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Deli-Style Rye Bread

Deli-Style Rye Bread

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)

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  • 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!

Deli Rye Bread

This recipe is adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible. This was the first bread baking book that was ever purchased for me, and it was and still is a great go to guide for me. I appreciate her dedication to getting her recipes so exact that they are almost foolproof if you take the time to read them thoroughly and weigh out your ingredients. Rose weighs her ingredients down to the tenth of a gram, which is wonderful, but most home bakers will find that their scales do not measure quantities that small. I happen to have a small Salter pocket scale that does go to tenths but my everyday Escali does not. I wouldn’t worry about being that precise, just round up or down to the nearest gram.

I have changed some techniques and modified some aspects of the ingredients in this recipe to suit my preferences. The main change was that I use ground caraway seeds instead of whole in my version. This gives me the distinctive aroma and flavor of a good New York Rye without having to bite into the seeds, which I do not care for. I know that my personal taste is not everyone’s so by all means throw some whole seeds in. I personally would still grind half of them and keep the rest whole. I think you get a strong flavor profile that way.

  • ¾ cup (4 oz, 117 grams) unbleached bread flour
  • ¾ cup (3.3 oz, 95 grams) rye flour
  • ½ tsp. (1.6 grams) instant yeast
  • 1 ½ TB (0.6 oz, 18.7 grams) sugar
  • ½ TB (10.5 grams) barley malt syrup or honey
  • 1 ½ cups (12.5 oz, 354 grams) water at room temperature

Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and stir until very smooth, about 2 minutes. This will incorporate air into the mix which will help to feed the yeast. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and set aside while you prepare the next step.

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).

Deli-style rye bread

all i’m going to say about this recipe is that after making it, i decided that i am never going to the grocery store for bread ever again. let’s not ruin this with any more words – just enjoy.

deli-style rye bread
makes 4 1 lb loaves. you’ll think you’ve died and gone to a jewish deli in nyc. from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp caraway seeds, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup rye flour
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
cornmeal for sprinkling
cornstarch for cornstarch wash

1. mix the yeast, salt and carawy seeds with the water in a large bowl. mix in the remaning dry ingredients without kneading. cover with a towel and allow to rest at room temperature for about 2 hours. at this point, you can prepare the dough for baking or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

2. dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off 1/4 of the dough. dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. elongate the ball into an oval-shaped loaf. allow it to rest and rise on a cornmeal covered surface (pizza peel if you’re going to transfer to a baking stone or a baking sheet if you’re baking right on the baking sheet) for 40 minutes.

3. preheat the oven to 450 F with an empty broiler tray on the shelf underneath the one you plan to bake on. heat the baking stone up with the oven if you are using one.

4. make the cornstarch wash by combining 1/2 tsp cornstartch with a small amount of water to form a paste. add 1/2 cup water, whisk and microwave for about 60 seconds. paint the top of the loaf with the cornstarch wash and then sprinkle on caraway seeds. slash with a deep parallel cuts across the loaf using a serrated bread knife.

5. bake the loaf on a baking sheet or slide it onto the hot baking stone. bake for 30 minutes. as you put the bread in the oven to bake, pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. allow to cool before slicing or eating.

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.