Featuring all of the tasty flavors found in a reuben sandwich, this Braided Reuben Bread is a fun twist on a classic American deli sandwich!
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Speaking of rye bread, Laura and I have become huge fans of reuben sandwiches lately. It all started last St. Patrick’s Day when I bought ~20 pounds of corned beef when it was on an insane sale at local grocery stores. Corned beef is a great shortcut for making your own pastrami. After giving away lots of homemade pastrami to friends, we packaged up the rest in 1-pound packs and vacuum-sealed it for the freezer.
Life got in the way until this past winter rolled in, and then we remembered about the whole drawer of pastrami in the downstairs freezer. That’s when we started making reuben sandwiches like it was our job. Such an easy and delicious meal on a cold night! (To be more accurate, technically our reuben sandwiches should be called ‘Rachel sandwiches’ as we use pastrami instead of corned beef.)
Braided Reuben Bread
All of those reuben sandwiches got me thinking. What if I used the ingredients for a reuben, but turned it into a stromboli of sorts? I followed that path for a bit until I landed on this Braided Reuben Bread. It’s quite similar to a stromboli in that layers of meats and cheeses get wrapped up in dough. However, I took an extra step in there to braid the top of the bread just for a fun look. And let me tell ‘ya – this Braided Reuben Bread is fan-freakin’-tastic!
I do have a couple of quick notes about baking this bread. First, make sure the sauerkraut is well-drained. I actually put it into a bowl and then pressed paper towels firmly against the kraut until no more liquid would come out. If there’s too much liquid in the kraut, then the bottom of the bread will be soggy…and no one wants soggy bread!
You could use either Thousand Island or Russian dressing as the base. I used Russian this time, but we’ve used both in our reuben sandwiches. Either one will taste great! (Truthfully, Russian and Thousand Island dressings are quite similar. Both are ketchup + mayonnaise based with slightly different variations in proportions and other flavors.)
Finally, if you’re not into making your own dough, then you could totally use store-bought pizza dough for this Braided Reuben Bread. I’m one of those strange people who loves playing with dough, so I made my own version here. Store-bought dough would work just fine, and it would cut down the time needed to make this recipe.
All together, this Braided Reuben Bread was a fun adventure. (Yes, baking can be an adventure. Therefore, I am a bold, brave adventurer.) I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we did. Happy baking!
Did you bake a loaf of this Braided Reuben Bread at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
Braided Reuben Bread
For the Reuben Filling
- ⅓ cup Russian or Thousand Island salad dressing
- 8 oz. pastrami thinly sliced
- 4 oz. Swiss cheese sliced
- 1 cup sauerkraut see note
- 1 large egg white lightly beaten
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
For the Bread
- Using the bowl of a countertop mixer, add flour, yeast, water, sugar and salt; stir on low speed until well combined.
- Increase speed to medium and mix for 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm location for 45 minutes. (Tip: I let my bread dough rise in the oven with only the oven light – not actual oven – on.)
- Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and roll into a 12”x12” square. Fold dough into thirds – similar to how you would fold a letter. Place dough back into oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and roll into a 10”x16” rectangle.
For the Reuben Filling
- Spread salad dressing lengthwise down the middle ⅓ of the dough.
- Layer pastrami, cheese and sauerkraut in alternating layers on top of dressing.
- Using a sharp knife or scissors, make cuts from edge of dough to the filling 1” apart. Do this on both sides.
- Alternating from side to side, fold the strips at an angle across the top of the filling.
- Cover bread with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Brush top of bread with egg white and sprinkle caraway seeds on top.
- Bake for 24-26 minutes, or until bread is golden brown on top.
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