Braided Reuben Bread

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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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!Today I’m bringing you another tidbit from the “And Now You Know” files.  Rye bread has a pretty unique flavor, yes?  But did you know that rye bread gets that flavor from the caraway seeds?  Yup, the bread itself doesn’t have that iconic flavor…it’s the caraway seeds.  And you know those loaves of marbled rye bread or dark rye bread?  The dark color comes from unsweetened cocoa powder.  And now you know not one, but two random tidbits about rye bread.  Fun facts to know and share at your next dinner party!

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!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.)

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!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!

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!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.)

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!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!

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!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!

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!

Braided Reuben Bread

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!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 309kcal


For the Bread

For the Reuben Filling

  • 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.


Make sure to press as much liquid out of the sauerkraut as possible to prevent bottom of bread from becoming soggy.
To save time, feel free to use a batch of store-bought pizza dough instead of making your own dough.

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!

Looking for more tasty recipes?  Check out these other similar posts, too:

St. Patrick's Day is the perfect time to make Homemade Pastrami!  Just grab some corned beef from the store, toss it on the smoker and *boom* Homemade Pastrami!Homemade Pastrami

Holy sandwich, Batman!  These Southern Meatloaf Sandwiches are the perfect comfort food on cold winter days!Southern Meatloaf Sandwiches

Fresh bread is the best kind of bread!  This homemade Marbled Rye Bread is not only fun to make, but it's the perfect bread for delicious reuben sandwiches!Marbled Rye Bread

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  1. Do food bloggers share some kind of subspace connection? So many coincidences! As is often the case, I turned to your blog to find you using an ingredient that I was trying to figure out what to do with. I happen to have half a jar of sauerkraut in the fridge, and was planning to pick up some kielbasa to go with it. Now I’m thinking I just might make a kielbasa version of this reuben bread! I also happen to have a jar of cocktail sauce, which can very easily be turned into Russian dressing. Thanks, David!

    1. Ok, now that’s just weird, Jeff. I mean maybe not that weird…we just came out of St. Patrick’s Day, so leftover sauerkraut isn’t totally unheard of. But then again, I feel like this type of thing has happened to us more than normal. Eerie!

      A kielbasa version of this bread would totally work. Just make sure to chop the kielbasa into small pieces. And make sure to send me some, too. Actually, please deliver it to a dedicated safe drop zone (aka, my front porch).

  2. 5 stars
    I’m a huge fan of Reubens (made with tempeh)! And you know I’m a big fan of any kind of bread. This looks AWESOME, David! Hope you guys are staying healthy 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Kelsie! I’m guessing you’re stuck inside right now, too. I say make some rye bread! (And then use that bread to make a tempeh reuben.) Hey, we’ve gotta entertain ourselves somehow, right??

  3. I think many of us will be making our own bread in the coming weeks/months. This sounds wonderful! I bet you are glad you stockpiled all the corned beef right now. 🙂 I made Rachels with turkey last week for my pastrami-averse cousin, but I prefer pastrami or corned beef. If I can find any meat, I’m so doing this. A note on sauerkraut: if you can find Bubbie’s unpasteurized in the refrigerated section, you won’t go back to the other. My cousin said that was the best Ruben/Rachel she’d ever had—I’m convinced it was because of the kraut! Happy cooking David, and stay safe.

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing, Kim. Laura actually pointed out that we don’t have to worry about the run on bread at the grocery stores since I can make my own. (To be fair, I haven’t made as much bread as I’d like ever since Robbie was born…but now that we have a bunch of time, this sounds like a great time to get back to an old favorite hobby, right?)

      Bubbie’s kraut, eh? I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one. Of course, right now I’m debating the best way to shop. Perhaps I get there at 6am when they open and do a speed run. Either way, looking for Bubbie’s! Stay safe and healthy, my friend!

    1. Yes! This would be good party fare…for whenever we’re allowed to have parties again. Haha. In the meantime, more for me!! 🙂

  4. i thought you were going to say you were making reuben sandwiches ‘like a boss’, as the youngsters say these days. i had to ask a nephew what it meant! 🙂 What a clever idea to use cocoa in the bread to make it swirly… your sangers (sandwiches) look tasty.

    1. Haha! I have indeed heard that term, too, Sherry. (I’m not exactly a youngster, but I pretend to be sometimes!) This recipe is a fun riff on all of the classic Reuben flavors. Stay safe and healthy down there, my friend! Life here in the US is pretty crazy these days.

  5. Omg! David, it’s night (like real night!)here in Nova Scotia, so I have only one question- why did I open this recipe? It looks so appetizing that I’m hungry now. Hence, there’s another question: would you be able to deliver this bread till morning? That’s very urgent!:)

    1. Hah! I can’t blame you for opening this one at night, Ben. However, I bet you had awesome Reuben-filled dreams last night, right? Think how awesome that would be! And you know what’s even more awesome?? Making this recipe! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for the kind comment there, Alexandra! I like adding fun tidbits in posts, too. If nothing else, it makes it more fun to write! Either way, this braided Reuben bread is a fun twist on a classic deli sandwich. The flavors are delicious. Hope you’re staying healthy and safe down there!

  6. 5 stars
    I always love those little tidbits, David! So fun to break out at parties or get togethers. This is such a brilliant idea! I loves me some bread, but bread that’s stuffed with pastrami and cheese? Yes please! Talk about comfort food! Pinned 🙂 Hope you guys are doing well. Have an awesome weekend ahead!

    1. Thanks so much, Dawn! No such thing as a boring party when you have all sorts of fun foodie tidbits at your fingertips. 🙂 Speaking of fingertips, I say make some Reuben bread – it’s delicious! Stay safe and healthy up there, my friend!

  7. 5 stars
    David, your scrumptious looking Braided Reuben Bread is teasing my taste buds. I think it will also be fun to make. As these days pass we’ll all need great meal ideas like this. I’m thinking I’ll take Jeff’s idea and make it with some nice sausage as I have that in the freezer and we’re avoiding the market at all cost. Luckily, we have online food delivery. Maybe they have pastrami, I’ll have to check.
    Now rye bread is very popular overhear, but you don’t find caraway seeds in it. I make a sourdough rye bread and I’m wondering if it would adapt to this recipe. Might even put the caraway in the dough. Now, I have something to explore this weekend.
    You guys stay safe & well over your way.

    1. Hey Ron! I totally agree with you about needing fun recipes to make these days. We’re going bonkers here. Everyone is safe and healthy, but our mental sanity is definitely getting pushed to its limits!

      We’re doing the same as you (and Jeff) and starting to dig around in the freezer to see what kinds of random bits and bobs are hiding in the corners.

      So I’m a little surprised that rye bread over there doesn’t have caraway in it. After all, caraway is what gives rye that unique flavor – well maybe I should say it’s what gives American rye bread that unique flavor. Interesting! I think a sourdough rye would totally be fine. And if it were me, I’d add caraway! I hope y’all stay healthy over there! Give Chloe an extra treat for me today. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Oooh, a Reuben is one of my all-time favorites! And I had no idea about the flavors of rye! I’ve been using a bit of rye in baking and wondered why it didn’t impart that flavor! But this recipe is something my fam would pounce on! Lovely sandwich! And, I’ll have mine with Thousand Island, please!

    1. So to be fair, I just learned from Ron that caraway seeds in rye is more common in the US than other places. Interesting! But, yes, if you’re looking for that unique flavor like you find in “Jewish Rye” then add caraway seeds. Either way, this is one heck of a fun and tasty recipe to make! Stay safe and healthy over there, my friend.

  9. 5 stars
    I have loved Reuben sandwiches ever since I ordered a particularly delicious one in New York about 10 years ago. We don’t have these in delis or restaurants here in Australia but that’s okay, homemade is always better. I love the braided bread too – it makes the sandwiches beautiful and pretty special! Another great recipe, David!

    1. I haven’t traveled to Australia (yet), but I kinda suspected Reuben sandwiches might be difficult to find there. But they are delicious! If you’re able to find pastrami, then you should be able to make the rest of this at home no problem at all. Thanks so much, Katerina! 🙂

    1. Oh, it was a great sale indeed, Dawn! It was one of those things where you have to spend $15 or more to use the coupon, but it made perfect sense. I love Reubens, too, and this bread was a lot of fun to make…and eat! 🙂

  10. If you use pizza dough do you still have to cover and let rise.? Also can this be made in advance and refrigerate before baking

    1. Hey Linda! If you use refrigerated pizza dough, then you can pick the recipe up at the ‘filling’ stage. There is still a short rise time in there of about 20-30 minutes, though.

      As far as making in advance, yes, you can. However, I would still recommend making it on the day you bake it…so no more than say ~8 hours in advance. One thing to consider about making in advance and refrigerating is that it will be cold. Therefore, you’ll want to let it sit out for ~1 hour to come to room temperature and rise a bit before baking. I hope this helps! We love this bread here, and it would be a fun recipe for St. Patrick’s Day! 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    I made it last night and it was amazing. As a final step I put a layer of sauerkraut and slices of Swiss on top of the braided bread. Divine. And thank you for the tip about drying out the sauerkraut!

    1. Hey Betsy! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop back by and comment. I do love this bread – the flavors are spot on. And the additional ‘kraut and Swiss cheese on top of the bread sounds like a great idea. We usually make this recipe in the winter, and I’m going to remember that tip for the next time we make it. Thanks again!

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