Rye Bread and Reubens


My daughters say they have never found a restaurant version of the Reuben Sandwich that is as good as the one I make, mainly because of my insistence on very lean, good quality corned beef, and because of my homemade rye bread.  They like this rye bread, called “Modest” probably because it is a light rye with no caraway or other strong flavor.


  • Servings: 2 7-1/2-inch loaves plus 4 large rolls
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  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 package fast-rising yeast
  • 3/4 cup non-fat dry milk
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tblsp. molasses
  • 3 Tblsp canola oil
  • 2-1/4 cups water heated to 130 degrees F

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of rye flour, yeast, dry milk, and salt.  Mix to blend and add molasses, oil and 130 degree F water.  Beat on medium speed with regular beater for 3 minutes.  Insert dough hook and beat another 6:30 minutes, adding flour as needed to make dough elastic and not sticky.

Place dough in oiled bowl, cover and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes.

Punch down dough and form into loaves.  I like to divide the dough in thirds and place a third in each of two loaf pans which measure 7-1/2 x 3-3/4 x 2-1/4 inches.  This size makes a nice size slice for making the Reubens.  The remaining third is usually made into large hearty rolls to eat with dinner.

Cover the bread/rolls and let rise 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake this size loaf for approximately 25 minutes and the rolls for approximately 12 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack.



  • 1 lb. good quality corned beef, sliced thin
  • 1/2 lb. sliced Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained
  • Rye bread

To make the sandwiches, I prefer to bake the bread a day ahead of time so it’s more manageable to divide into thin slices (cut off the heels and cut about 12 slices).  Butter a slice of bread and place butter-side-down in a skillet, add a layer of corned beef, a slice of Swiss cheese and a spoonful of sauerkraut, add second slice of buttered bread.  Grill, browning on each side, at a medium high heat to give the beef and cheese a chance to warm before the bread gets too brown.

Serve immediately.  My daughters like to add Thousand Island Dressing to their sandwiches.  The two loaves of bread are about right for the quantity of corned beef, Swiss and sauerkraut, depending on how thick you make your sandwiches. 

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

6 thoughts on “Rye Bread and Reubens”

  1. Excellent bread recipe, I’ll try that. Your loaves and rolls looked very nice.

    We don’t really have Reuben sandwiches over here. Not like the ones you do anyway. We have toasted ham and cheese, corned beef not so often. Until Subway arrived in Australia nobody really thought of stuffing sandwiches and rolls full – they were always really skinny things when I was growing up 🙂

    Another really interesting post for me – thank you very much!

  2. I love these too. My mom had them for lunch a lot on dark rye bread. I think they put cocoa in that dark rye… guess what I bought today? Deli corn beef at Walmart, Swiss, and sauerkraut. Tried to make my own sauerkraut this summer but something went wrong, had to throw it out.

  3. Reuben is my very favorite sandwich. I buy just enough corned beef for me and small can of sauerkraut. I have never made rye bread the flour would go to waste around here. Anyway yours looks so good. Raechel Ray made Russian dressing for hers the other day it is so easy to make I will next time I have the Reubens.

    1. My girls like 1000 Island dressing on their Reubens, but I’ll bet Russian dressing would be good, too. Lillian

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