The Perfect New York Deli Rye

The Perfect New York Deli Rye

Daria Souvorova

6-8 hours
serves: makes 1 large loaf (24 sandwich slices)


Every couple of weeks, I like to ask Nico what kind of bread he would like me to make. Most of the time, he wants some baguette or a hearty olive loaf. This week, he told me he wanted something dark and big. What is dark and big I asked? What kind of flour, maybe rye? Yeah! Big and rye!

So here it is, a big loaf of rye sandwich bread. This is a technically easy loaf to make, you just need to dedicate a bit of time, allowing the sponge to bubble for 3-4 hours really helps the flavors to deepen, but if you are in a hurry, 1-2 hours will still produce a good loaf. I have read several accounts of adding pickle juice in addition to the water to the sponge, and it produced wonderful results. The flavor is much richer (and really not pickly) after the loaf is baked. Rather non-traditionally, you will find that I combine the traditional caraway seeds with fennel and coriander for a bit more excitement! If you want a traditional loaf, simply add 3 tablespoons of caraway seeds.


So you spent 8 hours on the loaf, is it worth it? Yes! It is delicious on its own or with a bit of tomato, cream cheese, and smoked salmon! It is also delicious with some savory homemade tomato paste, stay tuned for the recipe later this week!

The best part, the loaf is really lasting, It has not staled after a week on the counter!


  • sponge:
  • 1 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 rounded tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • 1 cup water
  • flour mix:
  • 3 1/4 +2 tablespoons bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, coarsely ground
  • finish:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to rub on dough
  • cornmeal for dusting
  • 1 cup ice cubes


    1. Combine sponge ingredients with whipping attachment in mixer. It should be very wet.
    2. Mix together flour mix ingredients and place on top of sponge in a large bowl. Do not blend them together.
      Cover and let rest for 3-4 hours until the sponge seeps through in spots.
    3. Add olive oil and combine with bread attachment.
      Let rest for 20 minutes. Cover with a damp towel.
      Knead for 10 minutes on a lightly floured counter.
      Oil, return to bowl. Rest covered for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. If your dough is not rising, it may be too cold. I place mine in a cold oven with the pilot light on.
    4. Dump out onto a counter and press down to release some air. Fold ends into the middle. Turn 90 degrees, repeat. Pinch to seal the seam.
    5. Oil and return to the bowl for another hour.
    6. Place a sided, metal, oven-safe dish on the bottom rack of the oven.
      Preheat oven to 450°F with the convection fan on. If you do not have convection, preheat to 475°F.
    7. With a razor blade or very sharp knife, slice a 1/2 inch deep slice into the top of the loaf.
      Place the loaf into the hot oven.
      Add 1 cup of ice cubes to the preheated pan and quickly close the oven door.
      Bake for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 400°F (425°F without convection) and bake another 20-30 minutes.
      Your loaf should be dark brown and crusty and the interior temperature should be 190°F.
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