jewish rye
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Jewish Rye Bread and the Secret to Getting It Right

An authentic, chewy Jewish rye bread with caraway seed that is the perfect base for those midnight pastrami sandwiches - and the heartburn that goes with them. Has that slightly sourdough flavor that makes it perfect. Freezes well.
Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 3 loaves, 10 slices each


  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups water 110F
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle brine (from a jar of your favorite dill pickles)
  • 1/2 cup your favorite mild flavored oil (I use peanut oil, sometimes olive oil)
  • 4 to 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups dark rye flour , preferably stone ground organic
  • 1/2 cup dried potato flakes
  • 1/4 cup dried onions , optional
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup caraway seed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar , tightly packed


  • Add the water and the sugar to the yeast in the large bowl of your mixer, or a large bowl if doing this by hand.
  • Let stand 5 minutes. The mixture will be bubbly.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, using only 2 cups of the bread flour and reserving the rest.
  • With the mixer running add the remaining flour, a half cup at a time, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is firm but still slightly sticky. (Rye dough will always be sticky - it feels different than other doughs)
  • Turn out on a lightly floured counter top and knead a couple of times.
  • Form into a ball.
  • Oil a large bowl and add the ball of dough.
  • Oil the top of the dough and cover with a clean towel.
  • Let rise for one hour, or until doubled.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Punch dough down and shape into 3 oval loaves.
  • Place loaves on a lightly floured baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle tops with bread flour - not too much.
  • Slash tops with a sharp knife.
  • Let rise 30 minutes.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until done.
  • Let cool before slicing.