The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Levy's Deli Rye Bread (Variation)

Janknitz's picture

Levy's Deli Rye Bread (Variation)

I made this lovely rye bread from the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum this weekend. 

If you like a deli-style rye, this is the bread to try.  It has a fantastic balance of rye flavor and a beautiful crumb that stays fresh-tasting for days.  The crust is just beautiful (never mind my scoring).  And the oven spring on this bread, in my 10 1/2" clay baker

Is truly spectacular!

This bread weighed just shy of 2 lbs (14.9 oz to be exact)--more than I thought my clay baker could even handle. 

But there's a secret.  My "variation" was actually a mistake--a mix up between caraway seeds and anise seeds.  And delicious--I don't like caraway at all, but it was truly yummy with anise.  A good mistake.

I've blogged about it here if anyone is interested. 


mrfrost's picture

I don't have the book but have it on request at the library. I should have it in a few days or so, hopefully.

In the meantime, I found what seems to be the recipe on a website(smittenkitchen). If it is the correct recipe, barely 17% of the total flour is rye. The rest is bread flour.

Is this typical of a deli rye? Can you taste much rye, in such a low amount, or does the typical "rye bread taste" come mainly from the caraway seeds?


Janknitz's picture

I calculated the formula in the book to be about 20% rye (I am a math dweeb and could be wrong-- 95 g rye, 468 g bread flour???). 

The "beauty" of having not used the caraway is that the rye flavor really came through--I find when there is caraway in bread that's all I can taste.  Perhaps the rye flavor was even enhanced by the anise.  In any case. it seemed a nice balance of rye--definitely there but not overwhelming.  I'm not a rye connisuer because it IS so often paired with caraway which I intensely dislike.  But I liked  the rye a lot in this bread without the caraway and found it a very pleasant flavor. 

So the short answer is:  Yes, you can definitely taste the rye in this loaf, and no it did not come from the caraway seeds because there were no caraway seeds in it. 

mrfrost's picture

That's actually about the same 17% rye, so it's probably the same recipe. 563g total flour / 95g rye = 16.87% rye.

Anyway, your loaf looks great. Hope I get the same oven spring. No clay pot, but maybe I'll break in my new dutch oven, or maybe not. Maybe I'll find a suitalbe cover to bake on my stone. Maybe I'll go downsatirs to try and find a suitable flower pot.

Edited for typo in math. Final result same.

dosidough's picture

I'm iffy on caraway myself. A year or so ago I made a Scandinavian Rye that used ground fennel instead of caraway and I fell in love.  I suppose the anise would be very similar. That licorice note in wonderful with rye.

I've got a question about the clay baker. I bought the small version of yours to use for mini boules of sourdough or country type breads but even with a very small batch of dough I keep having problems with the loaf sticking to the top. Do you oil or grease yours? I've read somewhere of doing this but I thought it might act as a barrier to the steam. I start it in a cold oven about 1/2 hour before the end of the final proof (takes about that long for my oven to get into the 400's) and only 5 or 10 min. after it's to temp the top had already begun to stick. I took the lid off at that point with steam pouring out of the loaf. By finish time it was far from crisp crusted. The loaf was good but soft. Have you ever had a sticking problem with yours? I don't want to grease it and find out I've messed up the pot. Is it OK to do? Any other techniques?

Help would be appreciated.

Congatualations on the baguette pan in your blog those look great too. So bake on...




Janknitz's picture

Even this loaf doesn't quite hit the top of the baker.  My baker is 10.5 inches in diameter and this loaf was almost 2 lbs.   I put a piece of parchment in the bottom, and it spread so much that the sides did stick a bit, but my clay baker's bottom is glazed, so it was fairly easy to remove. 

I'd be afraid to grease an unglazed surface--the oil may be absorbed and either burn or become rancid over time.  You cannot use soap on an unglazed surface (because it can absorb as well).  You could try sprinkling your dough top with flour or spritz it with water--maybe that would help. 

You might just need to get a bigger clay baker.  Prices are very reasonable here.  No affiliation, but it's where I got mine and I'm happy with the baker and the price. 

One of these days I'm going to try a mini version of this loaf with celery seed instead of caraway.  I adore celery seed but it just may be too wierd. 

ehanner's picture

Janknitz that is a nice looking rye. The deli rye's I think are great with less rye than the higher % formulas. I sometimes egg wash and coat the top with poppy seeds and garlic chips and course salt. What an aroma!


Laddavan's picture

I wonder how you bake or just put on the cooker? The bread looks great.