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Jewish Rye Bread

Jewish Rye Bread

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Makes 1 loaf (or two small).
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from an Internet recipe.

This bread recipe intrigued me because it uses something I never tried before—sour pickle juice. This is the juice in a jar of pickles. I did some research and several web sites said to save the juice and use it to ramp up the flavor in some foods, such as potato salad. I like that idea. So I made this bread and the result was delicious. I think I would like this best for pastrami sandwiches.


2 cups (10 oz./283g) bread flour
1 cup (4½ oz./128g) dark rye flour
1 cup (240ml) warm water
¼ cup (60ml) oil, such a canola, corn, or safflower oil
¼ cup (60ml) sour pickle juice
3 tablespoons dry potato flakes
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1½ tablespoons demerara sugar, or regular granulate sugar
2½ teaspoons (1 packet) dry yeast, such as instant or active dry
1½ teaspoons salt


1. Place about half the two types of flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water, oil, and pickle juice. Mix to form a batter. Add the potato flakes, caraway seeds, sugar, and yeast. Mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

2. Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer. Add the remaining two types of flour with the salt, a little at a time, mixing at medium-slow speed, until a dough forms—wet enough to stick to the bottom of the bowl but pulling away from the sides.

3. Knead in the machine until the dough is smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes. You might need to adjust for flour or moisture, adding more as needed.

4. Clean the mixer bowl and grease it with butter or oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat the surface all over with the fat (or coat the top manually). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour, longer if your kitchen is cool.

5. Grease or line a 9x5-inch bread pan, or grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape the dough into a log for the bread pan or into an oval for the baking sheet. Grease the surface and cover with plastic or a kitchen towel. Let rise 60 to 90 minutes.

6. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the middle. With a very sharp knife (or baker’s lame) cut shallow slits into the surface of the dough to allow for expansion during the “oven spring” early portion of baking.

7. Bake the loaf until golden and thoroughly cooked, 30 to 35 minutes, or until an internal temperature above 190°F (90°C). For a browner loaf, you can increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) during the final 10 minutes of baking time.

8. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and cool thoroughly before cutting.