaves
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
proof 2 hours
My Outback Steakhouse-inspired, lightly-sweet and perfect with butter, Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread recipe is one you'll make all the time.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 loaves


  • 2 ½ cups (12 ½oz/355g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups(10oz/282g) rye flour (or whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 5 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup (12floz/340ml) warm water
  • ½ cup (5oz/142g) molasses (or treacle)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients: both flours, cocoa powder, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir together.
  • In a separate bowl mix the warm water, molasses, and oil together.
  • Add the wet into the dry ingredients until your dough comes together.
  • Knead the dough until it is smooth and no longer sticky, roughly 6-8 minutes. You can do this by hand or use a stand mixer.
  • Grease the bowl with a little oil place in the dough. Cover the dough and allow to rise until it has doubled in size, roughly 60-90 minutes.
  • After proofing, knock back the dough before shaping into 2 loaves and placing in your prepared loaf pans.
  • Cover again and place in a warm place till doubled, roughly 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Bake for about 40 minutes. The dough should sound hollow once tapped on the base.
  • Cool on a rack before slicing. Store bread at room temperature for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 8 weeks.
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2 years ago

This bread is delicious and I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to make pumpernickel bread before. I almost gave up and tossed the whole thing but I am glad I didn’t. With the first rise, it looked like it didn’t rise much. With all that yeast, why wouldn’t it be huge, right? After hours of letting it sit, I finally punched it down and put it in the bread pans. Waited for a 2nd rise, looked like nothing happened. So I warmed my oven and put the pans in. Looked like nothing rose again. Okay so now what? I left them overnight in… Read more »

Beach lady
Beach lady
2 years ago

This recipe is similar to Black Russian Bread, only differences are: adding instant coffee granules, and onion powder. Some recipes also call for caraway seeds and or fennel seeds. Try it, it is super bread.

3 years ago

I am curious why you use so much yeast. I am a newby to making bread, but most recipes I have found call for just 1 packet of yeast, which is approximately 2-1/4 teaspoons for making the same amount of bread. Your recipe calls for 5 teaspoons, which is more than 2 packets. Also, just wondering if I would notice a big difference in the taste and/or texture with making it with whole wheat flour instead of rye flour. Really love this kind of bread and have tried a couple of different recipes previously and they did not have the… Read more »

2 years ago

I just wanna let you know the bread at Outback Steakhouse is actually Honey Wheat… not pumpernickel.

Lee Hester
Lee Hester
1 year ago

I’m surprised by those who had a problem with this recipe. It worked just fine for me. Perhaps some of my experiences can help people… I combined my molasses, sugar and water, heated and mixed them, then put in the yeast while still warm and waited for a froth to develop. One trick I use is filtered water. A high quality “activated charcoal” filter can take out 95% of all chlorine. Some towns have water that is SO chlorinated that no self respecting yeast will live in it! Alternately, you can let water sit out overnight and the chlorine will… Read more »

1 year ago

This was a complete fail. Really sticky dough, barely rose. Loaves were flat.
Recipe must have used a certain type of rye flour and this was not written in the recipe. It seems there were steps or flours left out of the recipe. I am not a beginner baker.

1 year ago

This recipe was a huge fail for me. I followed it to the letter. The dough was not a dough, more of a batter. I added more flour. It didn’t rise as it should have. I’ve cooked many of breads. This was. Huge fail.

Josiah gerhart
Josiah gerhart
1 year ago

hi i am a student at a middle school and in my class we are going to try to bake this bread

2 years ago

Gemma, I’m fairly new to baking bread and some recipes I’ve tried say to bake to 190 degree. I know ovens may vary in temp and am always worried about over baking. Would you suggest the same 190 for this bread? I am much more comfortable with an instant read thermometer than I trust myself doing a thump!😂 Thanks for all the info on your site!

2 years ago

Amazing! Made 1/2 of the recipe using whole wheat flour instead of the rye. After 90 minutes put it in the refrigerator, baked it off the next afternoon. Paired with ham and split pea soup, delicious!

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


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