Deli-Style Rye Bread

Submitted by: admin on April 2, 2020

Makes 1 Large Loaf Or 2 Smaller Loaves


2⁄3 cup rye flakes (optional)
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
2-3⁄4 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
1-1⁄2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1-1⁄2 cups (7-1⁄2 ounces) all-purpose flour
3-1⁄2 cups (12-1⁄8 ounces) rye flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 large egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk


  1. FOR THE SPONGE: Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees; toast rye flakes, if using, on rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, water, honey, yeast, and rye flakes, if using, on low speed until mixture forms thick batter; cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let sit until bubbles form over entire surface, at least 2-1⁄2 hours. (Sponge can stand at room temperature overnight.)
  2. FOR THE DOUGH: Add all-purpose flour, 3-1⁄4 cups rye flour, caraway seeds, oil, and salt to sponge and knead on low speed until smooth yet sticky, about 5 minutes, adding remaining 1⁄4 cup rye flour once dough becomes cohesive. With moistened hands, transfer dough to well-floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1-1⁄4 to 2 hours.
  3. Generously sprinkle cornmeal on baking sheet. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and press into 12 by 9-inch rectangle, with long side facing you. (For 2 smaller loaves, divide dough in half, then press each piece into 9 by 6-1⁄2-inch rectangle.) Roll dough toward you into firm 12-inch (or 9-inch) cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed. Turn dough seam side down, and with fingertips, seal ends by tucking them into loaf. Place shaped loaf (or loaves) onto prepared baking sheet, cover loosely with greased plastic, and let rise at room temperature until dough looks bloated and dimply, and starts to spread out, 1 to 1-1⁄4 hours.
  4. Thirty minutes before baking, heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush egg white mixture over sides and top of loaf (or loaves). Using sharp serrated knife or single-edge razor blade, make six or seven 1⁄2-inch-deep slashes on dough top(s). Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake until crust is golden brown and loaf registers 200 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes longer for small loaves and 25 to 30 minutes for larger loaf. Transfer loaf (or loaves) to wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving. (Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Wrapped with additional layer of aluminum foil, bread can be frozen for up to 1 month. To recrisp crust, thaw bread at room temperature, if frozen, and place unwrapped bread in 450-degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes.)


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