Deli-Style Rye Bread

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Updated November 18, 2014


teaspoon caraway seeds, plus more for sprinkling on top

1 1/3

cups unbleached all-purpose flour (for cornmeal the baking stone)

Hide Images

  • 1

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the dough hook, combine yeast, salt, caraway seeds and 3/4 cup of water.

  • 2

    Add the flours and combine until just mixed. Do not knead.

  • 3

    Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

  • 4

    Place risen dough in the refrigerator, loosely covered with plastic wrap, overnight or at least 2 hours.

  • 5

    Remove the dough from the refrigerator and from the bowl, sprinkle with flour, and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Elongate the ball into an oval-shaped loaf. Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered baking stone or parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 40 minutes.

  • 6

    In the meantime, preheat oven to 450°F. Place a broiler tray on any other shelf that won't interfere with the baking stone/sheet.

  • 7

    For the cornstarch wash: Mix cornstarch with a small amount of the water to form a paste. Add the remaining water and blend until smooth. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the loaf with cornstarch wash and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Using a serrated bread knife, slash deep parallel cuts across the loaf.

  • 8

    Place the bread on the baking stone/sheet into the oven, along with 1 cup hot tap water into the broiler tray. Immediately close the oven door and bake 30 minutes or until crust is a medium brown.

  • 9

    Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing or serving.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Now that the holidays (and the gluttonous holiday eating frenzies) are over, it’s time to start fresh. For some, this means getting in shape and working off the excess calories they’ve acquired over the past months. For others, it means starting new things, from knitting to hiking to… baking, perhaps? This recipe is a great place to begin that resolution.

    Deli Style Rye is a wonderful recipe not only because the result is tasty, but the process of making it is simple. It’s an artisan loaf, meaning there’s no frustration when it comes to shaping the bread (it shapes itself, really). There are few ingredients, but they yield a wealth of flavor. Apart from a couple tricky steps in the preparation that aren’t difficult at all to overcome, this is a great recipe for first-time bread bakers – or bakers of anything – to try.

    I love rye breads because of their unique, savory taste, especially those with caraway seeds. I grew up on sandwiches made with caraway rye bread, so for me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But if you’ve never acquired a taste for those crunchy seeds, omit them. You’ll still get a good punch of that classic rye flavor.

    Also, if you’re not a fan of the “artisan” bread shape and would rather make this into more of a sandwich loaf, be sure to shape and place the risen dough in a greased loaf pan rather than on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel. Just continue to follow the instructions accordingly and there should be no problem.

    Finally, enjoy this healthy bread – even if you are on a post-holiday diet!

    Stephanie (aka Girl versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!

New york deli rye bread

If you love rye bread, you probably live in one of two worlds: one where you can get it at the ready or one in which you long for it, because the supermarket stuff just doesn’t cut it. Realistically speaking, this post is for the the second group as I live in the first one — The Big Apple, Pastrami Central, A Place Where Bagels Are Fresh All Day And Night. And yet, even here I can only think of a handful of places with reliably good freshly-baked rye bread at the ready. And that may be a generous estimation.

So here is a recipe to satisfy all of us: New York Deli Rye Bread that you can make at home, no matter how far your home is from the Lower East Side. It’s hearty from all of that whole grain flour. It’s substantial enough to host your favorite sandwich. It freezes like a charm and it has a workaround if you’re one of those people (like me) who love rye bread but loathe biting into caraway seeds. And while it may not be the most traditional way to discover one enjoy bread with butter and a sprinkling of flaky salt, that is exactly what happened to me today when all I could think of was what I could put on this delicious bread next.

This recipe is also the definition of a Lazy Sunday Project, or even better, a Snow Day and You’re Stuck Inside Anyway type activity as, I can’t lie to you, it takes a long time (though it helps if you’ve got someone to hang out on the counter while you work). Oh, it’s not hard work. It is barely any work, outside a little mixing when you begin. But to build the best bread flavor — the kind that smacks of old world bread bakeries with ancient starters — you need to use less yeast and having longer and multiple risings. It’s worth it.

New York Deli Rye Bread
Adapted from The Bread Bible

I have trimmed Beranbaum’s directions significantly. The thing is, she gives great and extensively detailed directions, but my thing is, I like to pare things down a little bit, especially when it comes to bread. I honestly believe that once you are certain your yeast is working, it’s harder to mess up a loaf of bread than it is to make it delicious. Follow the rising times and size pointers, see that it’s kneaded well and baked at the right temperature and you can have a little bit of New York City in your kitchen without a lot less dingy gray snow and loud sirens.

Set aside 8 hours for this. Yes, eight. You’ll only need to be hands-on for about 30 minutes of it, and you’re welcome to run errands in the rising intervals, but you need to be able to check in every hour or two. It’s worth it, promise.

Makes one 1 3/4-pound round loaf

3/4 cup (4 ounces, 117 grams) bread flour
3/4 cup (3.3 ounces, 95 grams) rye flour
1/2 teaspoon (1.6 grams) instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons (0.6 ounces, 18.7 grams) sugar
1/2 tablespoon (4.6 grams) malt powder (or barley malt syrup or honey (10.5 grams), or sugar (6.2 grams))
1 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces, 354 grams) water, at room temperature

Flour Mixture
2 1/4 cups (12.5 ounces, 351 grams) bread flour
1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon (2 grams) instant yeast
2 tablespoons (0.5 ounces, 14 grams) caraway seeds (you can grind these if you want to avoid the crunch)
1/2 tablespoon (0.3 ounces, 10.5 grams) coarse salt

Dough and Baking
1/2 tablespoon (0.25 ounces, 6.7 grams) vegetable oil
about 2 teaspoons (about 0.5 ounces, 16 grams) cornmeal for sprinkling

Make the sponge: Combine sponge ingredients in a large or mixer bowl and whisk until very smooth, to intentionally incorporate air — this will yield a thick batter. Set it aside.

Make the flour mixture and cover the sponge: In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour mixture and gently scoop it over the sponge to cover it completely. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment for 1 to 4 hours at room temperature. (The sponge will bubble through the flour mixture in places.)

Mix the dough [Either with a mixer] Add the oil and mix with the dough hook on low speed for about 1 minute, until the flour is moistened enough to form a rough dough. then raise the speed to medium and mix it for 10 minutes. The dough should be very smooth and elastic, and it should jump back when pressed with a fingertip if it is sticky, turn it out on a counter and knead in a little extra flour.

[Or by hand] Add the oil and, with a wooden spoon or your hand, stir until the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, then scrape it onto a very lightly floured counter. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, after which it might be a little sticky. Cover it with the inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. (Resting the dough makes it less sticky and magically easier to work with. Trust me.) Knead the dough for another 5 to 10 minutes or until it is very smooth and elastic and your upper arms are strapless gown-ready.

Let the dough rise: Place the dough in a large container or bowl, lightly oiled. Oil the top of the dough as well. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Flip the bowl over and let the dough fall out on to a lightly floured counter, press it down gently, fold or form it back into a square-ish ball and allow it to rise a second time, back in the (re-oiled) bowl covered with plastic wrap for about 45 minutes.

Shape it and wait out the final rise: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gently press it down again. Round it into a ball and set it on a cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet. Cover it with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. [Skim ahead to preheating your oven, which you should do soon.] When it is gently press with a fingertip, the depression will very slowly fill in.

Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 450°F as early as you can tolerate. (Beranbaum suggests an hour, I do 30 minutes but I know others don’t like to feel like they’re wasting heat. But, you want your oven blazing hot to get the best crust.) On a shelf at the lowest level, place a baking sheet or bread stone. [If you want to get fancy and bread-oven like: Place a cast-iron skillet or sheet pan on the floor of the oven to preheat.]

Slash and bake the bread: With a sharp knife or singled-edged razor blade, make 1/4- to 1/2-inch-deep slashes in the top of the dough. Mist the dough with water and quickly but gently set the baking sheet on the hot stone or hot baking sheet. [If you’ve decided to get fancy and bread oven-like: Toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath and immediately shut the door.] Bake for 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 400°F and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (or a thermometer inserted into the center reads 190°F I prefer this method because you’ve done much too much work to possibly end up with an under- or over-baked loaf of bread).

Best Is Jewish Rye Bread Healthy
from Recipe Real Jewish rye bread California Cookbook
. Source Image: Visit this site for details:

Best Is Jewish Rye Bread Healthy
from J is for Jewish Rye Bread
. Source Image: Visit this site for details:

Jewish Rye Bread

Looking for a Jewish rye bread recipe made the traditional way, with a rye sour and old bread soaker? This Jewish rye delivers tangy rye flavor and a moist, chewy crumb. It's the perfect foundation for the thickest, juiciest deli sandwich you can assemble.

Please read this recipe all the way through before starting it's good to understand right up front the time commitment, and there are several useful tips at the end. Also, your successful execution of this recipe will be greatly enhanced if you read and reference its accompanying blog post, How to Make Jewish Rye Bread. The post includes numerous helpful photos illustrating preparation techniques.


  • 1 rounded tablespoon (14g) ripe (fed) sourdough starter
  • 2 1/4 cups (237g) organic pumpernickel flour
  • 7/8 cup (198g) room-temperature water (70°F)
  • 3 1/2 cups (418g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • all of the rye sour from above, minus one rounded tablespoon*
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (241g) water (80°F)
  • 1/3 cup (85g) old bread soaker, from above, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground caraway seeds, optional
  • 2 teaspoons (12g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast

*The remaining rounded tablespoon of rye sour can either be discarded or used to start Rye Sourdough Starter.


To make the rye sour: Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix the ingredients until all the flour is fully moistened the mixture will be very stiff. Place the sour in a nonreactive container, sprinkle with a light coating of pumpernickel flour, cover, and let rest for 13 to 16 hours, preferably at a temperature of 70°F.

To make the old bread soaker: Cut the bread into 1" cubes and place them in a lidded container. Add the cool water, shaking the container to fully moisten the bread. Store the mixture overnight in the refrigerator. Next day, squeeze out the excess water and stir the bread until it breaks down and becomes the consistency of stiff oatmeal. Measure out 1/3 cup (3 ounces, 85g), and bring to room temperature (or warm briefly in the microwave). The remainder can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To make the dough: Place all of the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl. For best (and easiest) mixing and kneading, use a stand mixer see manual kneading directions in "tips," below. Using the dough hook, mix on lowest speed for 3 minutes, then speed 2 for 3 minutes. Ideal dough temperature after mixing is 78°F.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover. Allow the dough to rise in a warm spot (78°F) for 1 hour.

Perfect your technique

How to make Jewish Rye Bread, Part 2

Deflate the dough for best technique, see our video, how to deflate risen dough. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for 10 minutes on a floured surface, folded side up.

Preheat the oven and a baking stone (if you have one) for 1 hour at 460°F. For added steam, preheat a cast iron frying pan on the shelf below the stone for the same amount of time.

Shape the loaf into a bâtard, or football shape, taking care not to rip the surface of the dough. Use flour on your hands and the table to help prevent sticking. Pinch the bottom seam closed, if necessary.

Place the loaf on a lightly greased piece of parchment paper sprinkle the parchment with coarse cornmeal before adding the loaf. Cover and let rise for 40 to 45 minutes in a warm spot (78°F).

Spray or brush the top of the loaf with room-temperature water and sprinkle with additional caraway seeds. Score the loaf with five horizontal cuts across the top of the loaf, holding the blade perpendicular to the surface of the loaf. The cuts should slightly diminish in length as they approach the tips of the loaf.

Carefully place the parchment onto a peel (or the outside bottom of a baking sheet), and slide parchment and loaf onto the hot stone, partially covering the loaf with a stainless steel bowl (see "tips," below), to trap the rising steam. If you're not baking on a stone, simply transfer the parchment and loaf to a baking sheet, and place in the oven — cover partially with a stainless steel bowl.

Pour 1/2 cup boiling water into the frying pan and shut the oven door this will create the steam necessary for a chewy, shiny crust. Bake the bread for 10 minutes, then remove the bowl.

Reduce the oven temperature to 430°F, and bake 30 to 35 minutes more, checking often for color. The finished loaf should be a deep golden brown when done its internal temperature should be at least 205°F.

Spray or brush the loaf with water again after removing it from the oven. Cool the bread on a rack overnight before slicing.

Tips from our Bakers

This is a difficult dough to knead by hand because it’s very sticky. If you’re up for the challenge, stir all the ingredients together in a bowl until the mixture forms a shaggy mass. Turn the dough out onto an unfloured work surface. Using a bowl scraper to help, knead by hand for 10 minutes, or until the dough is relatively smooth. Scrape the kneading surface frequently to help prevent sticking the dough will continue to be sticky throughout the process. Wetting your hands, rather than adding more flour, will help prevent sticking without making the dough too dry.

Once you've baked the loaf, be sure to save a large slice in the freezer to make old bread soaker the next time you want to make this recipe.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 (5 ounce) cans tuna, drained
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ¾ teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices seedless rye bread
  • 8 slices ripe tomato
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • paprika, for garnish

In a bowl, mix the tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onion, parsley, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the rye bread slices on a baking sheet, and broil 1 minute in the preheated oven, until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and spread with the tuna salad. Place 1 cheese slice over the tuna salad on each piece of bread, layer with a tomato slice, and top with remaining cheese slices.

Return layered bread to the preheated oven, and broil 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Falsetti: Invest the time to make a true deli-style rye

My quest for a great New York style deli rye bread began with a sandwich. The sandwich in question had a grilled portobello mushroom topped with melted Swiss cheese and caramelized onions. For a sandwich this special, only rye bread would do.

Looking for instant gratification, I headed to the bakery section of my local supermarket and bought a loaf of what was labeled rye bread. I took out two slices to prepare my sandwich and was crestfallen.

A great loaf of deli rye should have a fine, even crumb and a tender-yet-sturdy texture that will hold up under sandwich fillings. The loaf I bought had the texture of Wonder bread with a few caraway seeds thrown in for flavor.

Rather than scouring the county looking for the loaf of my dreams, I took a tour of the internet. I passed up any recipes that said “fast and easy.” Time is the most important factor needed for a complex artisan flavor to develop in breads. In the end, I adapted a recipe from The Bread Bible.”

Although the bread takes about 8 hours from start to finish, the actual hands-on time is about 30 minutes. Whether you’re looking to make the world’s best pastrami sandwich or a simple grilled Swiss, I guarantee this deli-style loaf will be well worth your time investment.

Whether you’re looking to make the world’s best pastrami sandwich or a simple grilled Swiss, I guarantee this deli-style loaf will be well worth your time investment. (Photo: Julie Falsetti photo)

New York Deli-style Rye Bread

1 /2 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1 /2 cups water, at room temperature

In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, rye flour, yeast, sugar, honey and water. Mix until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. The starter will have the consistency of thick batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set the sponge aside while you combine the flour mixture.

1 /2 heaping teaspoon instant yeast

2 tablespoons caraway seeds

1 1 /2 teaspoons vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together the bread flour, yeast, caraway seeds and salt.

Remove the plastic wrap from the sponge, and gently scoop the flour mixture over the sponge to cover it completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside at room temperature to ferment until the sponge bubbles through the flour mixture in places. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, this will take from 1 to 4 hours.

Add the oil to the bowl with the flour mixture. Stir until the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl for 5 minutes, adding a little flour to keep it from sticking. At this point, the dough may be a little sticky. Cover the dough and set it aside to rest for 20 minutes, then knead the dough until it is very smooth and elastic, an additional 5 to 10 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, knead in a little more flour.

Place the dough in a large bowl, lightly greased with oil. Cover and set the dough aside to rise until doubled in size, 1 1 /2 to 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a slightly floured counter and form into a ball. Line a 4-quart Dutch oven with parchment paper slightly overlapping the sides. Place the dough inside and cover with plastic wrap. Set the dough aside to rise until almost doubled, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

When the dough has doubled, carefully pick up the parchment paper and move the dough to a bowl about the same size. When ready to bake, place the Dutch oven (or any covered baker) in the oven and set the temperature to 400 degrees. When the oven is preheated and the baker is hot, gently lift the parchment paper with the dough and place it in the hot utensil. With a sharp knife, make 1 /4-to 1 /2-inch-deep slashes in the top of the dough. Place the cover on and cook for 30 minutes. Then lift off the lid and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown. Lift the bread out by the parchment paper onto a rack to cool. Wait at least an hour before cutting.


Last Saturday, some friends invited us to a Pinot Noir tasting party. The idea was that we would see if we could tell Oregon Pinot Noir from northern California Pinot Noir (we couldn't) and to see if there was a clear favorite among four different wines (there wasn't). I was supposed to bring bread. Since I know that Fred, who would be the wine pourer, is a big fan of caraway rye bread, I figured if I brought him a loaf of caraway rye, he might pour extra-big glasses of wine for me. I think my ploy worked, but I don't remember.
I really wanted to bake Rose's rye bread recipe, which is the best I've made, but I was going to be gone all day Saturday and I didn't think I could work it into the schedule, so I settled on the Five-Minute recipe, which does have the advantage of giving you a lot of flexibility.
The recipe is supposed to make four loaves of bread, but they would be very small one-pound loaves. I scooped up nearly two pounds of dough for my first loaf.

The bread is supposed to be brushed with a cornstarch wash to make it nice and shiny, so I was envisioning a fat, brown, gleaming loaf of caraway-speckled bread.

I learned that if you mix up cornstarch and water but forget to heat it to a boil, it doesn't make the bread shiny. In fact, it seems to have the reverse effect. At least, something made this bread refuse to brown. I finally took it out of the oven because it had been baking for over twice as long as it was supposed to even allowing for the fact that it was bigger than the recipe's one-pound loaf, it still was behaving oddly.

Not only did it have a dull matte finish, but the little slashes I made on top of the bread expanded so that the bread looked like it had exploded. My poor bread was kind of an ugly duckling. But I covered it in plain brown wrapping and sneaked it inside the Beiers' house then I sliced it before anyone could see its oddity. It tasted pretty good though. Curiously, the more wine we drank, the better the bread tasted.
A few days later, I made another loaf. This time I took out 1.2 pounds and made a torpedo-shape loaf. I used my LaCloche bread baker, and I remembered to boil the cornstarch wash.

I think this is more what it's supposed to look like. And the slashes looked more normal too.

By now the dough had been in the refrigerator for about a week, so it had a little more tang, but it was by no means funky.
I'm always a little apprehensive about looking at the dough that's been hanging out in the refrigerator for a while--afraid of what I might see. So far, I've seen nothing but bread dough. Which is what I saw on Sunday, a week and four days after I made the original dough: a small amount of normal looking caraway rye dough. In fact, it was small enough that I thought a loaf of bread would look pathetic, so instead, I made four rye dinner rolls.

I thought the rolls were the most successful of the three variations I made, even though there were only a few of them. They were the prettiest--the cornstarch wash actually worked and the slashes didn't deform the bread.

The sad news is that Loaf #1 is gone Loaf #2 is gone and Rolls #3-6 are gone. I've been so busy at work that I haven't had time to make more bread, so I'm reduced to having my morning toast with store-bought bread, which makes me glum. I hear my mother's voice reminding me that the starving children in China (I know that some mothers talked about the starving children in India or Africa, but my mother's were always in China) would be grateful for that bread, and I get that whining about not having homemade bread is unattractive, but still. I hope I have time to make some of the real stuff this weekend.

Deli-Style Rye

--adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
3 c. (709 grams) water
1 1/2 T. (14.4 grams) instant yeast
1 1/2 T. (25 grams) salt
1 1/2 T. (15 grams) caraway seeds
1 cup (130 grams) rye flour
5 1/2 cups (771 grams) all-purpose flour.

1. Mix the yeast, salt, and caraway seeds with the water in a large mixing bowl.

2. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients with a spoon or a stand mixer, using the dough hook.

3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest about two hours, or until the dough rises and starts to fall.

4. Refrigerate in a container (not airtight) and use within 14 days.

5. When ready to bake, cut off the amount you want to use (one pound will make a smallish loaf. Shape into whatever shape you want, and allow to rest and rise, 40 minutes to an hour, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

6. Preheat oven to 450, with baking stone placed on middle rack.

7. Paint the top crust with cornstarch (mix 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch with a small amount of water to make a paste add 1/2 cup water, stir, and bring to boil). Make cuts into top of loaf with slashing knife, razor blade, or serrated bread knife.

8. Place baking pan on hot stone. For a better crust, either pour 1 cup boiling water into another baking sheet on another rack, or put about 1/2 cup ice cubes on preheated baking sheet or skillet on rack below the bread.

9. Bake about 35 minutes for one-pound loaf, longer for a larger loaf, and less for rolls.

Cook's Illustrated All-Time Best Bread Recipes

Cook&rsquos Illustrated All-Time Best Bread Recipes 2018 Special Collector&rsquos Edition Get the very best bread recipes and two decades of baking know-how from America&rsquos most trusted cooking magazine in this all-new special edition. You&rsquoll find classic breads like Rustic Italian Loaf, Multigrain Bread, and Ultimate Banana Bread, as well as bakery favorites such as Challah, Authentic Baguettes, No-Knead Brioche, Sticky Buns with Pecans, and Croissants. Each recipe has been made 30, 40, sometimes 50 or more times so you can be sure any time you invest in bread baking will pay off with impressive results.

Every recipe includes step-by-step photos and illustrations so you can see exactly how to ensure success, and we share the science behind why the recipes work so you can become a smarter baker. You&rsquoll also get our picks for key equipment and ingredients such as baking sheets, serrated knives, rolling pins, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, and unsalted butter.

Additional featured recipes include:

Deli-Style Rye, Olive Rosemary Bread, 24-Hour Sourdough, Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Southern-Style Cornbread, New York-Style Thin-Crust Pizza, Easy Flour Tortillas, and many more.

New York Jewish Rye

Recipe by: Chef John V., A Good Cooking Recipe!

History: Both of my grandfathers were bakers. Adolph, my paternal grandfather, worked for the now defunct Jersey Bakery in Hudson, NY, after he sold his dairy farm. Then John, my other grandfather, worked there whenever they needed extra help or someone called in sick. I have such fond memories of the Jewish Rye they brought home. This recipe is as close to the original as can be. The only difference is they baked it in ovens that could inject steam during the first 10 minutes, which gave the crust its blistered look and chewy texture.

Note: This is a must have, proper ingredient recipe! You can't substitute medium rye flour without a change in texture. Light Rye or white rye flour is a must is as 1st. clear flour. Also note that flour has a different moisture content during the winter as it does in the summer. So in the winter, you may need to add a bit more water and in the summer a little less. No more than a few tablespoons should do---this is a stiff but sticky dough due to the nature of rye flour itself. Don't be alarmed and think that you need to add more flour when you feel it! Stickness will disapear when you kneed the dough in rye flour. For your success please remember to measure exactly as baking is a science.

Description: New York Jewish Rye, You won't find a better rye in New York!
Recipe makes: 2 - 1 1/2 pound oblong rye loaves
Preparation time: Start to finish is 4 days because you will make a sour starter---plan ahead!

Sour Starter---Mix together the following:
3/4 cup bottled water---not tap water, tap water has chlorine---(not good for flavor)
1 cup light rye flour---see footnote
1 tbsp. yeast, dry active or 1 fresh yeast cake
Stir to blend well, then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 day at room temperature 68-72 degrees F.

The starter will look like this after the first day, 20-24 hours later.

Next day (day 2) add 1/2 cup white rye flour and 1/4 cup water to the starter, mix well and let it sit overnight.

Next day (day 3) add 3/4 cup white rye flour and 1/4 cup water to the starter, mix well and let it sit overnight. (You'll have a nice rye sour from this!) Taking a deep breath of the aroma will be alarming to your senses.

Baking day: Before you start the process feed the starter 2 hours before using it add 1/2 cup white rye flour and 1/2 cup water and stir it in well.

* Potato water---Peel and quarter 1 pound of regular potatoes, cover with water and season with some salt. Cook like you would for boiled or mashed potatoes, drain--- saving the water the potatoes were cooked in. This is potato water, it gives bread a moist and compact texture. Save 1/2 cup of the cooked potatoes too, for the recipe and then enjoy the remainder of the potatoes as you like.

In blender or by hand---chop/pulsed the seeds to break them up but not turning them into a powder. 60% should still be almost whole.
6 T Caraway
1 tsp. anise seed

Dough for the bread---in your mixing bowl combine:
15g. yeast
7 oz liquid measure, room temperature, of the potato water

Stir to dissolve the yeast and then let it sit for 10 minutes

Now add---
1/2 cup cooked potatoes, that you saved from above
12 gr. salt
all the chopped caraway and anise seeds
18 oz 1st clear flour---measured as weight
10 oz sour starter---measured as weight (you'll have starter left, freeze it for your next batch of bread, defrost when needed and feed it before using as it was described above)

Mix for 6 minutes 5 on 2nd speed and 1 minute on medium-high---scrap down the bowl once. The dough is slightly tacky and will be pulling from sides of the mixing bowl.

This is what the dough should look like after the mixing is complete.

Proof a minimum 1+ hour and 30 minutes in a cool 68 degree area. Punch down the dough and then divide it into 2 equal weight portions and shape into balls (use only white rye flour for forming the balls) and let rest 30 minutes. If you use regular white flour you will see it as white rings and streaks in the finished baked bread when you slice it. Using the rye flour you won't, this is a baker's secret!

preheat your oven to 410 F

BENCH FLOUR IS RYE FLOUR NOT WHITE---this is the flour that you will use on your bread board or counter to form and shape the dough into loaves

Form 2 loaves from the balls you made, flatten each dough ball to about 1 inch thick and into about an 8 x 10 inch rectangle. Roll and shape into an oblong loaves---look on UTube for instructions on how to do this and how to dust off the excess flour prior to proofing. Then carefull transfer each formed loaf on to parchment paper or cornmeal lined sheet pans---now slash/dock the loaves 3-4 times horizontally across the top of each loaf, about 1/2 inch deep, with a razor blade or very sharp knife.

Here you can get an idea how to slash (cut diagonally) the dough. This will prevent the bread from cracking open during the baking process.

Cover with a damp linen towel and then with plastic wrap and proof to double in volume, about 60-80 minutes at 72 degrees. For the rise, do it on top of your stove where is is aleady warm from pre-heating your oven.

2 minutes before baking, spray with water to moisten the dough---place a pan of water in the oven (if you like to create steam---once again go to UTube for helpfull information)---or see below how I explain it down below.

So now, in goes the loaves. Close the door and bake for 20 minutes, after 20 minutes---turn the pan around in the oven and close the door again.

Continue to bake the bread for 15 minutes or until center is 180 degrees F.

Glaze, get it ready during the last 15 minutes of baking, so it's ready when they come out of the oven. For the glaze: boil 1 cup of water, add the cornstarch (1 Tbsp) that is pre-mixed with 1/4 cup cold water, and stir continually until thickened. Cover with plastic wrap and keep warm.

Remove the bread and with a pastry brush, brush with the cooked cornstarch about 1 Tbsp or so for each loaf. A small amount of this glaze is enough, it's used to create a shiny surface, look at the loaf above and notice its sheen. Cool the bread on wire racks for at least 1 hour before slicing.

White Rye Flour is milled from whole rye berries which has the bran and germ removed and is unbleached. Medium rye is the next grade with is darker in color and if it were to be used in this bread it would make a darker loaf but not as dark as pumpernickel. First Clear Flour is milled from spring wheat and has a very high gluten and protein content which gives this rye its chewyness.

Perfecting your rye loaves with our recipe

Readers have asked us why their rye breads and pumpernickels seem to have so much more “whole-grain” character than what they remember from childhood (rye and pumpernickel are pictured here in Mark Luinenburg’s beautiful shot from our book). While whole-grain character is nice, it isn’t the traditional approach to rye breads (at least for those available in the US some European rye styles are very high in bran). The reason for our readers’ results is simple: most rye flour that’s readily sold in US supermarkets is very high in bran. You’ll get a less “whole-grain” result if you use a lower-bran (fiber) rye flour, usually labled as “medium rye.” Medium rye produces breads with a gorgeous custard crumb and noticeably less whole grain character. The hole structure is more “open” as well.

For our book, we decided to avoid this complexity and just keep the total proportion of rye low, but if you’re a rye bread fanatic, read on.

In every market we’ve surveyed, it appears that Pillsbury has stopped distribuing its medium rye product. In U.S. supermarkets, that generally means you have two choices: Hodgson Mill All Natural Stone Ground Rye Flour, which is 17% fiber by weight. Then there are the Bob’s Red Mill rye products, which range in fiber content between 15% and 23%. True medium rye, which isn’t widely distributed in stores in the US, is about 13% fiber by weight you can find it on mail order.

If you are a true rye fanatic, you won’t be disappointed. The holes will be large and airy, the crumb less tight, even if you decide to increase the proportion of rye flour in our recipe (you may find you need to slightly increase the water after about 30% rye by volume, and don’t exceed 50%). You’ll see true “custard” crumb from the earliest loaves in a batch. And the flavor is fantastic.


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