In order to open Zingerman’s Bakehouse in 1992, we had to be able to bake great Jewish rye bread for Zingerman’s Delicatessen, which was our first (and at the beginning our only) customer. It’s not possible to have a superb Reuben sandwich—our best seller since day one—without authentic Jewish rye bread. We wanted our Jewish rye to be an essential part of the sandwich, not just a structural element that didn’t really add to the flavor.
To do that, we use a lot of steps that are uncommon in America today. For starters, we use plenty of freshly milled rye flour (believe it or not, most "rye bread" sold in America contains very little rye flour). We also use a natural sour rye starter—not the usual canned shortcuts. We mix in a bit of “old” rye bread from the previous day’s bake that we slice and soak in water and then add to the dough. It adds a layer of texture, flavor, moisture, and color to the bread. Finally, we create a real crackly crust by brushing each loaf with water when it goes into and comes out of the oven..
The Jewish Rye contains ground caraway seeds, giving it a bit of caraway flavor. For those looking for extra caraway oomph, our Caraway Rye contains whole caraway seeds. Not sure which you want? Try both!
This is the same bread we use to make our sandwiches at Zingerman's Delicatessen. It’s in our popular Reuben Sandwich Kit. Buy a loaf and you'll upgrade a week's worth of lunches.
This handmade bread's ingredients are organic wheat flour (organic wheat, malted barley), water, organic Michigan whole rye flour, sea salt, yeast, and ground caraway.
"America's very best rye? No contest... It comes from Zingerman's Bakehouse, which makes loaves of rugged rye that are dense and springy, laced with the taste of hearth smoke."
Jane and Michael Stern, Saveur
"It’s a bold claim to say that you have the best rye bread in America but, frankly, as near as I can tell you actually do."
Lewis, Austin, TX
It tastes "like no rye you've ever had."
David Sax, The Atlantic Monthly Food Blog and author of Save the Deli
"I’m from Massachusetts, now living in California, The Land Of No Decent Deli. Your actual, genuine, truly real, rye bread just plain saves my life, sometimes."
Dawn, San Jose, CA
Heat the bread when you're ready to eat. Click here for instructions.