The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Weekend Bake - New York Deli Rye from BBA

pmccool's picture

Weekend Bake - New York Deli Rye from BBA

My wife purchased a copy of BBA as a birthday present some weeks back and I finally got around to using a formula from the book; in this case, the New York Deli Rye sandwich loaf. It is a definite keeper. I have been admonished to put a big star next to that particular formula.

The bread is a wonderful base for a corned beef and swiss cheese sandwich, to start with. We'll keep experimenting and see what else works, too. The onions in the bread are a a delicious complement to other savory flavors, but somehow manage not to overwhelm the other components.

Since it was my first attempt for this formula, I made sure to follow the instructions closely. I opted out of the use of caraway seeds, since my wife does not enjoy that flavor. Next time I may try either dill or fennel seeds, since it seems either of those would make a good flavor complement.

The use of commercial yeast, brown sugar and buttermilk in the formula were a bit surprising. I think that the buttermilk (and the shortening) contributed to the finished bread's moistness. For the next attempt, I will probably skip the yeast. My starter seems to have plenty of boost, so the yeast really isn't necessary to ensure an adequate rise. I do need to follow some of JMonkey's recommendations for increasing the sourness of the starter. Mine is more mild than wild in the flavor department, even with having refrigerated the second build of the starter overnight. A longer, cooler rise with no commercial yeast would probably increase the sour flavor.

The other thing that I should have done was keep a closer eye on the dough during the final rise. When I came back in from some outdoor chores to check on it, it was almost 2 inches above the edge of the pan, instead of the recommended 1 inch! Warm day plus commercial yeast--who'd have thought it? Anyway, I got lucky in that there aren't tunnels and that the bread holds together instead of crumbling in the middle of the slice, like some other over-risen breads that I have made.

All things considered, this was a very satisfactory experiment with a new recipe. And it will definitely be back for an encore.


Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

It does have an amazing rise after being shaped, doesn't it? ;) I just had a baloney sandwich on a couple slices. Deeeelicious!

My wife likes it so much, I have to make it every week and keep it in the freezer.

I'll be curious to hear how it goes without the commercial yeast. You'll have to alter the rise times from the text.

Oh, and instead of buttermilk, clabbered milk works great, too. A teaspoon of lemon juice to a cup of milk.


rmk129's picture

I finally received my copy of BBA in the mail, and this is the first recipe I tried. I used clabbered milk and omitted the caraway seeds.What a delicious and moist loaf!!! Thanks to the onions this bread is delicious to eat all on its own...but my husband and I are going to run to the supermarket before it closes to pick up some good cheese and deli slices to go with it!!! I bet it will make great grilled cheese sandwiches too!

MarionR's picture

Is BBA a magazine?  What does BBA stand for?

Floydm's picture

Heh.  That question comes up so often I added it to the glossary this morning.

 A great book, BTW.  

sphealey's picture

BBA = The Bread Baker's Apprentice, one of Peter Reinhart's books.



cognitivefun's picture

I made this several times. The last time I didn't use baker's yeast at all and it was the *best* bread I've ever made (in my short time baking bread.)


A lot of recipes include both starter and baker's yeast and pretty much now I just ignore the baker's yeast part of the formula. Takes a bit longer but it is more satisfying and tastes better, IMHO, not to use baker's yeast.



jim2100's picture


Is this recipe listed anywhere, or does one have to buy the book? Can someone post it here? I love rye bread, and have been making rueben sandwiches alot lately with store bought bread. I have only made four loaves so far since I started baking last week.


I am using SourdoLady's starter recipe



I enjoy cooking with wine. On occasion I even include it in the recipe.

pmccool's picture

Herewith a variation on the New York Deli Rye formula featured in the Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart:


Rye Sponge

1 cup (7 ounces) barm (refreshed sourdough starter at 100% hydration)

1 cup (4.5 ounces) white rye flour

1/2 cup (4 ounces) water (90-100F)

2 medium (12 ounces) onions, diced

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) vegetable oil


Final Dough

3.5 cups (16 ounces) high-gluten, bread, or clear flour

1 cup (4.5 ounces) white rye flour

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) brown sugar

2.25 teaspoons (.56 ounce) salt

2 teaspoons (.22 ounce) dill seeds (original suggests caraway, fennel is also good)

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) shortening or vegetable oil

1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or milk (90-100F)

.25 - .5 cup (2-4 ounces) water at room temp, as needed


Day 1

Mix barm, flour, rye flour and water; cover with plastic wrap and set aside.  Lightly saute onions in the oil just until they sweat; transfer from pan to a bowl and cool until just warm.  Stir into starter.  Cover with plastic and ferment at room temperature until bubbly, 3-4 hours.  Refrigerate overnight.


Day 2

Remove starter from refrigerator and and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour to remove the chill.  Stir flours, brown sugar, salt, yeast and seeds together.  Add starter, shortening or oil, and buttermilk.  Stir or mix until mixture forms a ball, adding just enough water as is needed to combine everything into a soft, not stick, mass.  Let sit for 5 minutes.


Transfer dough from bowl to floured countertop. Knead for 5-6 minutes, adding flour as necessary, to make a firm, slightly tacky, dough.  (Remember, this is rye bread and it will be stickier than a wheat bread.  Don't overdo the flour while kneading.)  Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and ferment until dough doubles in size.


Remove from bowl and divide into 2 pieces (for 9 x 5 inch loaf pans) or 3 pieces (for 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pans) and shape loaves.  You can also shape into batards if you prefer to bake them on a stone.  Proof at room temperature until 1.5 times original size.  Loaves in pans should dome about 1 inch above the pan rim.


Preheat oven to 350F for pan loaves, 400F for free standing loaves.  Free standing loaves can be brushed with a wash made of egg white beaten until frothy.  Slashing is optional.  Bake for 20 minutes and rotate loaves for even baking.  Bake another 40 minutes for pan loaves or another 15 minutes for free standing loaves.  Internal temperatures should register 185-195F at the center and loaves should sound hollow when thumped.


Remove loaves from pans and cool on a rack at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.


Note: the original recipe includes 2 teaspoons (.22 ounces) of instant yeast in the final dough.  If you are limited for time, mix the yeast with the flours before adding the wet ingredients for the final dough.  If you have the time, leave the yeast out and let your starter work its magic.


I would highly recommend that you buy the book.  There are other terrific formulas (cinnamon rolls, for instance) that make this an excellent value.  Reinhart spends the first 100 pages of the book in an extended tutorial on breadmaking, which is tremendously helpful.   



jim2100's picture

 Hi and thanks for the reply.

I ordered two books so far. Crust & Crumb: Master Formulas For Serious Bakers by Peter Reinhart, and Beth's Basic Bread Book: Simple Techniques and Simply Delicious Recipes for Foolproof Baking

And The Bread Bakers apprentice is being ordered soon. 

Thanks Again







I enjoy cooking with wine. On occasion I even include it in the recipe.

Jeffrey's picture

sounds really good to eat.  A big loaf at that.