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How to Make Deli Rye Bread

Why this recipe works Genuine rye bread—the kind that delis pile high with rosy pastrami—should be slightly moist and chewy but not too dense, and it should have a noticeably tangy flavor. Developing a rye bread recipe isn’t a simple proposition because rye flour doesn’t contain enough gluten-forming proteins to make the bread rise, so it can turn out heavy. To lighten our loaf, we used twice as much high-protein bread flour as rye flour. Still, the gluten-developing kneading process didn’t build enough structure for our rye bread, so we let the mixed dough rest for a 20- minute autolyse to jump-start gluten development. Deli rye almost always contains caraway seeds; 2 teaspoons gave us tangy flavor. Use light or medium rye flour in this bread; dark rye flour is overpowering. Be sure to reduce the temperature immediately after putting the loaf in the oven.

  • makes 1 loaf
  • resting time 20 minutes
  • rising time 2 to 3 hours
  • baking time 35 minutes
  • total time 4 to 5 hours, plus 3 hours cooling time
  • key equipment 2 rimmed baking sheets, pastry brush, instant-read thermometer


  • 2 cups (11 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 cup (5½ ounces) light or medium rye flour
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1¼ cups (10 ounces) water, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water and pinch salt

1). Whisk bread flour, rye flour, caraway seeds, salt, and yeast together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk water, honey, and oil in 4-cup liquid measuring cup until honey has dissolved.


2). Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add water mixture to flour mixture and mix until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.


3). Knead dough on medium-low speed until smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl, about 8 minutes.


4). Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic, and let rise until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.


5). Stack 2 rimmed baking sheets and line with aluminum foil. Press down on dough to deflate. Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter (side of dough that was against bowl should now be facing up). Press and stretch dough into 6-inch square.


6). Fold top corners of dough diagonally into center of square and press gently to seal. Stretch and fold upper third of dough toward center and press seam gently to seal.


7). Stretch and fold dough in half toward you to form rough 8 by 4-inch loaf and pinch seam closed. Roll loaf seam side down. Gently slide your hands underneath each end of loaf and transfer seam side down to prepared sheet. Reshape loaf as needed, tucking edges under to form taut torpedo shape.


8). Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until loaf increases in size by about half and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 30 minutes to 1 hour.


9). Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Using sharp paring knife or single edge razor blade, make three 4-inch-long, ½-inch-deep slashes with swift, fluid motion across width of loaf, spacing slashes about 2 inches apart.


10). Gently brush loaf with egg mixture and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake until deep golden brown and loaf registers 205 to 210 degrees, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer loaf to wire rack and let cool completely, about 3 hours, before serving.


a step-by-step guide