Rye Bread

Despite the ubiquity of flabby, milquetoast supermarket rye bread, full-flavored rye with a sturdy crust has not vanished. It’s still made in some New York bakeries and, perhaps surprisingly, west of the Hudson River. In Indianapolis, 1905-vintage Shapiro’s Delicatessen begins making its authoritative loaves at midnight so they are ready to slice by 6:30am to accompany corned beef hash and corned beef omelets. Sandwiches of lean but luxurious house-brined beef are served on slices of rye that are hand-cut extra-thick. We believe that America’s best rye comes from Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is dense and springy, laced with the taste of hearth smoke. About one of every ten loaves Zingerman’s bake in a day is set aside to be sliced and mixed with water to become mash used in the next day’s batch – a trick no doubt originally used by thrifty bakers who wanted to put day-old bread to use. This infusion of already-risen and cooked bread combines with a high ratio of rye to wheat flour and a measure of the rye-sour culture originally created when the bakeshop began in 1992 to produce the holy grail for rye bread lovers.

Restaurants With This Dish

Second Ave. Deli


McPartlan’s Corner


D.Z. Akins





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