There are a lot of foods that are plentiful on the East Coast but scarce (or incomparable) on the West Coast. Among these are bagels, mozzarella cheese, pizza…and rye bread. In winter 2007 my grandma (who is from Vermont) came to stay at our house for a few months, and whenever my mom went to the store my grandma would ask her to get some good rye bread. Jewish deli-style rye bread is nearly impossible to find out here, so my poor grandma had to do without while she was here. Too bad I was going to school 3,000 miles away (enjoying all the NY-style pizza, mozzarella, bagels, and rye bread I wanted)…if I had been home, I could have made her this bread, which is quite delicious and definitely comparable to what you get in the Jerz. Read on for the recipe!
recipe from Pete Bakes
deli-style rye bread
makes 4 1 lb loaves. you’ll think you’ve died and gone to a jewish deli in nyc. from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp caraway seeds, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup rye flour
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
cornmeal for sprinkling
cornstarch for cornstarch wash
1. mix the yeast, salt and carawy seeds with the water in a large bowl. mix in the remaning dry ingredients without kneading. cover with a towel and allow to rest at room temperature for about 2 hours. at this point, you can prepare the dough for baking or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
2. dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off 1/4 of the dough. dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. elongate the ball into an oval-shaped loaf. allow it to rest and rise on a cornmeal covered surface (pizza peel if you’re going to transfer to a baking stone or a baking sheet if you’re baking right on the baking sheet) for 40 minutes.
3. preheat the oven to 450 F with an empty broiler tray on the shelf underneath the one you plan to bake on. heat the baking stone up with the oven if you are using one.
4. make the cornstarch wash by combining 1/2 tsp cornstartch with a small amount of water to form a paste. add 1/2 cup water, whisk and microwave for about 60 seconds. paint the top of the loaf with the cornstarch wash and then sprinkle on caraway seeds. slash with a deep parallel cuts across the loaf using a serrated bread knife.
5. bake the loaf on a baking sheet or slide it onto the hot baking stone. bake for 30 minutes. as you put the bread in the oven to bake, pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. allow to cool before slicing or eating.