My favorite rye isn’t in our books–here’s how to slash it (careful, it’s sticky)

The rye flour available in supermarkets is delicious, but it’s whole-grain, and that’s not what I grew up with as a kid.  Those rye breads from yesteryear were made from “medium” rye (bran and germ-depleted), and the result was lighter.  Bob’s Red Mill and Hodgson Mills rye flours make great breads, but you have to go light with them to re-create what we used to get years ago.

I figured that wasn’t what people were looking for in the books, so I went a little heavier in the recipes we published in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and of course, with much more whole grain in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  In this video, I’m talking about using relatively little of the Bob’s or the Hodgson product.  Follow the recipe at our Back to Basics post, but substitute 1/2 cup of rye flour (Bob’s or Hodgson Mills) for 1/2 cup of unbleached all-purpose (in the book, the swap is for a full cup). Then, add 1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds to the initial mix.  Everything else is the same (in Artisan Bread in Five, I used a whole cup of rye flour, and it’s also a great result– just different).

To clarify a couple of things from the video:  I said to turn and shape the loaf pulling around on three sides– I meant “on four sides;” turn the loaf in quadrants and pull the top around to the bottom to create a “cloak.”  And of course, rest the loaf on on cornmeal or parchment, not on the board where you shaped it or you’d have to lift the fully proofed loaf, which isn’t a good idea.

20 to 30 minutes before baking time, preheat a baking stone to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C), with a metal broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with rising bread (do not use glass for this purpose or it will shatter).  Using a pastry brush, paint the loaf with water and sprinkle with more caraway seeds.

Slash at least 1/2-inch deep with a serrated bread knife, making perpendicular, not angled cuts, as in the video. Slide loaf onto the baking stone and pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before slicing, and enjoy!

85 thoughts to “My favorite rye isn’t in our books–here’s how to slash it (careful, it’s sticky)”

  1. Try King Arthur rye flour, it’s not near as course as the flour in supermarkets. I’ve used 1 cup of KA rye in your basic recipe, and it came out great.

    1. Chris: The KAF product you reference is probably “medium” rye, which is depleted of bran and germ. Pillsbury sold a supermarket version of this but dropped it about a decade ago. If people get medium (like KAF), they definitely can push the rye proportion and get results like what they remember. Jeff

  2. Thanks for the video, Jeff. I come from Slovakia, where white rye bread is the standard. But I try to eat more healthy now, so I love the rye recipes you have in your books.
    Are you guys going to have any Easter recipe posts (hot cross buns, …)?

  3. Jeff, I’ve made 2 batches so far of your Deli-Style Rye, using 1 cup of Hodgson’s “Old-Fashioned, 100% Stone Ground, All Natural” rye flour, and they’ve come out fine, but I’ll try reducing to 1/2 for the next batch.

    How much should rye flour weigh? I think I’ve seen both 4.5 oz and 5 oz, and I’d like to know which one is right.

    What’s the optimum time to freeze rye bread–before baking, after parbaking, or after baking? I’m preparing rye bread for my elderly dad, who goes through a 1-lb loaf every 2 days. Since I visit him only 2x/month, I need to prepare some dough/bread in advance. (He is fine with baking the loaves himself.) Thanks!

    1. Hi Rebecka,

      The rye flour weighs 4 1/4 ounces (120 grams). All of the flours in our book are listed in a chart in HBin5 if you want a reference.

      If you are parbaking the bread the most important thing is to wrap it very well so the loaf doesn’t absorb all kinds of odors and flavors from the freezer. You can probably keep them frozen for a few weeks before baking.

      Thanks and I hope your dad enjoys all the bread! Zoë

  4. This post’s reference to the broiler pan reminded me that I’ve been doing this a little differently. I found that my broiler pan warps whenever I add water to it, and it collects a film of calcium carbonate (due to hard water). Because of these issues, I now use a disposable pie pan instead of a broiler pan. It doesn’t hold as much heat, so I usually add water during preheating.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Do you also add water once the loaf is in the oven? If this is working for you then fantastic!

      Thanks for the tip! Zoë

  5. Found an AWESOME product to get more rye flavor- again KAF had it- Rye flavor powder, has a warning for the fumes it’s so strong! But add a few Tbls to the water before the flour and it makes a very tasty bread. Unfortunately I am one that doesn’t like to bite a caraway seed, so this really makes the great flavor without it, and also with the lighter on the rye flour recipe.
    I am happy, just got my gluten and HB5 book- look out oven, time for a work-out!

    1. Christina: What exactly is the “rye flavoring” made of? I’m hesitant to recommend it until I’m clearer that it isn’t an artificial flavoring, which I’m not crazy about. Do you know what’s in there? Jeff

  6. Thanks for the link, Jeff. They look great. I’ll have to make a new batch of brioche dough now, since I just used up the rest of mine on your cinnamon raisin bread.

  7. got it- KAF says this is what’s in it:
    rye flour, acetic acid, natural flavor (including caraway oil), sodium silicoaluminate (a processing aid), naturally fermented lactic acid (from cane, corn and beet sugar)
    hmm sodium silicoalimuminate. only odd thing- it’s for non-clumping, they say.

    1. Hi Christina,

      Have you tried the Rye enhancer yet? I am very curious to hear if it delivered all the flavor you had hoped for! Please report back!

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. Zoe, I’ve usually added enough water to the pie tin during preheating that there’s still plenty there when I add the loaf to the oven. Of course, I’m always open to trying something different if you have any suggestions. The pie tin has been working reasonably well, and it’s nice to not be destroying a broiler pan in the process. Thanks!

  9. I’m making the Tapenade bread for Easter but I’m not sure if the Tapenade is added to the bread before baking or just placed on top like a Bruschetta. HELP!

    1. Hi Pilar,

      1 cup of the tapenade (or slightly more if you love it) is added to the dough with the water.

      Then you can add more to the top if you like!

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. Just tried out your cookbook and the bread is delicious! I’ve been using a 1/2″ stone and the broiler pan with water. (Although I might change to the inverted pan based on reader comments.) The top crust is gorgeous but the bottom crust doesn’t brown and has big cracks. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Joann,

      Thank you for trying the bread. Usually the bottom crust not browning means that the stone was not adequately preheated. You may need to preheat your oven for 30-40 minutes. If you are not yet using an oven thermometer I highly recommend it so you know the true temperature of your oven.

      The bottom crust splitting is generally because the dough has not rested long enough before baking. Read this post and see if it helps:

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. Being originally from NY, I love your carraway rye bread recipe and make it all the time. Friends and family love it. When I’ve tried to make a seedless rye, by simply eliminating the carraway seeds, it doesn’t come out tasting like a rye bread at all.. and definitely not like the seedless rye breads I buy in NY. What’s the secret to making seedless rye bread? more rye flour?

    Also, I’ve been using KAF medium rye and it is excellent but I’d like to buy a larger, less expensive supply. I’ve noticed “Honeyville” brand medium rye in 50 lbs bags. Are you familiar with their product and the quality of their medium rye flour.

    Love both the books and use them every week.

    Bob C

    1. Bob: You’d need more rye flour, and if you want NYC-style, you’re going to have to use more of the “medium” rye (bran and germ-depleted) you have (can’t swap for Bob’s or Hodgson or it will seem like whole-grain bread, which I’m guessing isn’t what you’re looking for).

      We haven’t seen the Honeyville product in our neck of the woods, but worth a try, sounds like. Jeff

    1. Elaine: Can’t see why it shouldn’t be freezable, though manufacturer talks about refrigeration as the preferred storage-mode. Jeff

  12. Hi Zoe-
    Haven’t gotten rye enhancer yet- just this deli “flavor”. I have to say I absolutely love the flavor it gives- I guess I love rye flavor. lol. The direction say to start with one Tbl and add more if you want more flavor. I usually add at least 2-4 Tbls. to the water (just so I make sure it mixes well) and I get all kinds of complements when others have some. My Dad actually asked me to quick – bake up another loaf just to take home! At only 35 min or so in my convection oven, it was a snap. Love baking in there- no need for the water bath since the space is so small- it steams itself.
    I have heard that you can actually take the temp of a loaf to tell if it’s done- what temp would that be if I did it? Sometimes I have a hard time telling from color, etc.

    1. Christina: Get the probe to the middle of the bread— for lean breads, it’s 205-210 degrees F, for egg-enriched it’s 185 degrees F. Jeff

  13. Zoe, your tips worked great. I let the dough rest longer, put the stone on the bottom rack of the oven and tented it with aluminum foil since I didn’t have a deep enough pan. Needed an extra 5 minutes to brown the top properly. The bottom crust looks perfect. Now if only it were cool enough to cut…… Thanks again.

  14. Question unrelated to rye… I had great success with recipes from the 1st book, but the 3 batches I’ve made from the new book (wine & cheese and berry twice) seem to lack gluten formation. They taste fine, but when I pull the dough from the bucket it falls apart rather than stretches. I tried tweaking the amount of water with my 2nd round of berry to no avail. Any suggestions what I might be doing wrong? Thanks!

    1. Hi Steph,

      I’m so excited that you tried those two loaves!

      What kind of whole wheat flour are you using? Some brands are ground courser than others and have less gluten development. Some people have found that adding a bit more vital wheat gluten helps this.

      Thanks, Zoë

  15. This is very off topic (of rye bread anyway), but do you think it would work to sub rice milk for regular milk in the Chris Kimball’s inspired sandwich loaf recipe from the first book or to sub melted Eart Balance dairy/soy free for melted butter in the oatmeal bread recipe from the first book? My kids are both allergic to dairy and love the master recipes from both books but I’d like to try something a little more “loafy.” 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Hi Chris,

      I do think they would work in those recipes. I have substituted soy milk in some of the recipes with great success and I don’t see why rice milk wouldn’t work as well. I used Earth Balance when testing the recipes for HBin5, so I know it works!

      Thanks and enjoy! Zoë

  16. Okay, okay, okay I promise that this
    is the last question. My cousin is celiac
    and all of the bakers in the family have had terrific success with all-purpose gluten free flour mixes (Jules, the gluten free pantry, etc) what are the chances of being able to sub this stuff out 1-for-1 with white flour?Maybe it needs more liquid? I would have tried earlier but that flour is so darn expensive! I know you have gluten free recipes in your HBin5, but mixing all of those flours together is not only expensive, but time consuming and expensive as well (the results are almost worth it to me though)

    Thanks, you guys are the best!
    John R

    1. John: We haven’t tested those products, so I just can’t even guess if you’d be able to swap 1:1. See what kind of hydration level the manufacturer is suggesting and then use that in our recipes (the ratio of wet:dry ingredients.

      I’m guessing that the result will taste very different. Those products typically include legume flours which our mixtures do not.

  17. I just love your book and have been trying so many recipes! One I especially enjoy is Betsy’s Seeded Oat Bread (p.147.) I added poppy seed and millet as well and enjoyed the result.

    My question is: Is there a way to convert this recipe to a loaf pan? A two-pound loaf is just right for my family. It would be easier to use this for sandwiches if it were baked in a loaf pan. Thanks!

    1. Hi Erika,

      If you follow these directions you will have a lovely loaf. I do this all the time with the Betsy loaf.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  18. Can you remind us what kind of wwflour you tested the recipes w/?

    I’ve had trouble lately w/ getting enough rise….and have lost track of what wwflour I was using before.

    1. Helen: I tested with Gold Medal Whole Wheat, a typical supermarket product. Make sure you give the full rest time, and expect 100% WW loaves to be denser than most of what’s available in the US (rarely 100% WW). Jeff

  19. Hi, I am not sure where to post a general question. I have made the master recipe a few times. When I slashed my bread after letting it rise, it seemed to collapse a bit. I baked it as instructed and my thermometer had a temp inside of the bread of about 202 degrees. The bread didn’t expand at the slash points, it seemed to fold in on these and actually seem flatter at these points.
    Is there any reason this may happen?

    1. Emily: You may just need to bake longer, as we generally recommend 205 to 210F for lean breads, and 185 for egg-enriched. But the slashing technique is a little different with very wet dough– make a deep (1/4-inch) slash, straight down into the loaf, not at an angle. Rest for the full recommended time, and for our first book, consider a longer rest than the 40 min we specify (60 or even 90 min may give you a result you prefer.

  20. The last few times I have made the deli-style rye bread on p. 58, I have used 1 cup of buttermilk & 2 cups of water plus about 1/8 cup more water as I work in the flour. The last few times I have used Hodgson Mill Rye flour 1 c. and 5 1/2 c. of KA bread flour and this bread is really good. I baste on the corn starch mix and sometimes I forget to slash the dough and the loaf turns out quite fine.

    1. Hi Carol,

      Your bread sounds great, I love the use of buttermilk in the rye dough, I’ll give it a shot!

      Thanks for sharing your experiments! Zoë

  21. I’ve been making a lot of Greek-style yogurt lately by draining the whey from regular plain yogurt. (Just dump the yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined strainer and let it drain for up to a day.) I hated throwing out the whey – it seemed like such a waste, and I know it contains a lot of calcium. So yesterday I used the whey from a quart of yogurt as the water for a half-batch of rye bread dough. It worked great!

  22. I’m anxious to try the “Prosciutto and Olive Oil Flatbread” in AB5M (pg. 146), but have a question. The first meat I thought of when reading the recipe introduction describing “lardo from pork” was mortadella. I’m not completely familiar with Italian meats, so I have to ask–do you think mortadella would give a good flavor to the bread, as well as provide a good amount of the fat (but not too much) that the prosciutto or serrano hams recommended for the recipe?

  23. One other quick question–I noticed for the Prosciutto and Olive Oil Flatbread recipe, in the ingredient list, extra virgin olive oil is listed for brushing on the top, but in the directions, it states to use a cornstarch wash before baking. Can you please tell me which you use for this bread? Thanks!

    1. Cookworm: The truth is, you can do either, with a different effect. If you use olive oil, it results is a soft, more golden crust. If you use cornstarch wash, you’ll get a firmer, more deeply browned result. Just a matter of taste… Jeff

  24. I know this is an old post, but I am a rye bread fanatic and I am trying to make a dough that pushes the rye proportion to 1 1/2 cups (KAF medium rye) and using 5 cups store brand AP flour. The latest experiment yields a bread that tastes great, but is just a little dry. I know it may be an overbaking problem (it never looks done to me after 20 minutes on the stone / 10 mins on the top shelf, so I go another 5) or not enough liquid for the rye (the dough does not seem elastic enough – I grabbed out a handful and it basically snapped off, no knife required).

    I’m wondering if you have any other hints on how to make a rye dough with this much rye. I will try baking for less time, and I will likely try some combination of substituting 1 cup of buttermilk for one cup of water, using bread flour, and adding more water. Have you used any other combination of flours (white rye/medium rye) or added anything besides buttermilk (such as potato flour) to improve a dough with high rye content?

    I really enjoy baking the breads from ABin5 and am looking forward to making potato rye and pumpernickel. But I’m a perfectionist and it’s my new years resolution to perfect the deli style rye 🙂 Happy new year. Looking forward to your artisan pizza and flatbread book in the Fall.


    1. Scott: Increase the water a bit– maybe a quarter cup. I’ve never used buttermilk in this situation, but it’s probably great. Likewise potato water, but I wouldn’t start with potato flour.

      Finally, consider using vital wheat gluten, which is discussed at length in our second book, or here on the site (see FAQs page, the entry about whole grains). Jeff

  25. I’m working my way thru ABin5 (love it!!) and just tried the deli rye recipe. I used rye flour from Hodgson along with the AP. Everything went fine (cornstarch wash, slashing, etc) but so far both loaves I’ve baked have twisted and sort of “exploded” through the gluten cloak. Any ideas on why the loaves are twisting? Could it be the cornstarch wash constricting the expansion?

    1. Hi Deb,

      This is typically happens with dough that needs to rest longer. Try adding 15-20 minutes to the resting time and see if the problem is fixed. You also need to make sure the slashes are deep enough.

      Thanks, Zoë

  26. Thanks, Zoe. I wondered about that alsoand will try a longer rest next time. My slashes were sufficiently deep I think (I did it just like Jeff in the video above) but the loaf was still probably still too chilled in the middle section which is where it did it’s funny twist thing. (It tasted wonderful though!)

  27. Has anybody tried grinding the carraway seeds in a coffee grinder or spice mill then adding to the rye bread mix?

  28. I have tried the Deli Style Rye recipe from the Artisan Bread in Five Book. The bread has a great flavor, but does not seem to rise after shaping. The final product is only about 2 inches high. I have allowed a longer rest time and it has not seemed to help. I have had great success with many other recipes in the book. Any suggestions?

    1. Megan: Have you tried making it in a loaf pan? Bet you’ll be happier with that. A small loaf pan… Or, let’s try to perfect some technique issues.

      The rye dough doesn’t have a lot of strength, and if you don’t carefully gluten-cloak it (see videos above), you’ll get sideways spread. The bread’s probably expanding nicely, but it’s expanding sideways (otherwise you would have told me it’s too dense, which you didn’t mention).

      If you can more carefully cloak, you’ll encourage upwards expansion. Otherwise, the loaf pan should solve your problem. Jeff

  29. Thanks for the quick reply Jeff!

    I just watched the video a second time and I noticed two things. My dough was a lot wetter than the dough you were working with. Also, I was not slashing the bread correctly. Tonight’s loaf finished my rye dough off, but I am going to mix up another batch to try again in a day or so. I will try the small loaf pan and try to perfect my gluten cloak. The bread is definitely spreading sideways.

    Thanks again, your help is much appreciated!

  30. First of all, I love the book–got it from the library, but then went out and bought it–new–which I on;y do with cook books I know I am going to use again and again.

    I grew up in the Bronx in the 60s-70s and understand what you wrote about the rye bread disappearing in NY. I’ve been trying to replicate it since I moved down to Virginia 22 years ago, and yours comes closest to anything I have made!

    Two questions–a lot of books talk about “First Clear Flour” and I have used it in my less successful ryes–what are your thoughts on it?

    Second–I am baking my loaves in a big oval dutch oven I bought at Ikea ($50! And in my favorite blue!). They are not rising the way I’d like them to–I’m going to look at your videos and see if shaping is my issue. But the real issue is the crust. The dutch oven is producing a nice crust, but it’s not that indescribable NY rye crust–the sort that used to make me argue w/my brother over who got the heel of the bread! Any additional ideas on improving it.

    Sorry to go on and on. Again, love the book–I am singing its praises on GoodReads and elsewhere!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      We wrote the book to try to get novice and experienced bakers to bake bread every day. As a result we didn’t want to require our readers to buy ingredients that were not already familiar to them, like “first clear flour.” The types of ingredients tend to intimidate new bakers. Having said that if you enjoy the experimenting with such ingredients you can often play with the recipes to get them just as you like. First Clear flour is made of wheat that is high in protein, but still has much of the bran and germ in it. This is often added to flours like rye, because rye doesn’t have enough gluten to form light bread. Instead we just mix the rye with unbleached all-purpose flour, which is much easier to get and we like the result. You can certainly play with adding the First Clear and let us know what you find!

      You may just need to let your dough rest a bit longer before baking:

      Thanks, Zoë

  31. The fridge rise you’re suggesting should help the crust, but what will it do in terms of the height of the bread? That’s been an issue, particularly since my older daughter is wild about the rye and would love to have corned beef on rye sandwiches this month when corned beef becomes affordable. I’ve been thinking to let the bread rise even longer on the counter because it’s cold when it goes in the oven–with the fridge thing it would definitely be cold.

    BTW, forgot to mention that I’ve been halving the dough recipe and then using it all at once for a single larger loaf. It seems to bake fine following the LeCreuset method, but has that also been a factor in the loaf size?


    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Doubling the size of the loaf means that you need to let the loaf rest longer before baking and bake it longer. You will need to add about 30 to 40 minutes to the resting time and about 15 to 20 minutes to the baking time. This will help the height and interior crumb of the bread.

      Thanks, Zoë

  32. Will try it and report back. Thanks again!

    BTW, I realized that I have been using this method for years when I bake challah. I mix it then usually just put the dough in the fridge and bake it later into bread, or more usually, rolls. I have to use it within several days though–otherwise it really takes on that winey smell.

  33. I’m brand new today to the search for bread recipes;- a complete novice, never made bread in my life! Now I need low carb/gluten free and I’m crazy for Dill Rye. Do you have any recipes for that?

  34. Hi Jeff and Zoe,

    I am having trouble with the yield of the Deli Rye Bread dough.

    I have a wonderful German customer who loves my rye bread. I am making the deli rye for him in loaf pans today so he can use his bread slicer.

    I told him I would make a 4 pound batch so he could stock up and save money.

    I haven’t made a 4 pound batch before today for anyone, have sold individual crusty loaves. So I didn’t notice until I weighed the dough today that it only comes to 3 pounds 12 ounces of dough. I added up the ingredients in the recipe, and it comes to about that.

    Awhile back, I thought it was a poor rising bread. Therefore, I switched from KA AP to KA Bread flour. I added 1/4 cup of Vital Wheat Gluten, and increased the water. It didn’t help that much.

    I’m using Hodgson’s Mill rye flour. This customer is reading a book on healthful foods, and the health benefits of rye on the digestive system. I’ve even made a all rye flour bread with just rye starter fo him. He really likes rye!

    How can I modify the recipe to make over 4 pounds (weight reduces in baking, for net weight). I saw this video on this post, and I’m wondering if I should try 1/2 cup more of rye flour and 1/2 cup more of all purpose (if I’m not getting the big rise, I’ll try all purpose flour again instead of more expensive bread flour!).

    I read all the posts on this page (including Scott S), too, and wondering if I should do that–6 cups AP, 1 1/2 cups rye, and 1/4 VWG, plus the rest and extra water.

    Thanks so much!


    PS–My German customer is so grateful to buy rye bread in this more rural area! Thanks so much for the recipe.

    1. Judy: You can proportionally scale up any of the recipes. In ABin5, everything’s a little shy of 4 pounds. You can double everything. Or multiply it by 1.5.

      But basically you can get four loaves, 0.9 pounds each out of a full batch as currently written. Jeff

  35. Just curious, would making a starter with some of the flour and water help the rise? I could do an overnight starter with a cup or two of the flour so it bubbles up.


    PS–love your pictures on your posts

  36. Hi Jeff,

    No, I don’t want to scale up. Because then I’ll have too much dough. I want to adjust the recipe.

    I’ll experiment. I think this customer will agree to my trying that.


    1. Judy: “Adjusting the recipe” is just scaling up by an odd amount, let’s say multiplying ingredients by 1.10 or something like that (which would give you about 4 solid pounds). But it makes for very odd and unrealistic volume measurements.

      Our third book give weights for everything in the dough recipes, on Amazon at . There’s a rye recipe in there that would solve your problem if you swapped water for the olive oil in there, and added back the caraway seeds (publisher will kill us if we put any more of our dough recipes up here on the website for free!).

      Don’t think the starter would help. Assume you’ve tried longer resting time (90 min?) Jeff

  37. Thanks a lot, Jeff. i really appreciate the information.

    I’ll have to check out the book. Great to know the doughs are varied and can be used for multiple ways.

    I might try a bit of baker’s math, using grams.

  38. Hi Jeff and Zoe,
    I have tried your recipes many times (I mostly use them for pizza), but this is a question about which rye recipe in your book will come closest to the rye bread I am trying to make. I lived in Denmark for a year and fell in love with Swedish Peasant bread and German Peasant Bread (NOT the Rugbrod). I tried your basic peasant bread in the first book and Volkornbrot from Healthy Bread (page 83) but have not had luck getting a high rise with denser (not holey) crumb. I have literally searched the web for probably 20 hours for a recipe. I want to use yeast (not sourdough) and would love to do it the ABin5 way…but can’t seen to find the right recipe. ANY SUGGESTIONS? The following links are to pictures of the type of rye bread I am trying to make:

    1. Hi abi,

      based on the color of this loaf and all of the malt, which will make it a bit sweeter you may want to try the pumpernickel bread. It may not be exactly the same, but could get you closer.

      Thanks, Zoë

    2. It’s been a while since your post, but would the Swedish peasant bread you refer to be a bit sweet? I grew up in an area with lots of Swedish immigrants and a Swedish bakery. The recipe I found most similar to my favorite Swedish Rye was found in the local church’s cookbook. It is sweetened with 1 cup molasses per loaf, and has a 3-5 rye/white flour ratio, and 2-1 water/milk ratio with pounded fennel seeds steeped in the warmed liquids and shortening for flavor. The crust is brushed with a water/molasses wash after removal from the oven. Many in my family can eat nearly a loaf of this in a sitting. It is exceptional toasted or grilled. I think the recipe will translate well to the refrigerator method. I will try it out soon myself.

  39. Happy New Year from St. Louis! I have to tell you how excited I am. I have ome left over rye dough and am leaving to skiing. I need some bread for sandwiches in car. Not enough and don’t need a whole loaf so I experimented today and made a rye pita! It worked beautifully! Thanks for all the recipes and ideas. My family loves all the bread I make. Made 3 wreaths this Christmas.

  40. HI Jeff. This is a follow-up to my/your reply post on using first clear/common flour in the deli rye recipe. Having using 50:50 mix of first clear and AP along with 120 g of KA medium rye flour and of course caraway seeds making appropriate water adjustment for hydration. Outcome- the texture is notably ‘lighter’ then all AP flour and taste slightly more flavorful. Will be doing a double blind taste test in the coming weeks to confirm findings. Thus far, impression is if you have first clear, use it, makes for a nice texture and taste loaf but don’t go out of your way to get this flour given the cost. Oh, and I bake in either a dutch oven or cloche. Thanks.

  41. Hi Jeff:

    Many thanks for your detailed recipe for Deli Rye, and for clarifying the differences between rye flours, then and now.

    I just finished baking 25 loaves for a pop-up restaurant, and many of them were quite beautiful. However, I had some of the same issues that Deb described in January, 2011: twisting and blow outs through the gluten cloak. Deeper slashes seemed to help a lot, but you pointed to the importance of letting the loaves rest so that they come closer to room temp before going into the oven.

    The problem with that approach for me is that the loaves begin to spread sideways during the longer wait, something that you and Zoe also identify as a problem when it comes to oven spring and rise.

    I’d appreciate your help on this issue, since I have to produce the same 25 loaves in March!



    1. Hi Marc,

      In order to let the dough rest a bit longer and not have it spread too much, you need to use quite a bit of flour in the shaping and make sure the cloak is fairly tight. Have you seen this video on shaping with wet dough? Is there anything visually different between the loaves that twist and blow out and those that don’t, before they are baked?

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Zoe:

        Many thanks for your quick reply. I held back originally on bench flour, but I quickly learned that the rye recipe required it for shaping/handling purposes. But I’ll up my game in this area and see if it controls for spreading.

        I did see another video which including Jeff’s shaping technique, but I learned a variation at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor. In that approach, the dough sits on the counter with the hands of the baker simultaneously stroking downward, tucking, and quarter-turning. Could Jeff-s mid-air acrobatics make a difference? How about that cool letter folding deal?

        Thanks for your patience,


      2. Well, anything that stretches the loaf’s surface around itself will create a “cloak” that can prevent spreading. I do it in the air, but I’m not sure there’s any magic in that.

        And the books have the letter-fold technique (all except our first).

  42. Can I make this in a 2 lb heart bread pan? If so, how do I avoid the dough from sticking. I tried this once in regular size bread pans and even though I greased them well, the dough stuck. I was asked to bring the deli rye to our next book club meeting and would love to make that in the 2 lb pan. Thanks.

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