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.

first rise

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.

rye bread with butter, radishes, salt

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.

sponge bubbling through flour mixturekneading, post-first riseafter second or third risefourth (final) rise

One year ago: Flaky Blood Orange Tart
Two years ago: Key Lime Cheesecake
Three years ago: Paula Wolfert’s Hummus

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).

Cool the bread on a wire rack.

Leave a Reply to deb Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

459 comments on new york deli rye bread

  1. I have just purchased her Pastry Bible and Cakes book. I was wondering, when you were having all that trouble with tart dough, did you try any of hers? I know you found a solution, just curious if you had any luck with her recipes.

    1. Karen A Sabo

      I’ve had Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Cake Bible for about 30 years and find it much more helpful than the actual bible. The Pastry Bible’s great, too.

  2. Oh, rye bread with butter and salt and radishes… I didn’t think anybody else felt strongly enough about that combo to blog about it! The only thing better is the same with a little watercress, if it’s the two weeks of watercress season.

      1. Denise

        I have made this bread recipe many times as rye is my favorite bread. One time I experimented with making the sponge a day ahead for convenience and although the loaf turned out and was edible, the flavor was off. Follow her directions and you cannot go wrong.

          1. Deb

            It was perfect and beautiful! I saw instructions on a different site how to shape it in it’s oval football-ish shape. Everyone thought I bought it!

            1. Angel

              I did weigh the flour this time.
              The dough is very sticky and doesn’t hold shape.
              Goes flat.
              It’s really good tasting but a huge lower loaf.
              I wish I could post a photo.

              1. Jon Deete

                Hi. I am a 30 year home baker veteran.
                Things to check for poor rising:

                – did you use BREAD flour?
                All-Purpose flour has much less structure-forming ability. King Arthur bread flour is commonly available and has more strength than the other two national brands. (I don’t work for K.A.)

                – This recipe calls for a very extensive knead: If you over-do the kneading, the structure will be much weaker. Try kneading a shorter time.

                – Proof your yeast in a small bowl with a pinch of flour and a large pinch of sugar (plus the water and yeast, of course). It will be foamy in a few minutes if it is usable. Do NOT add more yeast than the recipe calls for. Ever!!

                – Weigh your water. Volume measuring devices (metal or plastic cups, pyrex) are notoriously misleading when precise measurements are needed.

  3. I would not have thought I could make it either-
    I used two store bought loaves tonight for our reubens- Do I dare try this for dinner sandwiches? I think I would have to double it.

    1. Baxter Bv

      Hi! I love this bread. Has anybody tried shaping it into a Boule instead of a Baguette? I’d like to cook it in my Dutch oven…

      1. Megan

        I have made it in my dutch oven – this recipe from The Bread Bible – and it was the most amazing, crustiest, chewiest loaf of bread ever. Soooooo good – definitely recommend!

        1. Adele

          I also used a cold Dutch oven oiled and cornmeal covered. Followed all the directions except baked at 450f covered for 40 minutes and then 5 minutes uncovered. No ice cubes needed. The bread was delicious. Just like the bread we used to get from the bakery in Queens. My mother used to send me to the bakery to get “a rye bread sliced without seeds.” I did, however, add the seeds as per this recipe. Worth the 9 plus hours.

          1. Marianne

            I was excited to make this today. The dough was very manageable and when it was ready to go into the oven it was plump and very high. One of the commenters said she baked it in a Dutch oven for 40 minutes then 5 more with the lid off, so I decided to do the same. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to put it on the bottom rack, but the bottom of the loaf burned. Also, as soon as I put the first cut on the top, the dome began to fall a little. So it came out flatter than expected like a lot of others experienced. I’m disappointed, but I will attempt it again, this time following the original directions on baking it on a sheet and pizza stone with ice cubes below.

            It just came out so I haven’t tried it yet.

      2. Nancy Mcleary

        I have and it turns out beautifully and delish! I always give mine an egg wash. I have been making this bread for years now. A lot of this us always one of my sons Christmas gifts!

  4. Stefanie

    This just might convince me to make home made bread for the first time ever!

    PS I tried your tomato, onion, butter pasta sauce tonight and it was amazing. I love butter!

    1. Alexandra

      I’ve made these quite a few times over the years. It’s always delicious and perfect for people that are new to rye bread as it’s not overly strong o n the rye flavour. I am however also looking for a darker rye recipe and was wondering whether you had a recipe for that

  5. Bri

    My new yorker husband will just die when he sees this. guess I better break out the mixer!

    How do you get anything done with that adorable face hanging out all day?

  6. Carrie

    first off, your baby is a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!

    secondly…i fit in that second group. we grew up eating bakery rye bread brought from my great aunt’s town (in connecticut) to my grandparents kitchen table with every family dinner…there was always a plate on the turn table with a stack of rye bread :). and you’re right, the store brands are just not the same…i think i’m going to have to find myself 8 hours in the near future!

  7. New York deli rye was one of my favorite breads from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice – I was quite surprised by how much we loved it.

    It is one of the breads I intend to make again once the crazy project to bake the whole book is over – I might try this recipe instead then…. it seems to me it has slightly less rye in the formula, so the dough might have a nicer “feel”

  8. Hi Deb–
    This sounds delicious and I love good rye bread, but it is always impossible to find. I am still trying to garner the courage to make bread more often but I have had more trouble than not (although when I made your challah it was stellar). I really want to make this recipe, but I don’t have a standing mixer. Do you think it would come out as well if I skip the mixer and act all old-fashioned kneading by hand? Thanks!

  9. Thank you thank you thank you, growing up in New York City where a loaf of black seeded rye was always in the house I have been searching for a rye bread recipe that wasn’t a brick. Now I can only hope it will work at 5280 feet in elevation.

  10. Man, oh man. I just made a rye bread recipe from Fannie Farmer, which is usually an awesome source, but the bread was dry and thoroughly disappointing. I cannot WAIT to try this! This weekend is going to be all about the lox and cream cheese on rye! Thanks!

  11. jamie

    This is totally what’s planned for this weekend! I’ve been trying to make rye bread for ages, but it never comes out right. I’m picking up some fresh yeast and giving this a try.

  12. I’m not crazy about rye bread, but looking at your creation is changing my mind…piquing my interest…hmmm.

    Your baby boy looks so cute and comfortable in the kitchen. I cannot wait until he learns how to cook next to you!

  13. Bread recipes always make me cringe with their intense, intimidating directions. I like your pared down version. Truly, the rule should be if the dough feels good (moist, tense, lightly elastic) and smells good (like the best beer you’ve ever had) you’re probably on the right track. Yeah for bread!!!!

  14. I’ve never counted myself among the rye bread lovers, but I gots ta say, you have been my bread baking inspiration. So, dear Deb, thank you for helping me conquer my silly little fear of a little packet of yeast.

  15. Symphonic Chef

    Mmm! Great idea. You and Mr. Smiley must have a ball tossing bread dough around in the kitchen all day and singing songs. A tough life!

    Would you recommend this recipe as a good one to try for someone who doesn’t have to much bread-making experience (and may be a wee bit anxious about the prospect…)? Or is there another bread I should try before tackling the royal rye?

  16. Ilana

    So bread it is! You are so convincing!

    One question though. If I want to use fine table salt, how much would I use? (I don’t trust my kitchen scales making such a fine measures)

    PS: your kid is the cutest (after mine, of course:) ).

    1. Teresa

      It steams up the oven and helps the crust. It’s like what professional bakery ovens do. I use The same technique with French bread. I am going to stay it with water and put in a hot Dutch oven.

      1. Jon Deete

        Spritz the Dutch oven just before putting into oven to get a nice delay on the dough expansion and a nice crust.

  17. HelenT

    cutest baby evar! Great bread recipe Deb, I’m gonna try it this weekend, altho maybe not on sunday – it’s forecast 30 degrees C here in Oz!

  18. Thanks so much for this recipe! Being in Austria, I have very good access to rye bread, but sometimes I just want to bake it myself. All of the recipes I had found required making a starter for 1-2 weeks prior to starting the baking and then keeping a bit always ready in the fridge. I don’t mind an all day bread making process, but I am rather spur of the moment in my decisions to make bread. I will definitely try this out!

    1. Jon Deete

      The only large segment of time is the oven baking. The other steps are quite short. There is no “quicky” or “nooner” for making good bread.

    1. deb

      Bread machine — I haven’t tried this in a bread machine. I’ve actually never owned one; my parents had one at some point but I felt that all of the breads came out same-y and got stale fast. I’m a big fan of doing things by hand. I find it more satisfying, the breads more complex.

      Yeast — I don’t have a brand preference, but I almost always buy the big bag of Saf-Instant (for instant yeast) you see here. No, I never go through it but it’s quite cost effective even if you only use a quarter and you never have to run out and buy more. I keep it in the fridge, replace it every year or two (whenever it expires).

      Ilana/Ice cube questions — Excellent questions. Professional bread ovens introduce steam in the first few minutes of baking and it helps produce a wonderful crust that’s a little harder to get in home ovens. The ice cubes in a sizzling hot pan create that effect. It’s really a no-big-deal extra step if you wish to try it. However, I do remove my pan after it’s been steamed off because I’m afraid of it (further) warping.

      Erica — The amount of hands-on time is very very limited. It’s actually a perfect baby-underfoot project because say your bread needs to be checked at some time but at that exact time your baby is having a 3rd degree meltdown. It’s totally cool; bread will wait for you. No 15-minute interval (except, perhaps, when it is in the oven and done baking) will break a loaf of bread.

      Ilana/Swapping table salt — Just use a little less. I actually used tables salt, found it a tiny tiny smidge too salty and realized afterward that Rose Levy usually calls for Kosher salt.

      Ryan — I used a whole grain from Arrowhead Mills but I believe you can use many kinds and it will work, just alter the texture a little if more coarse.

      Linds — Flavor.

  19. Love bread, love rye bread! But… don’t have a clue what bread flour is. We don’t have that where I’m from. Is it the same as strong flour? Can I use that instead?

    I’ll knead by hand too. Not because of the great workout though, but because I don’t have a mixer :)

    Thanks for this recipe!

  20. joanser

    GAH. No decent rye bread down here in the middle of the balmy bayou. I’m going to make this! Thanks, Deb. Love love love your blog. Read it every day, sometimes twice.

  21. linda

    love rye but intimidated by bread making…on my “must get over it” list.

    that little jacob is just the cutest (omg!)

    thanks for sharing his development with us. :)

  22. Jen

    this is a wonderful coincidence! Just began making bread after years of failing.. really excited to try this recipe –

    you deliver, as always :)

  23. wes

    I love that you like radishes on buttered bread! My family thinks that I’m weird (ok, I am but for other reasons) for eating a slice of bread with real butter (this is important) topped with sliced radishes and a sprinkling of salt. I haven’t tried it on rye, guess that’ll be next. I hope the store has rye flour.

  24. I am a complete baking novice, and I just started making bread this year – I love it. My boyfriend gave me a cast iron pot at the start of the holidays and I first tried the infamous no-knead bread, {I thought it worked great, but I did give it a bit of kneading and some herbs}. And, I just picked up Rose’s book with more bread-making in mind. I love her web site. {By the way… a friend pointed me to an excellent poppyseed roll recipe in Rose’s ‘Pie and Pastry’ bible. I am going to give that a try, in reference to your post a couple of weeks ago}. Thank you.

  25. Anne in NC

    A woman after my own heart. I used to live in San Francisco and could get the most amazingly fresh Rye bagels as well as Rye toast in every breakfast place. Ruebens are my favorite sandwich and I am always looking for the best one. Living in NC my Rye choices are a bit limited, so I so appreciate your efforts on my behalf. I am making the cappuccino fudge cheese cake tomorrow and so looking forward to it.

  26. Leslie

    seriously – when are you going to put this all in a cookbook we can buy? The site is convenient, but i would love a hard copy with at least some of the gorgeous photos.

    1. deb

      Epicurette — My thing is home cooking. I’d much rather discuss how you can make things for yourself. Of note, however, because it is New To Me, Shuna/Eggbeater told me this weekend about a bakery on 9th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue that makes stuff off-site in Brooklyn, but still has all of the ryes, pumpernickels, corn ryes (that’s for my dad, if he’s reading) made by old Russian and Polish immigrants. I haven’t bought the bread yet, since I had my own bread up my sleeve already, but we picked up some coffee cakes and pastries that were delicious despite being paerve.

      Bread flour — Another note I forgot to add. I get my bread flour from King Arthur. They sell it at Whole Foods and a bunch of other places (like Fairway) around here. You can also order this and rye flour from King Arthurs website, which is a dream-come-true for bakers without easy access to their spread of ingredients. However, if you’d like to “make your own” bread flour, you can. Look out for a product called Vital Wheat Gluten (King Arthur sells this too). You can keep this on hand and add one tablespoon (or whatever the package instructs) to each cup of regular/all-purpose flour you use and it basically will adjust the gluten level to that of Bread Flour. It’s a great product for people who don’t want to fill their pantries with bags and bags of flours.

      Carrie — Back in the same bowl, with plastic wrap. I will clarify this. Sometimes I get too heavy handed when paring down recipes!

  27. Carrie

    Hi Deb,
    Where did you let the second rise occur? Did you leave it, uncovered, on the counter or did you put it back in the oiled pan? Also, did I read it correctly that you let it rise 3 times (1 1/2 hours, 45 minutes, 1+ hours)? I always make white bread and want to try this rye recipe. Thanks.

  28. Thanks for posting this delicious-sounding recipe!
    Oddly enough, I just baked rye bread for the first time on Sunday. I used Linda Collister’s recipe for “New York Rye” from her book “Bread: from sourdough to rye.”

    It sounds pretty similar to yours, ingredient-wise, but has no sugar/malt powder. Nor does it have a sponge-fermenting step, but it does contain a bit of plain yogurt which, Collister notes, helps the fermentation. And, I kneaded that dough more vigourously than I’ve ever kneaded before (definitely strapless-gown ready, haha!)
    I was so thrilled with how it turned out, but your recipe has me curious… I may have to try it and get back to you with my comparison.

  29. ang

    …and yet after all this- would you believe i’m still *a little* scared to try it?!

    maybe i’ll just pop some big girl pills and try it this weekend.
    what’s the worse thing that could happen?

    i end up with croutons? ha!
    love your blog!

  30. linda

    This is perfect timing! I have made rye bread several times in the past month with a different recipe each time. None of them have been quite right. I’ll definitely try this one. thanks

    PS My first attempt was actually pumpernickel but I think that is just rye with more whole wheat flour in it.

    1. deb

      Linda — Pumpernickel is indeed a rye, but with a bunch of extra stuff in it. If you want to go completely over-the-top, I swear by my black bread recipe, which has like 17 ingredients but makes the most amazing pumpernickel you will ever eat.

  31. JanetP

    “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.” Hah, I love this. I made whole-wheat bread yesterday, and my arms were definitely strapless-gown ready after kneading that!

    Yummy-sounding recipe. I’ve been baking bread once a week, and will put this in my list of ones to try!

    And, as always (do you ever get tired of this gushing?), ADORABLE baby pictures. Awww!

  32. I detest caraway seeds but this sounds good so I’ll try it soon and leave the seed out. I already have the rye flour and other ingredients so can’t wait to get started.

  33. I love Rye bread but for some reason, never purchased because I thought that my husband would not enjoy it. How wrong I was! He loved it… so maybe, on a snowy-freezing Sunday, I’ll take on the project to make one loaf. I think we all should know how to make bread, not the fancy one, but one loaf to survive anywhere. Like in a snow storm or when Little ones are just too sick to get out and your husband is on a business trip!
    PS: Thanks for putting the non-cup and metric weight. As a metric person, it’s really helpful please, round it up. I don’t think that 118 vs 117 grams of flour would make a difference… All metric recipes are rounded up to the closest 5.

  34. Jenna

    You have just made my husband a VERY happy man! He is constantly in search of a ‘good’ rye bread. I am excited to give your recipe a try.
    BTW – this last weekend I used your bagel recipe and I must say they were FANTASTIC! Thanks :)

  35. Thanks for the observation ” Less yeast,more rise”. many people try to make breads in on the quick but the truth is take your time and the results will be worth the effort.

  36. How can you NOT love biting into caraway seeds? That’s the best part! I was on a rye bread-making kick for a while, and my recipe had unsweetened cocoa for a rich flavor and dark color, but it was dense and doughy and I could not get it to rise that much (made it a few times). Have you ever made marble rye where you put cocoa in half the dough?

  37. Tracy

    This is one of my favorites! And you really can’t go wrong with a nice slice of buttered rye with radishes and salt. Makes a really great grilled cheese sandwich, too, with or without sauteed onions.

  38. P.S. I just noticed your black bread recipe (yum) which looked similar to my rye bread (I flatter myself), and yours was dense like mine. I guess I shouldn’t expect a recipe with molasses to rise so much.

  39. Barbara in N. FL

    Re Bread MACHINES:
    I’m on my second one and yes you can make great bread using them. I have made many glorious breads in my machine and love it. The trick is to use your own recipes. You could easily make this in one. But remove the dough after the first rise, form it and place it on the pan for the second rise. Or, still works if you remove it after second rise, if you like the temp control the machine provides.

    I find you do not need to adjust recipes at all. Just make sure the moisture content is right, adjusting the amount of water or flour if needed. One advantage is that you can allow it to stay quite sticky if you want since you don’t have to handle it. Baking in the oven allows you to control the shape and crust, makes it more like your bread (or rolls/buns), and bakes it more evenly. (My arms are not strong and after should replacement I could not knead. Mine cost $100, a lot less than a KitchenAid mixer.)

  40. Chip

    This sounds excellent. I wonder if it would work to do the second bulk fermentation in the fridge overnight. A lot of recipes do this to enhance flavor, but the real advantage is that it means you can make the bread over two weekday evenings rather than a full weekend day.

  41. ooh i love you for this. my friend actually sent me a link to this because she knows of my LOVE for rye. and yes the rye with caraway seeds. i can’t wait to try this. thank you, thank you for posting this for those of us who adore new york rye way more than the tame stuff. xo.

  42. Amy B.- Portland, OR

    Deb, this is just what the doctor ordered for one very homesick ex-pat (all the way to Portland, OR) New Yorker. As always, thanks for sharing!

  43. I am for sure in your second group. I live in no mans land Utah. There is nothing like fresh Rye Bread around here for a hundred miles .I will have to check this out. We make bread all the time and have tried a few of your past recipes. I’m sure this one will be great.

  44. As a nice Jewish girl who grew up in Toronto and now lives in small town Vermont, this recipe is so exciting! I have never made a real loaf of bread before, but I think I may have to enlist the boyf and give this a go!

  45. Gette Morphis

    With ZABAR’S around the corner, why would anyone make classic NY rye?! Well, good for you anyway — and what an outpouring of posts on this topic!

  46. NicM

    Yes! I am in the group that longs for good rye bread and had been unable to find a good recipe to make my own until now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Just last night I said I wanted to make the black bread again this weekend.

  47. You know i’ve never liked the whole caraway seeds in rye bread either. They say people are either really good at either pastry or breadmaking. I belong to the pastry clan…but I’m trying to work on bread artistry. Deb, you inspire me. Oh and you made me crave bagels. Aren’t we so spoiled living in nyc??

  48. Becky

    I am going to print out this recipe for my 92 year old father-in-law as he loves to bake bread, especially rye rolls. So, thanks!

    But, I have a question for you, Deb. I buy “Borodinsky” bread here in Chicago from Russian bakeries. For me, the heartier and darker the bread, THE BETTER. Borodinsky bread is uniquely Russian and contains rye flour, rye malt, some salt and sweetener, water, sometimes sourdough starter, and finally coriander seed instead of caraway. I would like to know if you know of it and could possibly post an easy-to-follow recipe, like your rye bread post. I am irrationally yeast-phobic, it’s sad. No matter the yeast recipe, I immediately flinch since I lack self-confidence when it involves getting something to rise (or in this case, grow!) in front of my eyes.

    Well, thanks again. I am off to enjoy a slice of my Borodinsky baguette that I bought yesterday, along with my Lurpak butter & sliced radishes! A bit of heaven on earth I must add. Also, you photos are as always, divine.

    “Don’t say you’re full if you haven’t touched the bread.” (Nye poglyadyev na
    khlyeb, nye govori, chto syt.) – Russian proverb.

  49. When I was young, my mum always bought amazing loaves of a rye bread at a local Jewish deli. Besides the few years that I lived in New York, I have never been able to find a loaf to rival it. Thank you for this recipe!

  50. I love my breadmaker too. It makes it easy for us to eat higher quality bread becuase, for us, the alternative is no bread. The ingredients list of even a plain whole wheat loaf in the grocery store scares me. I discovered recently that mine is getting old (20 years!) and probably needs to be replaced.

    Lately I’ve been having trouble where my loaves have GIANT bubbles in the center. I think this is because it is not mixing well and the yeast is not being given the chance to do its job. I’ve also been using active dry (for the life of me I can’t seem to find instant even in downtown DC). Should I really be using instant?

    Mmmm, bread.

    1. deb

      Christina — I’m not much of an expert on bread makers (though one of my grievances with them had been those big poofy, often hole-y breads) but I know that they use instant, which is not the same as active dry. Instant is more stable, doesn’t need to be proofed in warm water and is used in 3/4 quantities of active dry. It might be worth you ordering a 1-pound bag of instant, which is what I have. I believe it’s good for almost 2 years. I keep the bag in another sealed bag in the fridge.

  51. Lori

    Okay, sorry, I just read #61 answer to my bread flour question. I see it is important to have. But now I’m wondering…do you have to use caraway to be an authentic NY Rye? Thanks again.

    1. deb

      Lori — I like the flavor of caraway (which is a large part of the NY Rye “taste”) but not the wiry seeds, so I grind them. You can omit whatever you wish, however, to make the recipe to your preference.

  52. Rachel G

    I am making this now! Just a question….will omitting the caraway seeds altogether really screw this up? The only ingredient I don’t have on hand at home! I have the first part done and sitting in the bowl right now! I love making bread, but have never made rye before, I’m very anxious to see how it comes out. From the picture, it looks similar to eastern european rye bread that you can find in some of the polish grocers here in Boston…yum!

  53. Rachel G

    hmm ok, I see now someone asked about caraway seeds, sorry! well I guess its off to the store foe me and the 2 kiddos! hopefully it won’t matter that they are getting added “late”! I have to agree about the post about Zingermans up above. My brother in law used to live outside Ann Arbor and it is an amazing place, and their mail order is great—a little pricey but worth it when you gotta have some great bread, or cheese, etc… He lives in NYC now so he doesn’t need to avail himself of such, but here in Boston—well, we are limited!

  54. This looks so good that it makes me wish I likes rye bread! Sigh. My husband likes rye, so maybe I should make this for him. I am working on that no-knead bread right now… well, I’m not working on it… it is working on itself in my hall closet (warmer in there than in the rest of the house). Thanks for the recipe!

  55. I can do this! Thanks for the recipe. I’m looking forward to making this, and also eating it with buttered radishes (my very favorite snack as of late). I also appreciate the cups/oz conversions. Swell.

  56. Jenn

    yes!! I started using this recipe about 2 years ago and love it so much. I usually bake something else (usually muffins that call for 400 degrees) before it so that the stone is in there getting nice and hot and yet I don’t feel like I’m wasting energy. I also shift the bread off of its baking sheet and directly onto the stone halfway through baking, as RLB suggests, but maybe that isn’t necessary since it looks like yours turned out nicely without that step.

  57. jen

    Just a quick clarification question – the flour mixture is just through the salt, right? The half tablespoon of oil is reserved the for mixing the dough step, or did is there additional oil

  58. Melissa

    Deb – Fabulous blog, I’m quickly becoming an addict! Just one question, I’m a bit confused because you say to make the flour mixture, and then add oil 2 more times… are the second oil additions just enough to coat, similar to oiling the bowl? I just don’t want to mess up an early step!! Thank you!!!

    1. deb

      Hi Melissa — Are you talking about where you can make the dough by hand or by mixer? They’re either/or directions. The oil for the bowl is not listed in the ingredients… hope that clarifies. (Or, I made another mistake in the recipe… entirely possible as I’m a bit zombified after a very early morning wake-up today!)

  59. melissa helen

    I was just in New York with my mom (she for the first time, me for only the second) and I kept thinking “I wish I knew where Deb lived/ate dinner/bought toilet paper” if only for the slightest chance that I might run into you (okay, stalk those neighborhoods until I saw you)! Thank you for sharing more than recipes with all of us.

  60. LaJuana

    The bread looks lovely but the kitchen help can’t be beat!

    You realize that if you entered him in the annual beautiful baby contest held by Regis and Kelly Live, that no one would come close to winning!

  61. Karen

    The Bread Bible is brilliant. Try her heart of wheat bread next, it’s my favorite. Also, her pizza dough makes a perfect chewy/crunchy thin crust. My favorite cookbook in my vast collection.

  62. Deborah

    Deb, did you get a new kitchen, or borrow one for the photos? It may seem like an inappropriate question when your beautiful bread should be the star, but..I have been agonizing over picking out a new counter-top,for months, then there it is on your blog! I just love the blue in the the photos (is it blue?). I am thinking it’s not granite? Do you know and could you share? Just a thought, I know you’re busy, you do amaze me. Thanks for sharing all that you do with all of us already.

    1. deb

      Jenn — The dough goes on a baking sheet. The sheet gets put on top of a preheated sheet or stone in the oven, on a low rack. An additional sheet or cast iron frying pan is on the oven floor; you put the ice cubes in whatever container is on the oven floor. Hope that helps.

      Deborah — I am fascinated by the number of people who ask me about my countertops. (Someone designing a kitchen emailed me tonight on behalf of her client!) I live in a rental apartment in NYC, in a building that is 80 years old. The countertops are the cheapest thing they could lay down, plastic is my best guess. Not even Formica, I believe that would be a step up. They’re very dark gray but the light that comes in in the afternoon, when I’m usually cooking, is very blue, which I try and usually fail to scrub out so the food doesn’t look DOA.

  63. Billie

    Deb, I have been reading and cooking from your site since I discovered it last fall. I am also a devoted bread baker (took both 3-day bread courses at ICE a couple of years ago) and have made and loved your black bread. I will be making this rye on Saturday. Question – your instructions for the sponge say to let ferment for 1-4 hours. Are we looking for a particular stage (i.e., doubled, or some amount of proofing/fermentation as in the no-knead bread), or is this merely the longer the better? As for Jacob, I am sending my one and only child – a son – off to college in the fall, and I am qvelling and re-living a lot of memories. What a happy little guy…

  64. Jenn

    Hi, great looking recipe! Can’t wait to try it! I am just a little confused about the baking directions. It says: Mist the dough with water and quickly but gently set the baking sheet on the hot stone or hot baking sheet.
    Do you put the dough onto a baking sheet and then put that baking sheet onto the hot sheet that was pre-warmed?
    Also, if you pre-warm your stone or baking sheet on the floor of your oven, can you still use the ice cube method or should you only place the ice cubes below the bread?

  65. Barbara in N. FL

    Deb- Forgot to say thanks for this great recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

    Also, I’ve found I can use any type of yeast in my bread machine successfully.

  66. I love rye bread–and because I found it as a New Yorker, not in Texas where I grew up. What would I have known from rye bread? My partner used to have it for toast in the morning. I thought that was gross. But thirteen years of marriage can change. Can really change. Now I eat marmalade on rye toast for breakfast. Ah, life. There’s never a “no.” Only a “not yet.”

  67. claire silvers

    This is a truly delicious rye bread–I believe Berenbaum’s book recommends letting the initial combination (the sponge with the additional flour mixture spooned on top) ferment at room temp. for an hour & then refrigerating overnight. I usually do that– think it both simplifies the process the next day & deepens the flavor.

  68. dasmueller

    Rye bread yum. There are different types for different times. You might not believe it, but there are times I yearn for Levy’s from NY w seeds. It is not available in Wisconsin. Wish I could find a decent recipe to make my own.

    Other times a good dense European rye is what the dr ordered.

    For those who do not like caraway, try charnushka which is often used on NY Jewish rye. It has a light anise flavor. Many spice houses carry it

  69. Not much of a baker, I only do bread in the bread maker, but that picture of the radishes sliced super thin with butter on the rye bread? That picture right there had this “New York girl living in Florida for the last eleven years” literally salivating. I might just have to do this thing.

  70. Maja

    Rye + Radish = awesome. Everyone around me outside my immediate family seems to think that radishes only belong on vegetable platters as a form of decoration. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the combination presented on smitten. Also highly recommended: sliced radish + cottage cheese + salt + pepper. Eat with spoon, or on a slice of bread.

  71. Haha – I was looking for a nice rye bread a few months ago and someone recommended the Bread Bible. I didn’t much care for rye (or caraway!) but had rye flour that needed to be used. I LOVED this recipe. We’ve made it multiple times and have a loaf in the freezer. Delicious!!

  72. Magdalena

    Regarding weight as a measurement – I generally weigh my flour at 120 g/cup as that’s what the bag claims it is. But you’re using much much heavier cups of flour – is there a standard?

    I just made the black bread today using a liquid starter in lieu of yeast (before I saw this, ironically!) and ended up adding an additional cup of mixed flour and I had thought it was the starter that made it too damp but now I’m wondering if my wimpy? cup measuring was the cause. Not that it matters because it was really really delicious!

  73. Ariel

    Ha! Too funny. I just bought rye flour this past weekend but hadn’t started thumbing through my books for a recipe. I love it when the universe just throws things my way. Thanks Deb! Keep up the excellent work. Yours is by far my absolute favorite food blog. I get nothing but rave reviews for the recipes I use from this site. In fact, we just had to beg my father to put your excellent Coffee Toffee back in the fridge. *Beg.*

  74. Susan

    Oh, I do love caraway seeded rye bread. It’s my favorite morning toast..and makes the best PB&J sandwiches. I like it a little soured though. I’ve been using this technique of adding about 1 tsp of malt vinegar to the flour before I mix in the yeast sponge and it just adds a little extra something to the finished product.

    Claire Silvers..thanks for the tip about proofing the sponge overnight in the fridge. I do like to use an overnight poolish/sponge when I make bread and wondered if this recipe would allow for that.

  75. Lily

    here’s a german of polish descent who studies slavonic culture and has been to russia – people. german rye bread is still the only one. the best one. in the entire world. sourdoug rye from any ordinary bakery anywhere in germany. I never ever bake bread or rolls because travelling the world has taught me to be grateful for the cheap stuff I can effortlessly get at any shop around the corner, cause it’s the best in the entire world. y’all come to germany if you love rye bread.

  76. Rachel G

    I finished making this at about 11pm last night, lol! It took longer for me because I stupidly used regular yeast instead of rapid! I was like…”why is this not rising?” But it did work, just took a long time! I also di not like using my mixer for bread, so I had kneaded, but it was pretty easy dough to work with. I accidentally added the oil with the dry ingredients to cover the starter, but it did no harm. It was a little dry at first when I mixed the dry with the wet, so I just wet my hands a bit, and also needed to add a smidge more oil. Luckily a very forgiving recipie considering all my “oops”.
    It is such a pretty loaf of bread I hated to cut into it, but we did! The texture is wonderful! The rye taste was very subtle and I wonder if it because I never got around to buying those caraway seeds :) I think I can even convince my 4 and 5 year olds to try it (they are white bread devotees)
    very delish ….I think it calls for a trip to the deli and making a big ruben sandwich!
    Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  77. June

    I really enjoy your blog and your sharing a part of your life with us.

    I was wondering if this bread could be baked in a bread pan. I like nice uniform slices for sandwiches.

    Again, thank you

  78. Alison

    I make bread every Sunday for my family and was getting a little tired of whole wheat oatmeal one week and challah/buttermilk white the other week. Don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to make rye….doh!

    SIX pictures of the cutest baby ever?!?! YAY!

  79. Lynne

    OH, MY, I do so LOVE rye bread. It begs the question “Why do I keep moving West?” My favorite sandwich with New York Deli Rye or when I try this one is: a toasted cheese sandwich made with Ham and Gruyère cheese with a sauce of 1/2 mustard, 1/2 mayo, a little sugar and dill (weed).

  80. Susan

    Oooo, rye bread – I love it! I was raised by a mother of German descent(Chicago) and Saturdays meant fresh rye bread (with caraway seeds, thank you!) from the bakery down the street slathered with liverwurst, dill pickle and mayonnaise. To die for! Tender, chewy, wonderful! Hard to find that bread anymore – many poor substitutes just fall flat. Thanks!

  81. For anyone who does not like caraway seeds a real classic New York rye often has nigella which is also called charnushka or black caraway seeds. They have a very haunting wonderful favorite and are what I will be using when I make this bread.


  82. Jean Marie

    When I saw what you had posted today, my first thought was “no, she did not!” But she did and we might have a snow day tomorrow so it’s perfect timing. I also loathe caraway seeds but love thin slices of radish on buttered bread. Yum. (p.s. that child is SO cute)

  83. BERMD

    As ever this looks beautiful. Thanks for the simplification of Rose’s recipe. I must say that though that I have had great results with the Bread Bible. You are so right that one must devote eight hours so it really is a case of “having your bread and eating it too” especially when you see it disappear so fast. Lately I have been using the ww and rye recipe out of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. There was no way I thought this would work, but it does, and now we have WW and Rye bread effortlessly. I would be interested in your experience with this method. Thanks again for a great post. BER

  84. This may be a weird question, but is there a substitute for the cornmeal on the baking sheet? I have all the ingredients to make this except for cornmeal, so I’m hoping I can use something else.

  85. cb72

    Such a mitzvah you’re doing here. Would you believe I considered making the Berenbaum rye and took a pass because I found it too daunting? Now what excuse do I have. Thanks bunches!

  86. Cleverly, four hours into the fermentation I’m realizing we’ve not left time to finish this before needing to go out. So I wonder whether we can reach the point of the first rise then put the dough in the fridge to rise slowly overnight? Any guidance greatly appreciated. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. deb

      Hi James — You can actually put dough into the fridge at ANY point to slow and stall. When you’re ready to resume (no more than overnight, to be safe) bring it back to r/t and resume where you left off. Good luck!

  87. Kate

    I love a good rye bread! I only have regular active dry yeast at home. (I got 2 lbs of Red Star for $3.50 at Costco.) Can I just use that or do I need instant yeast?

    1. deb

      Kate — I mentioned this in comment #91 but instant and active dry are not the same. Instant is more stable, doesn’t need to be proofed in warm water and is used in 3/4 quantities of active dry. So, while you can still make bread with it, the times might be way different as they don’t work at the same speed or in the same quantities.

  88. Melanie

    I am so excited to try this!! I love, love, LOVE rye bread, but have never been pleased with any of my attempts at home and gave up some time ago. You’ve definitely reignited the spark to try again! I wish I’d seen this *before* the snow started today…oh, well ;-) Thanks!!

  89. Billie

    I made this today and it’s just wonderful. Thank you so much! I did add one thing – a glaze from George Greenstein’s wonderful bread book, “Secrets of a Jewish Baker.” This gives it the crackly, shiny crust you get on a good bakery loaf and also helps the seeds stick. Here’s what he says. “Before slashing the top of the bread and placing it in the oven, the tops may be brushed with a pastry brush dipped into a cornstarch solution made as follows. While bringing 1 cup to water to a boil, dissolve 2 tablespoons cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water. Whisk this slurry into the boiling water until it thickens and becomes clear. This solution may be kept for several days. For a high shine, brush a second time as soon as the bread emerges from the oven.” This makes enough for two coats for two loaves. It needs to be reheated for the second coat so that it will become liquid again. Again, Deb, thanks for the great recipes AND the Jacob pictures – such a cutie!

    1. deb

      Billie — Thank you so much for that glaze tip! Years ago, I took a bread-baking class and they taught us that and I completely, completely forgot about it. It is exactly what some of my loaves have been missing.

  90. It’s in the oven as I type, and it smells so good! I’ve baked a lot of bread over the years, but I’d never begun with a sponge before. It was so cool to see the sponge bubbling up through the flour. Weirdly enough, I had also never used the dough hook on my KitchenAid – I always mixed and needed by hand. Today, I did most of it in the KitchenAid, but finished off the kneading by hand – it just didn’t seem right not to smack the dough around a bit! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  91. Carol

    Okay, everything went WRONG with this bread and it was still good!

    First of all, I began the sponge, thinking I’d be around all day to babysit the dough. But I unexpectedly had to go out of town, and I didn’t want to waste the flour and caraway seeds, so I put the sponge/flour bowl in the fridge until the next day.

    The next day, I got the sponge/flour to room temperature, then started the rest of the process. Please know that if I didn’t have a KitchenAid, I would never make bread, because I cannot stand to knead dough. So I cheated and used the machine, but the dough seemed to be perfect, and I started it in on its rises. Because our house is so cold, I have to preheat the oven at 350 for about 30 seconds, turn it off, then put the dough in the oven to rise.

    So far, so good until the second rise. Yes, I gave the oven a new boost at 350, put the dough in, and forgot to turn the oven off. A few minutes later, I hear the “beep-beep” that tells me the oven is up to 350 – AAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!

    I grabbed the bowl out of the oven (hot hot hot!!) and dumped the dough onto the counter. Parts of it had baked already, so I pulled those parts out (and ate them – yum) and started the remainder of the dough to rise.

    Miracle of miracles, the dough rose again and I shaped it into a round, which actually flattened out on the last rise. The bread baked out flatter than the loaf as pictured, BUT considering what a spaz I had been in putting this recipe together, I didn’t care.

    It makes a DELICIOUS flatbread!

  92. Billie

    Deb, you’re totally welcome for the glaze. Small recompense for all the wonderful recipes you’ve tested and posted. We can’t stop eating this bread – my husband and I have finished almost half of it since it cooled off yesterday afternoon. He says it’s the best bread I have ever made, and I bake different breads almost every week. Delicious.

  93. Jenn C.

    Made this today (mastering bread is a goal for this year).

    It came out delicious, but definitely took more than 8 hours for me. Thanks for the recipe!

  94. Lauri

    Wow, it turned out! Yum! Really good. I ground 1/2 of the caraway seeds and left half whole. I bet you get better rye flavor throughout with them ground – the smell was amazing. I was a little worried that it had overbaked – checked the internal temp after 15+25 minutes and it was already at 203 with a dark, dark, crust. But it seems to have no ill effect. My only real trouble was with the kneading. I couldn’t seem to get the dough past a sticky stage. I let it rest twice for 20 minutes and later for another 10 minutes and it improved, but as I kneaded again it would get sticky. I added more flour but was afraid I was adding too much. I’ve made bread before and I think I know the look/feel I was supposed to achieve from kneading, but it didn’t arrive after a good 20-30 minutes. so I eventually let it rise as is – still slightly sticky ( in a well-oiled bowl). so all’s well that ends well, but would appreicate some more kneading 101 (looked at your other bread posts and didn’t see a lot). Thanks!

  95. Jenn C.

    @Lauri, I had the same experience – mine was so dark I thought it had burned after 15+30, and the internal temp was over 210, but when I cracked it open, it was delicious. I wonder if the darker color was from using dark rye?

  96. Carrie

    This bread is delicious and forgiving! Mine deflated when I did the slits so I stuck it in the fridge to rise (yet again) overnight! It worked and I had warm baked bread for breakfast. My loaf rose out more than up (looks like it was baked in a 12 inch skillet) but that was probably due to user error in the rounding stage.

  97. Ashley

    I have been reading your blog for about a year now and it really is a highlight of my day :) Thank you!
    I made the rye bread yesterday and it turned out beautifully. I woudl never have tried a recipe that took that much time if I hadn’t read it here first.
    Quick question: I went to four stores (including whole foods) looking for instant yeast and all I found was Active Dry. Would they be located in the same section or should I be looking in a different part of the store?

  98. Carrie P.

    Thank you! This was a perfect recipe for a long snowy Saturday. I am the proud eater of a gorgeous loaf of rye bread. I was brave and preheated the oven for an age as you suggested – amazing crust. Next time I will add more salt though, the bread is a little “fresh” for my taste.

  99. Ailsa

    I made this over the weekend while we were snowed in here in Raleigh – what a wonderful recipe! Takes some time, but not much oversight really. Yes, instant yeast is active dry, Ashley (comment above) It was absolutely delicious -next time I’ll make 2 at a time. Thanks for this blog – I love it!

  100. kinsey

    Spent my snowy weekend making your bagels (turned out the best yet), but this will be next!

    FYI, I use the regular flour/vital wheat gluten combo and it works just fine (bought bread flour once but didn’t get to it before….well, never mind).

    Has anyone suggested using this rye bread for a cream cheese and green olive sandwich? That’s what I’m gonna do.

  101. Sarah

    I love rye bread, but it’s really hard to find. This was a perfect recipe, with beautifully clear directions and photos. I didn’t have carraway seeds, do I used poppy seeds instead, and I have to say that I loved the results. It’ll be the Russian Black Bread for me next! Oh, and I stupidly forgot the difference between Active Dry and Instant yeast – I used Active Dry, and my bread worked out just fine Thanks for such a great recipe.

  102. DJ

    I made this yesterday and I can hardly believe how perfectly it turned out – in appearance and in taste!! Thank you! only thing i wasn’t sure about was the amount of yeast in the Flour Mixture. It states 1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon. I used 1/2T. + 1/2t. but later determined that you must have meant 1/2t. + 1/8t. Even so, if i did use too much yeast in the flour mixture, one would never know :)

  103. Oh. Ohhhhh. I didn’t even know I was looking for a rye bread recipe, but now I realize that, deep down, I was. And the photos. You had me at radishes with butter and salt. Thnak you for the recipe, off to bake some rye bread now…….. :)


  104. I’m such a yeastophobe. And I have the perfect excuse not to make this – that we don’t get rye flour here! I love, love love a good bread. Especially the one with a custardy interior and a crusty exterior.. oooh yum.

  105. Kc

    I am having trouble locating the malt powder called for in this recipe. Is this the same type of ingredient used for, like, brewing beer? Surely there is a difference between malted milk powder vs. malt powder, right?

  106. deb

    Kc — You’d be looking for something like this. However, if you’re not going to regularly make this or bagels (which use it too), I think it’s fine to use one of the alternative ingredients. I used to keep malt syrup around; this time I just used honey.

  107. mapleleafmeg

    I’ve never had much luck making rye bread before but this turned out perfect!!! I made the sponge as directed, let the dough setting on my breadmaker do all the work and took it out to do the final rise and baked it on a stoneware baking stone
    I never thought about using a thermometer on bread before but it was a great tip.

  108. Rachel G

    yummy. made our second loaf yesterday. and using ground caraway seeds definitely made a HUGE difference. I didn’t realize how crucial they are! Even their aroma says rye bread to me….I just don’t like the texture of seeds, so grinding them up was perfect.

  109. Cheryl

    This was the best loaf of bread that I have ever made. It has an even crumb, a crispy chewy crust and flavor from the long proofing, even without the caraway. It is a huge loaf and very stunning! It was easy to make especially with a mixer but I recommend nine hours if you hope to have it for dinner. I started it and went to the dentist! I make a lot of the artisan breads and the thermometer tip is just what I needed.

  110. martina

    Hi Deb
    your rye bread has just come out from the oven and it smells delicous! I’m very satisfied with the result so thanks for the recipe and all the detailed explanations. I’ve had a little piece from the loaf and it’s wonderfully good (even if I omitted the caraway seeds), but I’ll wait until tomorrow to appreciate it at its best. So many thanks

  111. Emily

    This is my favorite bread from The Bread Bible. I am totally enamored of that book. My other favorite, which you should try, is the cinnamon raisin swirl bread. It’s my new favorite go-to baking gift. It’s like the stuff that I’d beg for at the grocery store as a kid…but about 35 times as good. It’s turned out absolutely beautiful and delicious every time.

  112. I made this over the weekend and it was an instant hit. I let the dough rise overnight and used less yeast, because I tend to like the longer rising-less kneading breads. THis is a definite keeper – will make this weekly!

  113. Trixie

    During a bout of writer’s block yesterday, I made both the rye bread and your cocoa brownies. The brownies are fantastic and may become my regular go-to recipe, but wow, this bread knocked our socks off. My husband, who previously stated that it was impossible to get home baked bread to taste as good as high quality bakery bread, has been eating humble pie (and a whole lot of rye bread toast). One question: what would happen if you left the sponge/flour concoction sit overnight? It seems like it would streamline things a bit to do that the night before. Though I guess you might have to use even less yeast?

  114. Heavenly. Thank you so much for this recipe. After a long and thorough process, this went into the oven, ice cubes and all and it came out amazing. We live out in SF, which might be a little bit of a different elevation, as my bread baked probably 25 to 30 minutes total (we also have a weird oven). I love this and can’t wait to grab some Corned beef.

  115. Cynthia C

    The best, most flavorful and easiest light rye recipe I’ve ever tried! I tried the ice cube trick, and the loaf came out with a gorgeous crackly crust.

    I made only one slight modification – I omitted the malt, and added three tablespoons of King Arthur Flour’s rye bread enhancer, which contains rye sour. I’m thinking that it may not have been necessary, as this bread has a nice long rise to develop flavor, and I will probably try it again without the addition. Which will probably be soon, as this loaf mysteriously grows smaller each time my husband goes into the kitchen.

  116. I wasn’t expecting this to be as good as real New York bread (because that’s impossible), but I was still somewhat disappointed by its lack of flavor. I think it needs more salt, or extra caraway seeds, or perhaps a great rye-to-bread-flour ratio. It looks nice, though, and the texture is perfect. It’s just too bland on its own.

  117. I also want to add that, although I had the loaf well wrapped on the countertop, it was rock hard by Day 2. I was hoping I could hack it into chunks to salvage into some kind of savory bread pudding, but no such luck. I couldn’t even saw through it. Had to throw nearly the whole loaf away!

  118. Slauditory

    Would it be possible to bake this bread in a preheated covered casserole a la THE no-knead bread, to help create the steam effect, after sprinkling the dough with water, instead of throwing the cubes into a separate skillet?

    (The pictures look delicious! I made your pumpernickel recipe yesterday and truly enjoyed it.)

  119. Luba

    I made it last week. Very easy and rewarding recipe. My husband told it was delicious (and this guy is not generous on complements). Only bad side, my right hand hurt next day like a hell. Next time I am going to use mixer at least part time. Also in my country we use vegetable oil (I used corn) to greese hands before kneading.

  120. Rob

    Dear Deb:
    RE:”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.)”
    Query: 1 to 4 hours depending on what? Billie asked the same question on Jan 28 and I could not find an answer to it (yes I read all the 198 comments)
    thank you

    1. deb

      Rob — You know, good question. Beranbaum, who is the Queen Of Detailed Recipes, never clarified that either. I presumed “good and bubbled through” and went with 2 to 3 hours. However, giving it more thought based on what I know about bread baking, the sponge really creates the flavor base for the bread — the “old bread bakery” taste. (A bakery often puts a little of each old dough into the new, for a more developed flavor.) Nothing bad will happen if you let it foam for less time, but you’ll get the most flavor from the longest. Hope that helps.

  121. Rob

    It sure helps Deb, but what helps the most is knowing that you care about your readers and answer their questions promptly, that creates confidence, and ¡ boy does that help!

  122. casper

    If you like this white rye bread, how about going for something really fantastic ?

    In Denmark, we eat dark rye bread every single day for lunch and much more.
    Oprah said it tasted like the earth i think – but she loved it.

    Its extremly healthy and i’ll give you some tips :)

    Æggemad : egg on rye:
    bit of butter on the bread
    bit of salat
    sliced eggs with mayo ( small stripe )
    bit of salt
    cut chives on top

    Tomatmad : Tomato on rye
    Like egg:
    bit of salat
    sliced tomatoes with mayo
    bit of salt
    chives on top

    Try making this very very simple food for lunch one day, and you will discover a bread that you will soon start to love like nothing else.
    Toast a slice of ryebread to eat with yogurt in the morning, with a piece of good sliced cheese ( north european style )
    I dare you all :)

    And now for a really good recip for traditional danish rybread

  123. Alex

    This is the second bread recipe I tried (after the light wheat bread) from your blog and both were fantastic. Very nice light rye bread. I halved the amount of caraway seeds. I do love caraway, just didn’t want it to take over. This resulted in a flavoursome “multi-purpose” loaf of bread. Whether you use sweet or savoury toppings, this bread is great. In fact, t’s good enough to eat all on its own.
    Unfortunately, I cannot leave a recipe alone so I will try and increase the amount of rye flour a little next time, maybe to 1 cup to start with and see how that changes things.
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  124. Alex

    So, I tried this recipe again, this time with 1 cup of rye and 1/2 cup of white bread flour in the soaker. I overbaked it (for some reason my timer didn’t ring to remind me to reduce the temp after 15 minutes, so it spent a little longer at the higher temp and then I reduced the time for the lower temp baking a little) and it registered 210 when I took it out of the oven. One side is a little dark. but you know what? It doesn’t matter a bit. It is still delicious and I will make it again.
    I wonder if I can replace some of the white bread flour with wholewheat bread flour??? I’m just trying to make it a little healthier…
    Next time I will try 1 1/2 cups of rye and no white in the soaker and all white bread flour in the flour mix. Will let you know how I go.
    By the way, I grew up in southern Germany where we have some of the best rye sourdough breads in the world. This is almost as good (although obviously no sourdough). But I think the slow rising does help the flavour quite a lot.

  125. Kelly

    I don’t know. This is a lot of time — 3 rises! — for one loaf of bread. The crust and crumb was good but it could have used more salt (I used kosher, not table). I also didn’t get the oven spring I was looking for, ending up with a large flat loaf about 2″ high. (I was tempted to use my Dutch oven a la no-knead but ended up baking it on a sheet. Next time — if I don’t find a less time-consuming recipe — I will definitely go that route.)

  126. Alex

    I have made this so many times now and absolutely love it. I still use a slightly higher rye to white flour ratio than the recipe states. I find it a very easy recipe as long as you can potter around the house for most of the day. Really not a whole lot of effort involved.
    Oh, and I always have to add a little more flour when kneading, no matter how closely I follow the recipe. It’s probably just my flour beiung less thirsty.

    I wonder what the reasoning is behind covering the sponge with the flour mixture versus adding the flour later. It doesn’t really matter, though as I find this approach much more practical as you get all your measuring out of the way at the same time.

    Kelly, it sounds like something went wrong when you tried out this recipe. I always had great oven spring and beautiful round Boule loaves.
    Was your yeast alright? How did you shape your loaf? You could try baking it in a pan or using a banneton? it really is worth it in the end. Well, at least in my opinion.

  127. Laura

    I made this bread this weekend – and the flavor is excellent – the only issue I had was the bread seems a bit on the dry side. I don’t know if it was because I needed more water or if I cooked it a few minutes too long. When I was kneeding, I needed more flour at each stage to prevent sticking.
    Has anyone had any issues with dryness and figured out how to keep the bread moist?


  128. Jane

    Thank you Deb for this wonderful recipe. I’ve made it twice and it is delicious. My cousin who worked in the deli business thought it was wonderful. I was wondering what would happen if you let the sponge sit overnight instead of 1-4 hours. I thought that doing 4 hours instead of 2 made a difference. Would 8 be too much? This way, I could start it the night before and finish it earlier in the day.

    1. deb

      Jane — No harm. Only more developed flavors. It must grow in the fridge, however, for the slower growth that you want. Dough can’t be out for that many hours without the yeast dying.

  129. Mark

    Tried this with some of my SD starter and first clear flour.
    Came out better than any Rye I tried so far !!!
    I think it was the Lazy Susan comment that did it, I was always too anal and uptight about bread baking, this time I just set back and relaxed , didn’t worry and followed the proceedure somewhat and perfect rye!!!
    THANK YOU a millon

  130. Renea

    Wonderful, made it with some pork & sauerkraut went perfect together. I am a well advanced cook and breadmaker and this recipe is great and worth the effort!! Changed a couple things to my own experiences in breadmaking, but this compares to the Jewish Rye Bread I use to get as a kid at the Jewish bakery. Remember, great bread doesn’t happen quickly. Happy baking! :) Thanks for sharing Deb!

  131. Jayne

    Hi Deb,
    I have made this bread three times now and I love it. Thanks for the recipe and the great blog. I did grind the caraway seeds which added great flavor without the trouble of dealing with the seeds. I also added some dill and increased the salt a tad. The only problem I have, not just with this recipe, is finding the texture a bit gummy and seemingly underbaked. The oven temp is correct, baked it at the time suggested and checked the internal temp. at the end. Any suggestions anyone?

  132. Jessica

    I started making bread (by hand) a couple of months ago, teaching myself from recipes, TV programmes, and websites. I’ve played it safe so far with wholemeal, white, and seeded flours, but took the plunge yesterday and looked online for rye bread recipes. Yours appealed because it was made with love, and as a Brit I appreciated not having weights in US cups (that I don’t understand). It worked perfectly, and although time-consuming it was completely worth it- it made a beautiful loaf of bread. Thank you.

  133. prioris

    The Bread and Cake Bible are poorly written and layed out. I have read all her bible books. I would recommend that people find other books. Or be prepared to pull your hair out deciphering things.

  134. christine

    Just made this recipe today. I grew up in a german deli in West Hempstead, NY……..moved down to franklin, TN, so I needed to bake my own………a big hit in my house…….I will be making this again……very very good……..and I do bake my own bread each day, or every other day, whenever we need it…….thank you for the recipe.

  135. Sandra Joy

    Deb… Above you referenced corn rye bread: Is the corn rye recipe the same as the recipe listed above? If not, do you have a recipe for corn rye bread? When I lived in NY, we had corn rye all the time. It’s to die for. Boy I miss NY Bakeries! I now live in PA and bakers here say the never heard of corn rye.

    1. deb

      Sandra — Corn rye is different but my father has been asking, nay, begging me to make some like he remembers as a kid (and is hard to find these days) for years. Promise, I will. (Though I might not taunt him with it while he’s on his current diet!)

  136. Lee

    I am a decently accomplished home cook and have always shied away from baking, and left cakes and breads to my wife who loves baking. I found a link here to this blog while researching a request for a treat my mother which requires rye bread. You definitely have stirred up a desire to learn about bread making in me. There is nothing better than a good bread with a meal. It makes it special whether it is a good bowl of chili, a hearty sandwich or a satisfying pasta. Thank you for this recipe, it will be tried. Blessed be you and that cute baby!

  137. Sarah

    thank you, deb! i love this bread recipe! like maria, this is my go to recipe. i often let it do a slow cold rise in my fridge overnight or while im at work. this is a great recipe!

  138. Ann

    This is the best rye bread recipe I have ever tried. Will be making it again. I didn’t have any malt powder but will use it next time. Hope it turns out as good.

  139. taue

    This bread is delicious! I made it on Sunday and can’t wait to eat it for lunch (and dinner, and breakfast) all week. It is a long, wide, and slightly short loaf, though– any tips on making it a little taller and less wide? Maybe be more aggressive about shaping a tight boule?

    Thanks for making home-made rye bread accessible. It was my first time making any bread that required proofing and the way you broke it down made it completely un-intimidating.

  140. Vic

    Great results! Thank you for sharing!
    I was wondering if it’s possible to remove all sweets(sugar and honey) from the sponge formula – would this hurt the fermentation?
    Thank you.

  141. Catherine

    Oh my good GOD. I am currently devouring a slice of this gorgeous bread, warm from the oven and slathered with butter. My eyes are rolling into the back of my head, it is that incredible. Heartily crusty on the outside, and delicately plush in the middle. A million thanks, Deb!!!

  142. Thank you Deb for this great recipe! It came out perfect on my first try. The only thing that I omitted was the caraway, since I don’t care for it that well. I’ll be making this again very soon!

  143. Lotta

    Hej, I wonder what type of setting you use at your oven. With a conventional oven do I only use heating from the top or from top and bottom? Our first try, we had it on top and bottom heat but the bread got really brown after being in the oven for 25 min. and do you still spray water on the bread when you put down the heat after 15 min or just at the beginning before putting the bread into the oven. And maybe a tip on how to get it not all flat? Our’s flattened out so it only was about 5 cm high but really wide before we put it in the oven.
    And by the way, we were not familiar with the term of backing sheet, we thought it was backing paper cause for us your backing sheet is a backing tray.
    Thanks for the answers on quite some questions!
    Great blog by the way!

  144. deb

    Hi Lotta — I have a very dinky gas oven. The heat is underneath. I find that using a thick tray (pizza stone, cast iron pan, or stacked thinner baking pans) helps keep it from overly browning on the bottom, but I do have the problem from time time time.

    I haven’t had trouble with flatness. I wonder if the yeast had started to get tired/maybe it had risen slightly too much before it got in the oven.

  145. Donica

    Trying the bread now. Love the tutorial. Despise the comments! :-) My “babies” are six and four now and I’m reading all these comments about pictures of your baby. I looked around for about ten minutes before realizing that you probably took those pictures down for safety reasons. Completely understandable, but now my eyes are craving pictures of a strange beautiful baby. :-D

    I digress. Wish my loaf of rye dough luck, and thank you! I’ll be back to try your lemon bread recipe soon.

  146. Donica

    If I can add a comment to Lotta, too:

    If the dough had no problems rising during the couple of times it was set to rise before baking, then you over-proofed your dough and all the elastic-y goodness that holds the dough together and makes it puff (instead of flatten) while baking was eaten by your yeast. Leaving you with pooled-out, flat bread. It was probably tough if this happened, too – conversely, I bet the flavor was really good. X-)

    If the dough didn’t rise well throughout the making of the bread then blame your yeast. It was either very bad quality (this is rare because yeast is simply a living organism), was sitting around your fridge too long (it happens to all of us) or was too old/stored badly at the store when you bought it (check the expiration date and hope that the stuff wasn’t in a hot truck for weeks).

    More on the whole “good quality yeast” thing: Expensive yeast companies make their profits by convincing the customer that their yeast is somehow superior to the others. Total crap. It is a living organism and the thought of these companies actually sitting down and breeding purebreds for performance is entirely laughable. The best one can hope for with any truth to this myth is poor packaging and/or poor transportation conditions.

  147. Anastasia

    I have made this bread twice now and it came out perfectly each time. Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe!

    1. Jane Smith

      Love this bread. Wondering which coarse(kosher) salt you use. I only have access to Mortons and most sources say to use half as much as Diamond. I tried weighing it and it came out more. This time used less and it tastes a little flat.

  148. Robin

    I’m really stuck on the measurements and having a 4th grade aptitude in math need a bit of help. For the sponge part, the ounces and grams are different for each type of flour but the recipe calls for 3/4 cup on both rye and bread flours. Is this right? I also got tripped up on the 1/2 T measurement, do they make measuring spoons with a 1/2 T measure? When I weighed out the yeast in grams, it was way more than 1/2 T on my scale. Is my scale wrong? I know the measurements have to be exact for bread, please help… already threw away 2 batches of the sponge ingredients because I wasn’t positive I did it right. I’m not giving up on this recipe, everyone says its so good!

  149. Sarah

    So could I complete all the steps prior to baking the night before and then bake it in the morning? Should I bring the loaf to room temp before baking or could I bake it right out of the ice box? Or would it just be easier to bake the night before? I am preparing this for a St. Patrick’s day brunch. I am looking for the freshest product possible with minimal morning of work.

  150. Christine

    Thank you!! Best Bread I have ever had and had a lot of fun making it. The crust is amazing. I did not think I could make something this good in my kitchen! Great directions.

  151. Declan Newman

    Just wanted to thank you for the recipe. I’ve made it three times now, and think I’ve got it just right.


  152. This is REALLY good bread. I’ve been looking for some time, for a good, NY Deli Rye and this is it. I used barley malt syrup and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight giving it a nice long cold rise to develop the flavor. Taking it out of the refrigerator the following day to let it rise the second and third time. Baked on the pre-heated stone for total 45 minutes. Internal temp was perfect at 190 and so was the bread. Nice crumb, crust and flavor! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  153. Joseph Nobles

    I must be having the over proofing problem, because my bread came out flat. But I watched it and took it out at the right temp, which was a lot shorter of course. And oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. This is the rye recipe I will perfect, because this stuff will convert people that hate rye bread. And my loaf was just a flat old thing! I’m making Reubens tomorrow, and I’ll just cut this into squares, slice them through the middle. As long as I don’t eat it all tonight. Thanks!

  154. Beth Bilous

    Made this with your recipe and came out pretty near perfect. I prefer a little more Tang in my rye bread, so maybe someone could suggest how I get that. Other than that, wonderful to look at (check my facebook) and wonderful to eat, oh and send a kid to school with a sandwich with it. Thanks.

  155. Beth Bilous

    I will say this additionally, I used weight measurements and that is why this came out so good I’m sure. Folks, I have been trying to use weights instead of volume in all my baking, and I must say. It makes ALL the difference.

  156. Paula

    Made this for Easter this year and needed to take my son to the ER (he’s fine) in the middle of it, so I went over the rest of the directions with my hubby. He did OK except he did the final rise in the bowl and then transferred to the baking sheet, so it deflated a bit. The end product was a bit dense, but delicious in flavor. I made it again the following weekend. I could make this every weekend. It has a fabulous taste. I think the flavor gets better as the days go by. Excellent!

  157. Jan

    This is a fantastic recipe. Ilove the “flour mixture on top of sponge method” which can be used to make a variety of great breads!

    If your ‘tang’ equals mine, I’d advise to go for longer rising times at lower temperatures.

    About measurements:
    Being a native from Europe, I have been troubled with the cup-measurements for decades and always converted them to metric weight standards. But for baking the fantastic bread recipes found on the internet I’ve recently bought a set of U.S. measuring cups and found this works perfectly. Slight deviations are easily corrected by adding a little more or less flour or water, the most crucial ingredients.
    I’ve been baking bread fairly successfully for more than a decade now, after having started and stopped for several decades (!) and I wondered how I could help posters here with answers to their queries. I don’t see any answers here. Wonder why?

  158. Andrea

    Thank you for a great recipe. Baked it today, having started it yesterday, let it prove in the fridge overnight and finished it off today. Couldn’t wait until it was completely cool though and have already had 3 slices with my husband. Put some cold water in a baking tray when I put the loaf in the oven to bake and the crust is lovely and crispy. Hope this crispy crust lasts until at least tomorrow, have wrapped it in a tea towel. Anyway, thanks again for sharing this recipe. A truimph!

  159. I’m new to bread making. It terrified me like the dentist used to. This recipe has officially settled my nerves. This rye turned out like something you’d see at a fancy bakery, and I’m not exaggerating. I wish I could post a photo. You gotta try this. Follow the instructions. Be patient. It’s so worth it.

  160. Lizzie

    Late to the party but I lived in the longing world of rye bread lovers so when I managed to find rye flour at the supermarket and a suitable wet day was provided, I got going! It must have been a bit cold in the house because it took longer than 4 hours for the sponge to bubble through but I patiently waited, even though that meant hot bread at 9pm. Mine cooked quicker than yours and I worried that I might have ruined it but no – the longing was over and a larger than planned late night snack ensued. The ice cube trick worked wonders and my snacking partner was amazed by the crust. Thanks for a great recipe I will be baking when the longing starts.

  161. Gary Z


    I am about to try your rye recipe after hours of research. I have a question about ingredients. King Arthur has a recipe that uses 3/4 cup dill pickle juice and a Tbls. of Dijon. What do you think of adding this to your recipe? I am concerned about the total sodium content that they will add, but it sounds so good. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Hi Gary — That’s a big addition and I haven’t tried it so it’s hard to say. The ingredients in dill pickle juice are salt, vinegar, sugar and water so you’ll want to adjust all four ingredients to include the addition. Look out for a brand that doesn’t color the pickles as well (ew, I know) as you wouldn’t want a greenish loaf!

  162. I can’t believe it really tastes like NY Deli Rye – and it does!

    I used Billie’s tip with the cornstarch solution and it made a beautiful shiny crust. For the steam, I made a little “cup” out of heavy aluminum foil and put the ice cubes in that in the base of the oven so I didn’t need to worry about leaving/removingg a pan inside at such high heat.

    Thanks, Deb! xox

  163. henry

    I thought my friends would enjoy NY Deli Rye for a New Year’s cheese board. Went down an absolute treat and quickly. Great recipe. Thank you. Henry

  164. jeannie

    Perfect rye bread! Crunchy crust, slightly chewy interior…gorgeous, gorgeous loaf :-) Love the caraway flavor (really says “rye bread” to me), but can’t abide the seeds in the bread so took your advice and ground them before adding. I did a 3.5 hour sponge and a 8 hour (overnight) initial bulk rise, 1.5 hour 2nd rise and 45 min pan rise. I used a “USA Pans” hearth bread pan to bake it off. Can’t thank you enough for the pared down recipe!

  165. Ed

    Can you use rice malt syrup in place of malt powder?

    (And thank you for the great blog — I’ve made the pita bread (three times), a batch of brownies, and I’ve been oogling lots of other stuff.)

  166. Sally Ewald

    Hi, Love your wedsite,
    In reguards to NY deli rye bread —– Could I make the sponge and flour mixture the night before and then continue to make the dough the next day? Also do you think the bread would get a deeper flavor from doing this?

    Thanks Sally

  167. Ed

    Made this once, and loved it.

    There was one glitch: I have an electric oven, so there are coils on the bottom, and I can’t put a cast iron pan down there. I tried putting ice cubes in a little cup made out of foil, as someone suggested above, but it was really messy — lots of water leaked out all over the crusty oven floor.

    So I wondered if you had any suggestions for people with electric ovens who are very eager to get fancy and bread-oven-like. Should we put the pizza stone on the second-lowest shelf so that a cast iron pan can go underneath? Or would it be okay to put the cast iron pan on a higher shelf? Is there some obvious solution I’m not thinking of?

  168. Billie

    Ed, I have an electric oven and don’t have a pizza stone, and here’s what I do. First you will have to sacrifice a half- or quarter-
    sheet pan to the steam process, since it will get stained and will likely warp. Put a rack on the lowest level in the oven and another rack right above it. For the final rise, I use an upside down half or quarter sheet pan covered with parchment paper (therefore no need to use cornmeal), or you can use a baking peel and parchment; you will use this to slide the loaf onto a preheated pan. When you pre-heat the oven, put the sacrificed pan on the lowest rack and an upside-down half sheet pan on the rack above it. When ready to bake, have ready about a half-cup of hot tap water; this will warp the pan less than using ice cubes and still creates plenty of steam. Apply cornstarch glaze to loaf if using, score the loaf, and slide the parchment onto the upper, upside-down pan; carefully pour the hot water into the bottom pan, and shut the door fast. I generally rotate my loaves halfway through baking, so I take out the steam pan at that point as it has served its purpose.

    The crust is always terrific even without using the stone. Sorry for the length of this post, and I hope this helps.

  169. vince s

    Thank you for this , my loaf is in the table top oven and so far looks great. I wonder if your sponge technique works for all breads and can improve their flavors..

  170. Lisa

    Thank you for posting this recipe. Baked it last night and it is AWESOME.
    We just moved from a city in BC, Canada where there was a great bakery. We just moved to a tiny oil town the middle-of-nowhere Saskatchewan. No bakery here.. And I’m so pleased to have made a great rye bread!! In fact, I prefer this over the load I used to buy. Thank you thank you! I’m ordering your cookbook. Can’t wait until it arrives!

  171. Ed

    Finally made it again — didn’t quite use the method Billie suggested. I used a cast iron pan on the top shelf, and sprayed water onto the over walls, as per Reinhart’s “Baker’s Apprentice,” which came in to the library for me the other day.

    It just came out of the oven, and looks beautiful!

  172. Kelly

    I moved to southern California 3 years ago and have been trying to find a place to buy rye bread but have not had any luck. Frustrated, I turned to the internet and discovered this recipe/tutorial. I made this bread today and am so thrilled with the results! This bread is every bit as good (if not better!) than the rye bread I used to get from my local baker back east! Thank you so much for sharing this great tasting and super easy recipe!

  173. sarah

    this sounds more like a white bread with caraway seeds, only 3/4 cup rye flour? I wonder if it would work with more rye.

  174. Richard

    Thanks a lot for your blog post! I noticed you don’t use any first clear flour in this recipe. Don’t you need that to get the genuine Lower East Side taste and color?

  175. Craig

    Great recipe. I’ve made it every weekend for six weeks. I’m from Chicago, and it reminds me of the rye from the old Imperial bakery on Damen.

    Only change I’ve made is to shape the loaf into a free-form oblong. This gives me a more consistent slice size.

  176. lubinka

    Could you please kindly elaborate on the rye to bread flour proportion? I see that you use 3/4 cup rye and 3 cups bread flour. Is really a rye bread supposed to have so little rye? Please excuse my ignorance on the subject, I just wondered whether it’s possible to make the bread with less wheat flour and more rye. And of course, thank you very much for all the wonderful recipes you share with us.

    1. deb

      lubinka — This is a NY deli-style rye, which doesn’t have the strongest rye flavor. In your own kitchen, you can absolutely fiddle with the proportion of rye flour to all-purpose to suit your tastes.

  177. I made your rye bread last night. It finally finished at 9:00 pm…it looked so beautiful …my four children, my husband and I…had to try a piece hot from the oven. It was delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I have been looking for a nice rye bread recipe and this one was the best recipe I have tried so far.

  178. Lisa

    Living at 9,000 feet, I’m always concerned with the right proportions for breads, particularly those with yeast. Well, I made this delicious NY Style Rye Bread this morning, following all measurements and instructions precisely and it’s one of THE BEST, if not the BEST so far, of all Rye Bread Recipes – At present, I have a pastrami cooking on our “EGG” and can’t wait to carve and serve it up with this wonderful bread – Thanks for a fabulous recipe!

  179. LauraBienz

    So i just pulled this beautiful rye loaf out of the oven. Plan to make ruben sandwiches tomorrow for husband’s birthday lunch. It was at 200 degrees after 30 min. so I hope it’s going to be ok. I have a gas oven…maybe i should have temped it sooner. Fingers crossed!

  180. Susan Glenn

    I made this for the fifth time, and it is just so uber delicious, I have to thank you for posting this ridiculously easy recipe. I live in the hinterlands in upstate NY, where bakery bread is very scarce and very dear$ and the supermarket selections are spectacularly awful, so I have made all my own bread for about 5 years. Rye has been an albatross for me- my prior attempts at were used as shooting clay targets by my husband and his friends. We can’t believe how light this bread is, or authentically rye (I grew up in NYC) and how easy it is. Just unbelievably good and your recipe is bulletproof so far. PS I like using the heat the cast iron cooker with lid method for baking, crust is yummy and rise spectacular! Thanks so much. Cabindoggie

  181. Warren

    Wow! I made this bread today and had it has a light dinner tonight and it was real good. I like my rye with avo and mature cheddar cheese, try it sometime, its a real winning combo! I’m not sure what corn meal you guys use in the States, but I used white maize meal, locally known as pap, our staple starch here in ZA. We cook it with water into a thick porridge served with a tomato relish which we call ‘Chakalaka’ and a traditional type of sausage called ‘beoreworse’. Some useless information for you. Thanks a lot, I’m really impressed. All the way from Johannesburg, South Africa. Yes we do have ovens, yeast AND internet access in Africa. Lol.

  182. I want to learn how to make this. I want to know what I am eating and I am not please with the extra crap store bought stuff are adding into the mix.

  183. James

    This bread is sooo good. I baked it in pampered chef stoneware loaf pans, it is so flavorful and chewy. It is my brand new favorite bread. Tomorrow for lunch are Rubens. it is just amazing bread…..

  184. Kathy D.

    Hi Deb. This all started when I saw 2 blog posts for a patty melt sandwich: one each by Pioneer Woman and David Lebovitz. Both times I couldn’t stop myself from craving that very American sandwich. I am living in France right now, and I get such cravings for things that are unusual here. The meat, onions and cheese are easy to find here, but not the bread. The first time I bought some rye bread, and it was OK. But this time I wanted the real thing, and eureka! I found your recipe. I followed your directions exactly, except had to put it in the fridge for first rise, because I started late and couldn’t keep my eyes open. It is PERFECT (already cut the heel and wolfed it down with some butter), and thank you so much. Patty melt coming soon.

  185. Dear Deb,
    I have been making peach butter for nearly 25 years, using my tried and true ( arduous ) peach butter recipe. What a surprise to find your great peach butter recipe! I have already made 2 batches for the holidays and planning on making more this week-end. Thank you. I enjoy your blog tremendously. Hope that I will be buying your book soon.
    Laura in Tucson

  186. Olya


    I am making this bread at the moment and I noticed it came out much more golden than brown (like in your photo). I am wondering if I should have used more than 3/4 of rye flour? I followed your directions to a tee minus the carraway seeds. Am I missing something (besides the seed which I did use).

    Thanks :)

  187. Tim Allan

    Hi, just wanted to say that this is the BEST bread recipe I have ever made. I initially made it because I had a craving for a pastrami sandwich with mustard and some kosher pickles that I had made, but ended up making 4 loaves in the space of a fortnight, it’s just so good! I made 2 with caraway and 2 without (because I ran out), all equally delicious. I make bread on a regular basis, but the texture of this is better than anything I have made. I did actually rush one of the loaves by making the kitchen unnaturally hot so that it would rise faster (as I sometimes do with other recipes with great results), but it wasn’t as good as the others, I think with this recipe the slow rise is essential to the beautiful texture. Thank you for such a great recipe!

  188. Cindy

    I found your recipe a few days ago and made it yesterday. I used a hand mixer (gasp) to mix the dough since my Kenwood’s dough hook is missing. Thought it would overheat but it did not.

    I considered doubling the recipe because spending a whole day babysitting the dough and getting only one loaf (which in our house would be gone in 24 hours) was not reward enough but since I never used the recipe before I didn’t double it (I’d be happy if you provided a revision for two loaves!).

    The bread is wonderful and worth the wait, great texture and flavor. I do think that as long as I am taking all the time, that I would appreciate having two loaves at the end.

    Thank you for the recipe.

  189. M

    How do you get such a gorgeous dark crust? I followed your recipe to a t and the bread is delicious but doesn’t get anywhere near that color.

  190. Lena

    I made this last night and appreciated so many things about this recipe: one loaf, crisp crust (my first one ever!), and machine mixed. I’ve been looking for a good rye bread since I moved to the mountains many years ago. Thanks so much–I feel like a pro.

  191. Marshall

    I have a double batch going and I’m going to freeze half and bake half. I was wondering what a good point to freeze would be? I’m letting both balls of dough rise right now. Should I let the freezer-bound half rise a second time and then freeze the dough?

  192. Alicia Roberts

    My first time making it. I making them in 3 small tins 8×4’s not sure if i have to bake aa long I’ll let you know thank you for posting my husbanda German gma use to make this for him. He got excited when i told him i was trying this recipe

  193. Bud

    I made this rye bread for some NY friends over the Holidays and they loved it and then a second time because the first was a big flat loaf about 2″ thick. The second time I focused on the rises more and spent 9 hours on it only to get a larger flat loaf! But it tasted just as good or better.
    Kelly had this problem 10/26/2010 but I don’t think your possible responses are still showing. I make a real nice white bread recipe 2x/week but I want a better presentation on this rye bread. Any suggestions?

  194. kathryn

    Novice bread baker here and this is the first bread that I’ve ever made that looks and tastes like something I would want to pay for. It is awesome, simple and now my favorite weekend pastime. Thank you.

  195. Kat

    So yummy!!

    I will say that my cooking time has been quite a bit shorter. Both my loaves have gotten pretty dark crusts, and 190 degree interiors, after about 30 minutes total. I must admit that I’ve never calibrated my oven, so maybe it runs hot? Even with that short a time, I’ve had very dark (read, burny) bottom crusts.

    I used a heavy duty baking sheet on a pizza stone, and preheated the oven and stone for about 45 minutes.

  196. Kat

    The beginning of my comment disappeared!
    Here’s the beginning:
    I’ve made this recipe twice in the last 4 days, and I’m so happy to have found it! We left out the caraway seeds, as my partner is Canadian, and was looking for the style of rye bread that he grew up with (apparently Canadian rye is seedless?).

  197. Emily M

    I am loving this recipe! I’ve made it twice in the last week. Sooooo good. I did have to adjust a bit because I didn’t have instant yeast but instead had active dry yeast (so I had to activate it before mixing), but it all worked out. Thanks!

  198. Michael M

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe, the bread is excellent! Hard to find a good New York or Montreal style rye here out on the left coast (Vancouver). Didn’t have caraway seeds but will try them the next time, some Canadians do in fact like caraway! Also brushed the loaf with melted butter before cooking, just a personal preference.
    Again, much appreciated!!

  199. Joy Serena

    Deb, I made the New York Deli Rye bread yesterday. My husband is from NYC and we live in Florida. He could not believe how good it was and he said it was just like what he had in NY, but the best bread he ever ate! This did take some time to make but was well worth it! Thank you!

  200. Dennis W.

    I’ve made this recipe a couple times. I like to add 2T of dill seed along with the caraway. Excellent. I bake it in a loaf pan, then slice it with my electric meat slicer and put it in a gallon baggy in my freezer. Take out 2 slices, pop em in the toaster, and I have a great start of a sandwich. Tuna salad, roast beef and cheese, ham and swiss, pastrami or corned beef. Even chunky peanut butter. All go great on homemade rye. BTW, I’m a 69 year old single male, who just started baking breads this year. Fun and easy.

    1. deb

      Klila — Shouldn’t be an issue. I usually leave it in its rising bowl and cover it tightly with plastic. With a plastic bag, it’s sometimes harder to see whether it will be too big for the bag (and a mess to remove) once it has doubled. Do it before a rise, not after.

  201. Steve

    Dear Deb

    Wicked website! I’ve made a few of your recipes and I like them very much. I especially appreciate your casual sense of humour. Food is important but it should also be fun.

    I’ve made this deli rye bread 2-3 times now and I’ve more or less perfected it. I need to make it with slightly less water so that it retains its shape and doesn’t spread out and lose height.

    But how would you propose making it overnight? I want my rye bread for breakfast and whilst I can wait 8 hours for something this good, if I start at 8am then it’s not ready until tea time!

    What would you propose? Can the first rise be left longer? Say from 10pm until 8am?

    Best wishes


  202. I’ve made this bread about 5 or 6 times now. It is wonderful to find a rye bread recipe that is not molasses-y, not orange-y, not crumbly but crisp-crusted, moist and substantial. A friend of mine whose father was a Jewish baker from Poland showed me how he made his rye bread…similar to yours, but he let the sponge go sour over a 12 hour period so the bread was a little more like a sourdough. It also had a higher proportion of rye flour. This recipe is a great shortcut, though. My husband and I loved it. Makes the best toast ever. Thank you!

  203. Jeannie

    Another snowy day here in Massachusetts and the perfect day to try this recipe. It was a joy to make and I loved watching it rise each time. During the final rise, under plastic wrap on the baking pan, it seemed to spread out more than up. While the taste of the finished bread is fantastic, rivaling the rye bread I grew up with in The Bronx, it came out as big around as a dinner plate, and only about 2 1/2 inches high in the very center. Is this the desired result or did I do something wrong? I notice Steve cut down on the water to try to correct this.

  204. Beth

    Just finally made this after earmarking the recipe the day you published it! I used active dry yeast and just proofed It first. Worked just fine. My baking time after turning the oven down to 400 was only about 25 minutes though Til I got to 190 degrees at the center, just FYI. My crust is amazing And the inside so moist! Perfect. I was definitely expecting a more “rye” flavor than what I ended up with, though it is just delicious as is! Thanks, Deb!

  205. Jessica

    I’ve made this recipe many times and I absolutely adore it. It beats by a million what you can buy at the supermarket. When it comes out of the oven we always end up eating some (a lot), which is unfortunate after you’ve had your supper and you started the whole process late so it’s pushing 11 PM… but then I dream about that crusty crust.

    The only change I make is that after kneading it for 12 or so minutes on medium in my KitchenAid, I find that the dough is still incredibly sticky and I end up adding about 1/4 cup more bread flour and kneading for 5 minutes more before I set it in the oiled bowl. There is still some stick to it but the dough is very springy. The finished loaf is not dry at all, it is simply perfect.

    I’ve a loaf resting in the warm den right now and can’t wait to eat some with butter and salt tonight!

  206. Linda

    I would like to make this in a batard shape for more uniform slices. Do you see any problem with that and should I adjust the baking time?

  207. Margot

    I consider myself a bread maven. Rarely follow bread recipes anymore after almost 25 years of not buying a single loaf I consider myself an expert, pretty much dump in the correct amount of flour to the right amount of liquid and use little yeast (sourdoughs and sponges are the way to go) BUT today I had a yen for GOOD Rye bread….. I’m originally from an area where you can actually get real bread. Crown Supermarket in W. Hartford CT (we call it the golden ghetto). I relocated to 150 acres in the middle of nowhere in upstate NY and the two things I miss most are real bagels and deli rye. I tried this recipe today and it was phenomenal! THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I’m a happy camper now.

  208. Susie

    I’m fairly new to making bread. I’ve had some great successes and some not so great. My husband grew up in Waterbury, CT, and rye bread was a staple in his household. They lived just up the hill from a place called Brooklyn Bakery, and they had fresh bread everyday. With a family of 7, it disappeared pretty quickly. We recently discovered a local bakery in our small town had started making rye bread. He was really excited, and after trying it, he was hooked. But for $6 a loaf, we didn’t buy it as much as he would’ve liked. I found this recipe and decided to give it a try. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect! My husband loves it and thinks it the closest to what he ate growing up that he has ever had. I now make it all the time. Thank you!

  209. Linda Lu

    I tried to look all through the comments regarding your rye bread which I made with my Dad over the weekend and it was awesome! Our question is whether you have tried making it in bread pans so you can get a better sandwich loaf to slice than the huge oval? Thanks so much and PS: I love your website :)

    1. deb

      Linda — I have not, but there’s no reason you cannot put this in a loaf pan to get the sandwich shape. That said, if your pan is glass, bake it at a slightly lower temperature to be safe.

  210. Carla

    I’ve been making rye bread consistently, following this recipe, and sometimes taking shortcuts. I have to say that it is perfect, as written. I haven’t tried the original, but your adaptation works really well. It’s best when followed exactly. otherwise things can go awry (too dry when I mess with measurements, etc.).

  211. Beth

    That crust looks like just what we’ve been looking for! I’d like to use this recipe as a base for a marble rye loaf. I plan to add cocoa powder to half (I think this is how it’s sometimes done?) Do you have any suggestions as to how much cocoa and any water (or other) adjustments that might be needed? Thank you!

  212. deb

    Beth — Huh, I’ve never even considered how it’s done. I always assumed bakeries simply marbled their rye and pumpernickel breads. Pumpernickel does often have cocoa in it for color (or, if you make it as insanely as I do, many other dark things, such as molasses). Maybe check my black bread recipe for more ways to keep half the dough dark. Regardless, it sounds delicious and hope it all works out.

  213. Helene Atkins

    I’m making this bread for the 3rd time now.
    I can’t put into words how GOOD this bread is!!!
    I live in the Florida keys and the “fresh” breads here are awful.
    This rivals the breads we used to get in Orange County NY at the Rockland Bakery
    You’ve got to try it! It’s much easier than it appears!!
    One question I have is if I double it and make one very large loaf like I used to buy up north, how long would I bake it?
    Btw I do do the ice cubes

  214. Helene Atkins

    I don’t know why yours came out dense and sweet.
    My husband loves this one because it is much lighter than previous ones I’ve made.
    Deb I do have a question though
    My loaves come out fatter and flatter than the picture on here
    I do form a nice ball but it flattens as it rises
    I adjusted the cooking time as it takes less time since its flatter

  215. Everett Erlaneson

    Hello. I have been making this bread for several years now, and it is always wonderful. Recently I have been turning the one loaf into 16 rolls, and just kind of guessing at the final baking time. Any advice on how, and how long to bake rolls? Thanks.

  216. Helene Atkins

    I had no caraway seeds last week so I adjusted the recipe and used all bread flour and olive oil instead of regular.
    Baking time was slightly less but OH MY it was AMAZING
    I’ve got a rye going now.
    I doubled it today to make a xlg oblong loaf.
    Will have to watch it as I’m unsure of baking time

  217. Mary

    I tried this recipe for the first time and it is as good as advertised, rose beautifully, wonderful chewy crust. My only (minor) complaint is that it doesn’t have a lot of rye flavor, the caraway comes on strong, but I would have liked a little more rye. Is it possible to increase the amount of rye flour? What would you recommend in terms of increasing rye/decreasing bread flour in the recipe? I see above (comments) that you say you can fiddle with it in your own kitchen but am hoping you can provide some guidance on how much additional rye flour can be added and how to adjust bread flour (and liquid, if necessary). I’ve found with other breads that increasing whole grain flours can be very tricky. Thanks for interpreting Berenbaum’s recipe and making it intelligible to the casual bread baker.

  218. deb

    Mary — First, I’m glad you enjoyed the bread. Re, your questions: are you using light or dark rye flour? Darker might give you more oomph. That said, I don’t see why you couldn’t swap more of the bread flour with rye flour, but I’d do it incrementally, maybe start by bumping 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the bread flour in the sponge with the same volume of rye. Hope that helps.

  219. James D

    I commented on how wonderful this bread was 4 or 5 years ago. Having a dinner party this evening. nothing like good home made rye bread. this bread is too awesome.

  220. Syd

    I have used this version of the Berenbaum recipe multiple times now with great success. Thank-you for the simplification. That is not intended to be critical of the Bread Bible, it is very valuable. But it leads me to the sourdough version Sourdough Rye in the same book, which she indicates is the sd version of the Deli one. Have you had a shot at that one? I have studied that recipe thoroughly, but cannot seem to grasp it. I have experience with sourdough (using a 50/50 starter) successfully and think I get the conversion to a stiff one.

    Any experience with this one? Or perhaps point to another deli rye sourdough recipe that produces a similar product? Thanks!

  221. Michelle

    I made the bread today and have to give you some raves about it. My husband and I live in Houston. He has NEVER had “real” Jewish Rye bread before, just the stuff on the bread aisle in the grocery store. I had made him pumpernickel before, but that was too dessert-y. He was really looking for the hardcore caraway flavor (that I honestly don’t care for). Now I am going to have to figure out sauerkraut too! He loves Reubens.
    The texture was beautiful. I didn’t do anything with extra pans in the oven or spritzing or ice cubes. (My rationale was that the Jewish grandma way back when wouldn’t have ice cubes or spritzers) Just baked it. I followed the ingredient list exactly, except I forgot the caraway when it was fermenting. Adding it before I mixed in the flour mixture was no issue. I had no malt or honey and just used sugar.

    I do have a continuing issue with my bread. THe finished loaves sometimes have a weird little pocket in the dough that seems to be from the forming of the loaves. This happens enough that it is annoying and infrequently enough that I know that it isn’t inevitable. How do I avoid those? They aren’t pretty, though the bread seems perfect and tasty otherwise.

  222. Carolyn

    I made this yesterday, and it was delicious, but did come out a bit flatter than i expected. Probably because the slashes i made were too deep? Please let me know if that’s possible. I also used active dry yeast, but did activate it in water.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. deb

      It can happen from deep slashes or just a slightly softer dough or slightly more rising time so the dough is fuller. I rarely get the same exact height in a baked loaf twice in a row.

  223. Helene

    I’ve made this awesome bread numerous times now.
    Quick question though, I make it exactly as stated using a kitchenaid mixer.
    My bread is never high and round but more flat.
    It’s great for sandwiches so it isn’t that flat big the height in your photo, I’ve never achieved.
    Any ideas why mine doesn’t come out this way?

    1. deb

      Softer bread doughs with larger holes from rising tend to flatten out more in the oven. Does your dough seem very damp? Maybe an extra spoonful or two of flour will help it stand tall, however, I usually err on the side of not adding more flour because it can make the crumb of the bread too stiff/dry very easily if you use too much.

      1. Helene Atkins

        The dough isn’t too wet at all.
        Very easy to handle etc
        I use fleishmanns active dry yeast from the jar.
        Should I be using instant?
        Thanks !

        1. deb

          The recipe calls for instant. Doesn’t mean it cannot work with active dry, but active dry usually works best if proofed first and the rising times can be different.

  224. Morgan

    This recipe is spot on! The dough is a delight to work with too. I just made it for a second time, this time doubling the recipe. I then divided it equally between 3 loaf pans and reduced baking time by a bit. The recipe made 3 beautiful loaves perfect for toasting and sandwiches.

    PS. Thanks so much for using weights in your measurements! It makes everything so precise aaannnd it saves dishes to boot- just pop the bowl on the scale and dump- so my style!

  225. Kayko

    Just working on this now and I’ve got euromalt malt extract which is thick and syrupy. What weight of this should I be using based on your recipe? 10.5g or 4.6g?

    I’m using saf-instant, but with 1/2 tsp, my weight scale (which has 0.5g resolution) doesn’t register anything. Is it because it’s too light? I ended up putting 1 tsp, and it still didn’t move.

    The sponge + flour mixture fermentation you wrote 1 – 4 hrs. Since it’s a very wide time range, what can help me decide whether I only need 1 hr or up to 4 hrs?


  226. Erica

    I just made this yesterday. It might be the first bread I’ve made that responds exactly the way it should to each step in the recipe, and it looked picture-perfect when it came out of the oven. The crust is crunchy and the texture is not too soft or dense. My two very small issues are with the flavor – the rye is not as pronounced as I would like (I used a medium sprouted rye, which is supposed to have a ton of flavor), and I find it too sweet. With those complaints in mind, can I decrease the sugar without harming anything else, and can I change the flour ratio some without disturbing the texture of the bread too much? I would be totally fine if it were denser – I love a dense rye bread. Thank you for an easy-to-follow recipe.

    1. Danielle

      Sprouted grains, while very high in nutrition, have a completely different flavor profile than that of the whole grain. This is one of the reasons sprouted grain breads are so popular – the flavor is much milder than their whole grain counterparts. This may be why it seemed so sweet to you as well, the amount of sweetener is based on the whole grain. Rather than increasing the amount of sprouted rye flour, you may try using the amount of regular rye flour called for and instead substituting 3/4 cup of the bread flour with your sprouted rye in the flour mixture, not the sponge, with maybe a teaspoon of vital wheat gluten added in to help maintain the structural integrity of the loaf. Sugar is a liquid when used in baking, so decreasing it without adjusting your other liquids will have a detrimental affect on your loaf, and it isn’t a 1:1 substitution; it is also vital to the development of the yeast, so this is one ingredient I’d leave as is.

  227. Paul Teverow

    Great recipe. For me, it worked better when I divided the dough into 2 oblong loaves and baked @ 450 for 15 minutes and then another 15 @ 400. And last time, for the sponge, I substituted whole wheat for bread flour. Not necessarily better, but I thought just as good, if you like whole wheat.

  228. Danielle

    I was recently given a #10 can of rye seeds by a friend who said “I know you’ll know what to do with them”. First, I milled that #10 can of rye seeds, then I did a Google search for “rye bread recipe” and found yours. Let me tell you, I have a LOT of rye flour! Since I don’t have bread flour, and have very little all purpose flour, I substituted whole white wheat flour, removed 2 TBSP then added an equal amount of vital wheat gluten so as not to change the volume of the flour. Except for this one (major) alteration (I always hate when people make major changes to a posted recipe, but I had to out of necessity, I followed the recipe exactly as written. It turned out great! Crusty on the outside, chewy with very little crumb on the inside but not dense, exactly what rye bread should be! Even my son, who isn’t a huge fan of rye bread, loved it! Thank you so much!

  229. Patrish

    I have been looking for a Polish/ Jewish rye bread to serve with old family recipes. Of course nothing could come close to the perfect rye I grew up with, skipping across the road to the old world bakery of my youth in Oswego, NY, where the baker and I communicated somehow ( neither speaking the other’s language). I joyfully always returned with a perfect loaf of bread from his amazing hot stone oven and a gift of a black and white cookie to die for!
    This is not it…but pretty awsome! The only change I made was using a bratform to shape the final loaf and baking in a preheated cast iron dutch oven at 450 for 30 min and another 10 min sans cover. Taste and crumb is delish. Thank you, Deb! Wish my Mom was still around to see I actually learned to bake this.

  230. Sophie Redican

    I made this rye bread just yesterday and it came out absolutely perfect. I baked it in a 2lb oblong loaf pan and it worked a dream. Perfect for New York inspired sandwiches. Delicious!

  231. Your website is pretty much my go-to for anything baking-related, but I have never left a comment until today. This recipe was spot-on. I love caraway-seeded rye, but since I’ve moved to the UK, I’ve not seen a single loaf. I made this on a lazy Saturday and it came out true to form… exactly the bread I had been missing and craving.

    The only thing I did differently is I did not leave it to rise a third time, I got too impatient. I had no bread flour so I used regular, and then I used a loaf pan because I was afraid it might lose its shape from the flour not being glutenous enough.

    Those things considered… it came out more than perfect. Even my little boy, who has never tasted this type of bread in his life, loved it and kept asking for more. Might make a sandwich, but so far, plain with butter is everything I need. Thank you. ^_^

  232. Paula Basher

    When you say 1-4 hours which do you mean? Am I looking for total absorbsion or just breakthrough?
    I’m so sorry to hear that your dad passed away. They are our first loves for sure.

  233. Beth

    I keep wanting to make this bread, but I keep wishing it had more rye flour in it. Could some rye flour be substituted for some of the bread flour in the flour mixture?

  234. Kirsten

    I made this bread and it was declared “the best thing I’ve ever put into my mouth” by my family (it’s true, it is amazing). I’m now trying to figure out a way to make the process more easily fit with having it for dinner.

    Would it work to make the sponge the evening before and keep it in the fridge overnight? Or, could I knead the dough the evening before and put it in the fridge for the first rise?

  235. THIS BREAD. Utter perfection. I did find the dough to be ridiculously wet, but worked in enough rye and AP flour to compensate — and I think my lengthy knead made it even better. Made two smaller ovals. The crust! Just right. I’m going to have fun playing with modifications down the line.

  236. Lee


    I just wanted to say that this is my go to recipe and I’ve used it many tines to great success, but never reached out and said thank you! I love your blog and your cooking style, and your photos. Chef crush!

    Thanks from Scotland ❤️

      1. bailboy

        Deb, it’s in the oven right now. I did double the recipe following the suggestions in Rose Levy Berenbaum’s book. It is in a 5 1/2 qt oval dutch oven. Can’t wait to see it when it’s done.

  237. bailboy

    Well, the bread is AMAZING! I had already said that I doubled it and baked it in a 5.5qt dutch oven but boy was I surprised when I looked in the oven door and saw that the bread lifted the cover off of the pot! I baked it until it was at least 190 degrees. After it cooled completely, I sliced it and it was delicious. Each slice is enough for one huge sandwich or two regular ones. It weighed 4 lbs. Unbelievably good recipe, beautiful crust and nice crumb.

  238. Rockyrd

    I know this is from a while ago but I just made it again yesterday and wanted you to know what a fabulous recipe this is. We are addicted to good rye bread and can’t find it where we live. Grocery store rye should be abolished. There is no comparison to this. It made a huge loaf, next time I may make it into two loaves so we don’t eat the whole thing immediately. I used a large mold and it started to go over the sides while it was rising, so i transferred it to a parchment lined and corn meal dusted sheet pan to bake it.
    Two things I think that make a big difference in the success is using some ground caraway along with the whole seeds and using a corn starch wash on the outside for the chewy glaze finish. Excuse me while I go and make a sandwich!

  239. Mike Czechowski

    If you have one of those kind of weird probably enameled broiler pans with the slotted top, use it (without the top) for your bottom water pan, instead of rusting a cast iron piece or dealing with a very spill-able sheet pan.

  240. Audrey Freidin

    I’ve just moved somewhere where I can’t buy a good rye so I had to make my own.
    I’ve never baked bread before. This recipe is a HIT! First time and it’s perfect.
    (now if I could only find some malt powder it would be to die for).
    Thank you.

  241. Fred Van Antwerp

    I love rye bread and have made quite a few loaves from different recipes, including one from SK that is out of this world. I only have one small comment on this recipe but it yields large results. You say “2 tablespoons (0.5 ounces, 14 grams) caraway seeds (you can grind these if you want to avoid the crunch)”. Caraway seeds left whole do not impart a strong flavor. I grind mine (1.5 T) in my coffee mill and add it to the dry ingredients. I add 1/2 T whole just to give the loaf an interesting look, but the real flavor comes from the ground seeds, and what a difference it makes.

  242. Sally Ewald

    Dear SK,
    I am a dye hard fan of your recipes of european decent. I have been making the NY rye since if found your website and I would like to know how to alter the recipe to add a sour rye starter to it. If you have the time I would appreciate some input.

    Thank You
    Sally Ewald

  243. Jane

    I’ll advocate here for the roasting pan lid method of baking bread, from Northwest Sourdough. Preheat a roasting pan lid (tall and large enough for your loaf) for about 5 minutes before you put the shaped, risen and slashed dough in. Slide your loaf onto the stone, spritz it well with water, then cover it with the pan lid.
    This will seal in the steam. Bake for 20 min, the remove the pan lid, lower the heat to 400 and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes more, turning loaf to brown evenly. Loaf is done hen the internal temp has reached at least 190. I lie an aggressive crust and sometimes let it go a little longer. I find using a lid much simpler than second pans into which you have to put ice or water. There’s a much greater chance I’ll burn myself doing that.

  244. Maryka

    I made this today and my husband said if we weren’t already married, he’d propose to me. Everything about it is perfection, especially the flavor that comes from grinding the caraway seeds. No, the crust is the best part. Crackly and crunchy, absolute perfection.

  245. Rockyrd

    Thanks for including this great bread on your wonderful site. I do not own this book and am planning on purchasing it. And I will make it- I promise and should not be commenting without at least trying it. But.
    We are BIG fans of rye bread, like the good one we used to get in NY but sigh….alas we are not there anymore. So for many years I have been making my own. I have tried numerous recipes, some meh… some just ok and when I made the one from an old book I own called Better than Store Bought by Witty and Colchie/Schneider, I knew I hit the jackpot. A real NY rye. Great flavor and chewy shiny crust.
    Its time consuming, even longer than this one you have posted here, but then I came across another with less time involved but a pretty good copy.
    But I digress. The one thing I have to mention is that the crust from the NY ones can (and should) be duplicated by the addition of a cornstarch slurry. I am not sure if you have used that before but its a quick mix of cornstarch and water which is cooked either on the stove or I do it in the m/w. I make a small amount and it keeps in the refrigerator till I bake my next loaf. I don’t measure it but would say its about 1/2 teaspoon or so of cornstarch and mix with a bit of cool water just to combine. Then add more- no more than a 1/2 cup and stir well. Cook for about 30 seconds or so in the m/w then stir again and let cool before using. it will be thickish and transparent.
    The risen dough is glazed with it before baking and it also helps additional seeds stick to the top. I hope you try it. It turns it from a good home made loaf to a professional and delicious one. Xo

    1. Teresa

      Thank you, I am going to try this!!! I am making my own pastrami for the first time and want to make sure the bread is perfect too!

  246. Mimi

    I know this post is about 10 years old but with all the renewed interest in bread baking these days I’m hoping someone is still listening and can maybe answer my question. What’s the purpose of the pan on the floor of the oven if using the ice cube method? Any reason to not just toss the ice cubes right on the oven floor?

    1. deb

      I suppose that depends on your oven. Mine is gas with the flame below the oven floor, which is not a solid piece, and it would probably go out.

  247. Dawn Weber

    In the narrative it says “sit aside for 8 hours” but I do not see that in the directions. Set aside the sponge for 8 hours?

    1. Susan

      Hi Dawn–
      She says set aside 8 hours TOTAL TIME to make the bread, from start to finish. (4 hours once you put the dough mixture onto the sponge, then 2 hours just for the first rise, etc.). Like she says it’s only about 30 minutes “hands on” though. Hope this helps, it is definitely worth making!

  248. Talya

    Looking forward to making this! Do you think it would work in a loaf pan, to get a more “sandwich loaf” shape rather than short and round? Any suggested tweaks if I go that route?

  249. Teresa

    Wonderful bread!! I made a few small modifications. I added some vital week gluten and some pickle juice. I added more yeast because I’m impatient, and I also added 1 tsp of sourdough started to the sponge. Great technique to put the flour mixture on the sponge. I also ground the caraway a bit in a coffee grinder. Great tip! I did final rise in a basket, baked it in an oblong cast iron Dutch oven, sprayed with water and with 2 ice cubes inside. I did 450 for 30 min covered and 10-15 min uncovered at 400. I took the temp and it was above 200, so might have been done earlier. I served Tori Aveys homemade pastrami on it with Kosciusko’s mustard. So delicious. Thank you Deb. Also LOVED your op ed on working women and your appearance today on CNN.

  250. Wendy

    I’m confused about the placement of sheet pan and/or cast iron skillet and the whole pre-heating process. If you put a cast iron skillet on the floor of the oven to preheat, should it remain there during the baking process? If you use a sheet pan, does that come up to the lower rack when you’re ready to bake, and does the pan with the bread go on top of that pan? Please help.

    1. deb

      Yes. If you have bread stone or baking sheet on the lowest rack, you leave it there while you bake your bread, either by putting another pan on top of it or just baking it directly on the hot baking sheet or stone. If you’re doing the ice cubes thing on the oven floor, you can leave that there too.


    I followed the directions very closely. The texture of the sponge was perfect. However, when it came time to mix the dough with the sponge, it seemed like the mixture was extremely dry with the result that, even after 10 minutes in the mixer, the dough wouldn’t form a nice ball. Instead, it was one large lump of dough with 6 or 7 smaller lumps of dough that would not stick to the large lump!!

    Kneading and folding didn’t seem to improve the consistency of the dough ball all that much.

    The finished product was OK but not spectacular. The crumb seemed rather dense and chewy. The caraway seeds worked well to give the bread a nice taste.

    I wonder if anyone else encountered the same problems as me??

  252. Wendy

    What do you consider room temperature? We keep our house pretty cold in the winter; the heat is only set at 66. Would I be better off putting it in the oven with the light on?

  253. Mike Lieberman

    I made this! Wow, great directions. I will add a bit more bread flour to see if I can get a bit more lift, but it sure wasn’t flat. The taste was spot on. The texture was spot on too.

    I didn’t expect this level of success… Sure, I make breads. My challah is good and so are many other breads, but I live in the Philippines.

    For the very first time in ten years I fond a small pack of Bob’s Red Mill dark dry flour in a supermarket. Years ago I imported some barley malt for making bagels. I had a truly ancient jar of caraway seeds. And so armed with this recipe I decided to try to make a memory (If there was a way I would have uploaded a photo.) .

    Our bread flour (it’s called 1st Class flour here) here has no label to tell me the protein level. The humidity here runs about 80% so this sure ain’t Brooklyn, but… it worked! Thanks so much.

  254. Chris

    Wow! Having grown up in Queens and lived and worked in the city for my first 30 years, I have missed really good rye bread. I live in Maine now and relied for a long time on family from NY being required to bring either bagels or rye bread when visiting. That’s been more difficult recently so I was thrilled to find this recipe! I didn’t grind the seeds because I like them, might even add more next time. I added some wheat gluten which made it nice and chewy, just perfect! The only issue I had with the directions was that kneading for 10 min with a Kitchenaid was overkill and relaxed the dough so much that I needed to add more flour, so stopped kneading after it formed a ball again. I baked it in an oval shape, last rise on a rimless cookie sheet lined with parchment sprinkled with cornmeal. That made it easy to slide the parchment and bread right onto my preheated baking stone. (It’s my answer to not having a pizza peel also.) I heated a soup mug of water in the microwave and put that I the oven next to the bread for steam. Will be making this every week or so while I’m working from home.

  255. jessica

    i made this for brunch this morning (started it yesterday w/second rise overnight in fridge) & it was declared by my bronx-born dad to be better than the bakery rye he grew up on. it was really delicious!

    i’ve made it a few times before, several years ago and i always kept accidentally overproofing the yeast, so the bread was delicious but very flat & wide. this time i used a loaf pan & it was perfect. not sure if it would have stayed perfect without the pan, but i got a lovely crust on (thx ice cubes!) & i like that it’s perfect for sandwiches. also, it must be stated, it’s perfect on it’s own w/butter 😋

    i will say this about room temperature. we haven’t turned the heat on yet & this morning it was v cold – 63! in charlotte! in october! – in the kitchen. i turned on both ovens to warm it up for the final rise & it took nearly four hours to double. but it did, & it was amazing. will now be making this every week, bc nothing we can get down here compares.

    if only i knew how to make corn rye🤔

  256. Grace Chan

    My husband loves Jewish Rye Bread, but all the “Traditional” Jewish Rye Bread recipes I came across were a bit too complicated for me. I came across this recipe by accident, made it, and my husband loves it. And of course, I love the flavor too.
    Thank you for the great recipe!

  257. Judy S

    Wow, amazing recipe yields a mighty tasty rye bread! I added a bit of weak sourdough starter so wound up with 2 loaves. Will definitely make again. Thank you!

  258. Excellent! I upped the ante a bit with a cornstarch glaze, 10 minutes before done, and right after it came out, and shaped it into a more classic oval shape (circle, sides folded in, rolled up)

    It’s cooling now, waiting for the pastrami to finish cooking – snuck a bit of the end and it’s heaven
    Thank you

  259. Angel

    I’ve made this numerous times but always used active yeast as I didn’t notice it says instant.
    It came out very well.
    What should I expect different if I used instant?
    Have you used non instant before?
    Thanks so much!

  260. Angel

    I’ve made this several times, today included.
    Mine never looks like yours as when it rises it is much flatter.
    Do I need a stiffer dough?
    It’s really tasty but rises flatter.

    1. deb

      If it’s consistently overhydrated — too wet, spreads too much — you can reduce the water, just a little. You don’t want a very stiff dough; it would taste dry. But sticky/soft/but holds a shape is ideal.

      1. Harriet B. Willis

        This is fabulous NYC Deli Rye! It’s needy dough and takes a long time. I’m used to making sourdough so this is no big deal. Totally worth it. Chewy crust, soft and slightly airy crumb. Yum Yum.

  261. Andy Kligerman

    Made this Rye using an overnight rest in the refrigerator and baked it in a cloche. Looks great but I haven’t cut it yet! Don’t know how to add a phot though.

  262. Dori

    I love your recipes! I have been baking breads for years, mostly with success, however, I am so intimidated to make rye bread. Are you able to make the dough with rising one night, refrigerate and bake the next day?

    1. deb

      Yes, you can pause the rising or significantly slow it down in the fridge at any point, just let it warm up and resume where the dough left off the next day.

  263. Abby+Krueger

    I love this bread! This time I increased the rye flour, to 50% of the flour mix, and I like the final product better, it’s wryer, like a dad joke. Added some vital gluten to make up for missing flour. Go Deb!

  264. Nancy Mcleary

    This is such delicious bread! I have been working for two years trying to do the rise overnight in my fridge. I would sooo appreciate your suggestions on how this is best accomplished.
    I have asked this question twice before but , sadly, didn’t receive a reply.
    This is the only way I am able to bake this bread because I am disabled due to severe chronic pain and cannot do the entire thing in one day.
    Please, please, please give me a good way to accomplish this.

    1. deb

      You can do the rise overnight in the fridge, absolutely, here and with most breads. In the morning or whenever you get back to it, if it’s not yet doubled, give it more time at room temperature until it catches up. Enjoy!

  265. Shane Barr

    Oh man! I made this twice so far. The first time I followed the recipe exactly and it came out a bit dark during the first stage of baking, but my convection oven has always cooked things faster. The second time I made this, I shaped it into a loaf and put it in a loaf pan. I had a chef here that day because I was helping him on a project. When my bread was done, after it had cooled enough, we sliced into the perfect loaf and he loved it so much he asked for a second slice and I sent the rest of that half home with him. It is an easy to follow recipe and has been superb both times!
    I would post a picture if that were an option because that loaf was perfection.

  266. Bonnie

    I grew up in the largest Jewish neighbourhood in Toronto, and that set the bar for rye bread for me. I made this recipe a couple days ago, and I am thrilled that this bread is easily as good as anything I got from the Jewish bakery.

    I made it exactly as written, kneaded by hand. Just brilliant, although it does take time.

  267. Chris

    I discovered this recipe over a year ago during my pandemic baking. I’m a NYC girl living in northern New England. We have good artisan breads but the few who make rye do a dense whole grain loaf, so I am thrilled to have this recipe. It’s genuine NY rye bread and though time consuming it is fantastic. I use whole caraway seeds and actually add more than the recipe calls for. It slices up nice and thin without falling apart, too.

  268. JaniceY

    Oh, wow!! Made your NY Deli Rye bread today. This amazing recipe yielded a beautiful crust and deliciously-tender crumb. (Full disclosure: I used a cold Dutch oven to bake the bread @450F for 40 minutes.). Will definitely make this bread again. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  269. Ron Lockhart

    This is a great recipe for rye bread that is closer to store bought than the dark, intense ryes that are more commonly associated with home baking. My family and I loved the taste of this bread, whether for sandwiches or toast.

    The recipe is very straight forward, especially if you’re used to making bread at home. I have to admit I’ve never created a sponge like the recipe calls for, but it’s very easy and the results are exactly as described.

    One note: I used King Arthur Organic All-Purpose Flour. Since the protein content is slightly lower than bread flour, the dough was a tad stickier and required a couple of additional tablespoons of flour. I added one while it was on the dough hook in the mixer, and another after it was removed. I just kneaded it in. The texture was perfect and the dough was not at all sticky after adding the additional flour.

    I will definitely make this wonderful bread again. If you’re a fan of rye bread like Levy’s or Arnold, treat yourself to a loaf of this bread instead. You’ll love it!

  270. Woo Gilchrist

    This is the best bread I have ever tasted and made. I replace the malt powder with a tablespoon of Black Strap Molasses and it is heavenly.

  271. Barbara M. Kelly

    I am in the middle of making this (i.e., the flour mix is on top of the spong and has about 3 hours left of resting time)….but, it just seems like there is not enough flour. Other “one-loaf” recipes I have seen call for more flour….and I am very concerned about the rye flour to bread flour ratio. It would seem that more than three-quarters of a cup of rye flour is not much. Oh well, I am up to my elbows in this so I guess we will just have to wait and see.

  272. Barbara M. Kelly

    One star….ended up being tasteless and a far cry from what everyone is claiming to have made using this recipe. Waste of much time and effort.

    1. Ron Lockhart

      I can only respond to Ms. Kelly’s comment that I’ve made this bread often and it is delicious, with a plenty of rye flavor and a wonderful crumb. Everyone’s tastes differ, and maybe this isn’t what you imagine rye bread to be, but for me, I think it’s excellent and will continue to make it.

      1. Steve Stark

        I grew up in New York City and have the pleasure of eating a lot of Jewish rye bread which is what inspired me to bake my own. After baking many loaves using the published recipe, I discovered that the flavor could be enhanced by adding some Deli Rye Flavor from King Arthur Baking. The result is a tasty rye bread. Another tip for baking the perfect loaf is to make sure that the dough is fully hydrated before placing it in the oven so plenty of steam will be generated to make the bread less dense.

        1. Ron Lockhart

          Steve, I grew up in NYC on 57th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. The Stage and Carnegie were my neighborhood delis. That was the kind of rye I was looking to make, and this recipe is the closest, if not the match, for what I came to know as “rye bread.”

          Ironic that you should mention King Arthur rye flour as that’s what I use, regardless of whose recipe I’m baking.

          Lastly, other than being somewhat time consuming, I don’t find this recipe difficult in the least. If you’ve ever baked bread before, it’s pretty straight forward. The only thing that was new to me was putting the flour over the water in the first step and leaving it to autolyse for up to four hours.

  273. Lorrie MacGillivray

    I’ve noticed that the weigh in grams for this recipe are significantly different than some standard flours. King Arthur bread flour, for example, is 120 gr/cup. Using that measure, 2 1/4 C bread flour should be 270 gr. And yet this recipe says 2 1/4 C bread flour equals 351 grams. If I use King Arthur flour, should I adjust the grams to 270?

    1. Debra Kamerman

      Interesting, I’d never noticed the conversion inconsistency. But I can report that I do all my baking by weight and use the weight measurements provided in the recipe, and the bread is excellent.

  274. Made this today to accompany our St. Patrick’s dinner and its leftovers. Love this recipe and am so grateful you posted it, Deb. Just one note — every time I make it (using gram measurements for all ingredients), the final loaf weighs in a bit over 2 lbs. When I add up the measurements you’ve given, that seems about right (983 grams with rounding, or 35 ounces), but the yield states 1.75 lbs. It probably doesn’t matter for those making a single round loaf, but I thought I’d mention it for those who — like me — sometimes make rolls or a sandwich (loaf pan) loaf, or two batards.

  275. Abbe Harms

    I’d love to see a video on this…I am nervous about the sponge which seems like it would turn into lumpy glue, just scooping flour on top of it. Knowing what it’s supposed to look like would be helpful. Also, I am not sure how to knead dough and how to know when to stop. What do you look for to *be sure* yeast is working? I read through comments, but none addressed these things. Thanks! Love your recipes, videos, chatty style of writing. Abbe