Marbled Rye Bread

This homemade Marbled Rye Bread is not only fun to make, but it’s the perfect bread for delicious reuben sandwiches!

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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!I’ve always loved to bake.  I grew up with my mother baking banana bread, chocolate cakes and cookies quite often, so my love for baking is no real surprise.  But several years ago when I discovered how to bake bread, a whole new world opened up to me.  I absolutely love baking homemade bread!  There is just something relaxing about coaxing a few simple ingredients into a dough and then into a loaf of baked bread.  Plus, I’ve never met a loaf of fresh, homemade bread that I didn’t like.  I’m pretty sure I could eat an entire loaf when it’s fresh out of the oven!

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!Did you know that homemade bread dates all the way back to caveman days?  Our early ancestors realized that if they ground grains into a paste and then let them rest, then they would attract wild yeast from the air.  (They probably didn’t know it was yeast, but they knew how to use it.)  Then they learned that the dough could be left on a hot rock or near a fire, and it would bake up into a loaf of bread.  They just had to hope the dinosaurs didn’t snack on the bread (or them) first.  Nothing puts a downer on a party faster than someone getting eaten by a dinosaur.

Seriously, though, I’m mega-impressed that our ancestors figured out how to bake fresh bread.  I’m sure it looked far different than the breads we make today, but it’s still pretty cool.  Maybe my next experiment will be to head out into the backyard and try to bake bread on a hot rock.  I’ll let you know how that turns out.

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

As for this Marbled Rye Bread, I cheated and baked it in an oven.  I also chose to spend a couple of extra minutes and make 2 batches of dough in order to make marbled rye instead of ‘normal’ rye bread.  Did you know that the dark half of this Marbled Rye Bread takes its color from unsweetened cocoa powder?  And did you know that the characteristic taste of rye bread is actually a result of the caraway seeds as opposed to the flour?  Fun facts to know and share about rye bread!  (Of course, if you actually share those facts with your friends, then they might think you are a nerd.  My friends already know I’m a nerd, so I’m ok with it.)

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!My all-time favorite use of rye bread is the classic reuben sandwich.  I’ve always been a huge fan of hot sandwiches, and the reuben is a New York City deli classic.  Hot corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and a couple slices of Swiss cheese combine to create a tasty sandwich…but the key is the rye bread.  A reuben just isn’t a reuben without rye bread.  Oh, and a pickle.  You’ve got to serve reubens with pickles!

Does all this talk about Marbled Rye Bread remind you of anything?  Say perhaps Seinfeld?  Yup, there was an entire episode of Seinfeld dedicated to a loaf of Marbled Rye Bread.  And they say that Seinfeld was a show about nothing…

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!With Father’s Day quickly approaching, it’s time to treat Dad to some of the rest and relaxation that he well deserves!  I suggest making him some homemade Marbled Rye Bread and serving it up reuben-style for lunch.  I wasn’t a huge fan of reubens when I was a kid, but I do remember my Dad ordering them when we went out for lunch.  Isn’t it strange how certain things trigger memories?  For me, reuben sandwiches remind me of my Dad.  Odd?  Sure.  But it’s true!

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!

But before I leave you, I have to encourage you to make this bread!  Homemade bread is such an impressive thing to make…but it’s truthfully not that difficult.  It does take time, and it does involve yeast.  But the steps are not that challenging.  Give this Marbled Rye Bread a shot.  Before you know it, you’ll be baking bakery-quality loaves of bread in your own kitchen (or on a rock in the backyard–just watch out for dinosaurs.)

Did you make this Marbled Rye Bread at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  Happy baking!

Looking for more tasty bread recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

Tomato Basil Bread
Italian Lasagna Bread
Stuffed Italian Bread
French Peasant Bread
Spinach Artichoke Stuffed French Bread

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

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!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 loaves
Calories: 1453kcal


For the Light Rye

For the Dark Rye

For the Egg Wash


For the Light Rye

  • Using a countertop mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add all of the ingredients (bread flour, rye flour, salt, yeast, caraway seeds, molasses, vegetable oil, water and dill pickle juice). Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes, or until dough comes together. (Note: If you don’t have dill pickle juice, simply substitute in additional water instead.)
  • Increase speed to medium and mix for 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place onto a lightly oiled countertop. Press dough into a 8” circle and then fold up sides and pinch seams. Roll dough into a tight ball.
  • Place dough into a well-oiled medium-sized bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm location for 90 minutes, or until doubled in size.

For the Dark Rye

  • Repeat the exact same process as above for the Light Rye, except add the cocoa powder in with the other ingredients in the first step.

For the Final Bread

  • Once both doughs have doubled in size, divide each piece into 4 equally-sized pieces (~5.5 oz. each).
  • Gently roll each piece of dough into a 9” circle.
  • Starting with a light piece of dough, stack four pieces of dough in alternating colors (light, dark, light, dark). (Tip: Make sure not to use very much, if any, flour to dust the countertop here. That flour will prevent the dough from joining together properly at this step.)
  • Gently press stacked dough into an 8” square. Starting with one edge, roll dough tightly into a log. Pinch seams closed.
  • Place dough seam-side down into a lightly oiled 9" x 4.5" bread pan and lightly cover pan with plastic wrap.
  • Repeat process with remaining dough.
  • Place pans in a warm place (85°F) and let rise in warm location until dough rises ~1” above edge of pan.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Prepare the egg wash by whisking together the egg with the water. Brush the tops of both loves with the egg wash. Discard any remaining egg wash.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut 3 horizontal slits into the top of each loaf.
  • Bake at 350°F for 30-32 minutes.
  • Let bread cool fully before slicing.

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!

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  1. I guess you’re one of those Natural Born Bakes. I mean, look at that beauty, it’s flawless!
    And *fist bump* for being a reuben sandwich lover: corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, grilled between slices of rye bread. It doesn’t get more NYC than that!

    1. I know, Mike! NYC isn’t all that far from me, but I’m not all about taking a 2-hour train ride just to get an awesome reuben sandwich. Haha!

  2. My mom loves Rye bread, so I knew about the caraway seeds bit, but I had no clue unsweetened cocoa was responsible for the dark coloring! Homemade bread does rock! Nothing come close! This loaf is a beaut, David!

    1. Yeah, that unsweetened cocoa is a fun little tidbit. The bread doesn’t even remotely taste like chocolate, though. It tastes like a good ole classic rye bread! But now that I think about, maybe we should come up with a chocolate bread. Peanut butter sandwich on toasted chocolate bread? 🙂

  3. Hi David! I love baking bread (and eating it too)! I haven’t bought a loaf of bread in years. This is on my list, but first I have to get a brisket out of the freezer. I make our corned beef and it takes 7-10 days, so I’d better get started! I’d have a hard time choosing between corned beef and pastrami – they are both my favorites!

    1. I’ve never made my own corned beef, Dorothy, but it’s totally on my list to do! Much respect to you for making your own, though…that is awesome! I hope you enjoy this marbled rye. It’s a fun bread to make, and it’s perfect for reubens! And now I want some pastrami with my coffee…haha!

      1. Hi David! Absolutely do make your own corned beef! It is so worth it! I like knowing what’s in my food and, more importantly, was is not! I get my spices from Penzeys – they are a great source, high quality and reasonably priced!

  4. I love that you grew up with your mother baking so much!!! homemade baked treats are the best! and I believe it because your baked cakes and breads are gorgeous! love this marbled rye bread and classic reuben sandwich. you’re totally making me hungry!

    1. Thank you so much, Alice! I totally agree with you…homemade baked treats are the best! I just enjoy the process of making and baking them. And, of course, I enjoy the process of eating them, too. I guess I was just destined to be a food blogger growing up with my mom who baked so much! 🙂

  5. Dave this one looks fantastic, the marbled texture, everything! I am a BIG rye bread fan, especially on a Reuben. I actually made bagels for the first time this weekend, too. Good minds bake alike I guess! #WolfpackBakeries

    1. Ooo…homemade bagels are a lot of fun, Kevin! I can’t wait to see your recipe. They are a bit of a pain, but man are they worth it! We should open up Wolfpack Bakeries for real. One on each coast!

  6. I had no idea cocoa powder was used in marbled rye! I can only imagine how amazing a reuben would taste on homemade rye bread… unbelievable!
    P.S. Love the mustache toothpicks! 😀

    1. Haha…thanks for noticing the mustache toothpicks, Sam! I gotta admit that I was a bit surprised at exactly how much mustache stuff is available out there. I even found mustache-printed burlap. Who is going to buy that!?! But anyhoo, yes this rye bread is quite tasty. I usually make 2 loaves when I bake a batch, so I almost always have a loaf hiding in the freezer somewhere!

  7. Hoang, my partner, moved to Europe from Vietnam about 10 years ago. In one of our posts he described how bread was love at first sight for him. Back home their type of bread is very different.
    We now make bread often, and we like to try a different type each time. I would let you know how I get on with yours.

    1. Thank you so much, Emanuele! I really hope you enjoy this marbled rye…even if I did use cup measurements instead of weight measurements. I really wish America would get on this trend of baking by weight! Now I’m curious what Vietnamese bread looks like…off to Google to figure it out!

    1. Rye flour is a fun addition, Savita! It can be a little difficult to track down, though. One of our two big grocery store chains in this area sells it while the other doesn’t. That’s ok, though. I know where to go when it comes time to restock my rye flour stash! This bread is not only tasty, but it’s also a lot of fun to make, too. I hope you enjoy it!

  8. In the area I grew up, people used to mix flour with grinded bark to make some bread, up to the beginning of XX century (later on that practice was in use again, during the wars). I mean, you’ve probably got a tree in your backyard…:) Sorry, David, just could resist providing sush a nice idea for your next bread:) But seriously, this bread looks just amazing! Sure I do love what’s gong on between those two slices. Lastly, in my book, the caraway seeds are the essential ingredient for any rye bread. Perfect work, David! P.S. What have you got for a dessert? 🙂

    1. Oh, I’m working on some dessert recipes today, Ben…never fear when it comes to me and dessert! Haha! But this bark bread? What in the heck? I guess it’s a natural way to add more fiber to your diet, huh? Haha! I might have to brave the dinosaurs and grab some bark from the backyard for my next bread!

      1. Indeed, I tried once rye bread blended with bark (50/50). Not in the 19th century (haha) – it was a project to recreate some traditional local foods. You know, that wasn’t that bad. The texture was a bit soggy, but at least the bark introduced some kind of flavor (something smoked and rosemary). The point of doing that was to cut down on expensive flour, add some additional nutrition (you’re right!), and the flavor (since there weren’t any spices in use – even the salt was too expensive). I look forward to your version of bark bread! Don’t forget to add some la-ven- (oh, it’s the forbidden “L” word on this blog) :))

        1. Hah! Well, I gotta give you some respect for actually trying bark bread. It makes sense that our ancestors wanted to find ways to reduce expensive flour…but bark!? I’m kinda guessing that the bread didn’t have a whole lot of flavor…unless you add in some edible flowers. Just sayin’ that it would probably work. You should try it out sometime! Haha!

  9. I have so many comments. First, I have two major fears in life: Floating off alone into outer space, and being eaten by a dinosaur. So indeed: Nothing ruins a party like a guest being eaten by a dinosaur! Second, Seinfeld is such a great show. Did you hear the trending article recently about Jason Alexander and his wife Susan and why they killed her off? Hilarious. The discomfort on screen was apparently pretty real on the set, too. Third, it’s amazing that our ancestors figured out how to bake bread. And have you noticed that they turned it over to “experts” almost immediately, too? It’s hard to get it right without practice and skill! You clearly have both! Nicely done. I better wrap this up so you can go have another Reuben. Man, that is a tasty looking sandwich!

    1. Oh no! I totally just hit on one of your greatest fears, Meggan. I promise you won’t have any dinosaurs nibbling at your toes in your backyard. (But I also wouldn’t recommend that you do see the new Jurassic World!) No! I didn’t hear about the Susan saga. Totally going to Google that right now. Not sure how I missed that one…but now I need to know! (Pretty Woman was on tv over the weekend, and every time Jason Alexander came on, I was like “George!!” But yes, you are right that practice makes perfect when it comes to baking. I’ve had breads that just didn’t turn out well at all. But I just chalked those up to “learning experiences.” Haha!

  10. Mate, the sandwich shot = money shot. It’s 7.34 am right now and I would do pretty much anything to go to a Jewish Deli on the lower east side for a sandwich..or make this! I never knew the brown colour was unsweetened cocoa powder though- I’ll need to be more attentive to the actual ‘bread’ next time!

    1. Yup, that’s a fun little bread baker’s trick there, Arman. Who knew that cocoa powder plays a legitimate role in rye bread? Oh, and I totally support your reuben craving at 7:34am. Go get you one…but don’t forget the tax!!

  11. This bread looks amazing, loving that marbled effect! So cool and I bet delicious too! Definitely need to try the recipe soon, thanks for sharing David! 😀

  12. Oh, I love rye bread and a reuben sandwich happens to be my favorite sammie. Your rye bread looks pretty dang epic and absolutely delicious! I LOVE that you made this marbled! Clever! Thanks for sharing the deliciousness! Cheers, David!

    1. Well then you should know that I made this rye bread just for you, Cheyanne! Haha! Seriously though, this was a lot of fun to make…but it was still way more fun to eat. 🙂

  13. Hi David! I just made this rye bread but used dark rye flour. I had a heck of a time with the dough being dry despite following the recipe. Could the dark rye flour be the reason? I make bread all the time but have never had a problem. The finished product was very tasty but did not rise much. I understand rye bread is more dense and won’t rise like a white loaf would. Thanks!


    1. Hey there, Shannon! So to be honest, I don’t recall this bread dough being all that dry. (It certainly wasn’t ‘wet,’ but rather a standard bread dough texture.) With that said, though, I’ve never used dark rye flour. I did a bit of googling to understand more about dark rye, and it seems like it behaves a bit more like whole wheat flour. ( If that’s the case, then I think that might explain the results you saw. Dark rye sounds like it creates a stiffer dough/soaks up more water…and then the density of the additional bran *might* explain why it didn’t rise as well. I’d have to try it out myself sometime to really understand it, but I think we might be onto the solution here with the light rye vs. dark rye. I’m really sorry this initial loaf didn’t turn out as well for you! Perhaps give it a shot again with light rye just to see what happens? The dough rises well for me, so I’m trying to troubleshoot where the difference comes in! Thanks so much for asking, and I’m hoping we can get to the bottom of this one! Bread baking really is so much fun, and it’s honestly my favorite thing to do in the kitchen…I just need to try baking with dark rye sometime. 🙂 Keep me updated if you try again?

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