posted in Breads

Reuben Bread

My Irish husband has been demanding Corned Beef lately.  Must be something in the air causing this uncontrollable craving… or it must be that St. Patrick’s Day is almost here!  We actually won’t be home for the big day– we’ll be with friends celebrating an Irish-themed dinner.  Since I so slyly got out of making that much-requested corned beef, I went another route instead and prepared a corned beef-stuffed Reuben Bread for our pre- St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

This reuben bread recipe was adapted from a 10-year-old Junior League cookbook – Come On In! Recipes from the Junior League of Jackson, MS (I’ve always LOVED the Jr. League cookbooks… I was in the San Diego league for a number of years, and the Junior Leaguers just know how to put together great recipe collections.)  Anyway, I found this recipe to be quite interesting.  It’s a braided yeast bread with all of the components to a Reuben sandwich tucked inside.

If you have a stand mixer, this recipe is a no-brainer.  The dough hook can do the 4-minute kneading for you.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, then you’ll just get a little bit of a workout with your arms and shoulders kneading the dough on a floured surface!

The dough is very easy to work with.  Just roll it out flat into a rectangular-ish shape.  As you can see, it does not have to be a perfect rectangle.

Spread Thousand Island salad dressing in the middle of the dough.

Top it with corned beef (purchased from the deli, or leftovers from your St. Patrick’s Day feast).

Sprinkle Swiss cheese on top of the corned beef.

Put sauerkraut on top (the canned or jarred stuff is fine… just drain it first).

Here’s where it gets fancy.  Cut the sides of the dough at an angle, about 1-inch wide strips from center out to the edge.

Tuck the ends in first.

Then wrap the strips of dough over toward the middle, alternating to give it a braided look.

Brush the surface of the dough with beaten egg white.

Sprinkle with caraway seeds (the seeds you see in Rye bread).  Then you’re going to cover the dough with a towel and let this baby rise for 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake for 25 minutes until it turns golden brown…

…and until things begin oozing out of the nooks and crannies.

Slice the bread while it’s warm and serve- just as you would serve up slices of a sub sandwich.  The cheese will be all melted and oh-my-gosh good, and the dressing will drip out the sides acting as a delicious sauce.

So… if you want to do a little something different for dinner on St. Paddy’s Day… or if you’re looking for something to do with your leftover corned beef (is it possible to have leftover corned beef???), here’s a recipe for you to try.  It does involve that scary stuff called yeast, but I promise that it is rather simple to make.  Just follow my step-by-step photos and you’ll do great!  Irish or not (um, I’m Swedish…), Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 25 min + rising time

Cook Time: 25 min

Reuben Bread


1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105°- 115°)
3 teaspoons granulated white sugar, divided
2 3/4 to 3 cups bread flour (+ extra for dusting the mat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup bottled Thousand island salad dressing
6 ounces corned beef, thinly sliced
4 ounces Swiss cheese, sliced or shredded
3/4 cup canned sauerkraut, drained
1 large egg white, beaten
caraway seeds


1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm water until bubbly, about 5 minutes

2. Combine 2 3/4 cups flour, remaining sugar, salt and butter in a stand mixer. Add the dissolved yeast and beat, using the dough hook, to make a soft dough (scraping sides as needed). Add an additional 1/4 cup flour if the dough is too wet. Knead with the dough hook for 4 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured mat. Roll out the dough to a 10x14-inch rectangle. Spoon the dressing down the center of the dough. Top with corned beef, cheese, and sauerkraut. Make cuts along sides of the dough, from the filling to the outer edge, at 1-inch intervals. Tuck the ends in first, then alternating sides, fold strips across filling. Carefully move the bread to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the dough with egg white and sprinkle with caraway seeds.

3. Loosely cover the bread with a clean dishtowel and allow to rise for 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

4. Remove the dish towel, and bake 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through, then slice and serve warm.


*If you don't own a stand mixer, Mix the dough by hand until all of the ingredients are well-incorporated, then turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it well for 4 minutes or so.

Source: (adapted from Come On In- Recipes from the Junior League of Jackson, MS)

54 Responses to “Reuben Bread”

  1. postedMar 15, 2012 4:01 AM

    Yum – I love a Reuben. Just wish I had some leftover corned beef. The caraway seeds on top are a perfect finishing touch (I heard they are really good for you!)

  2. postedMar 15, 2012 4:36 AM

    So creative- sounds awesome!

  3. postedMar 15, 2012 5:19 AM

    That looks amazing! My husband would love this 🙂

  4. postedMar 15, 2012 5:33 AM

    WOW! This looks incredible! My husband is obsessed with reubens. I may have to try this. Thanks!!

  5. postedMar 15, 2012 6:03 AM

    I LOVE this idea!! So so cool. MY husband would love it, but I’d have to leave the sauerkraut out of it 🙁 (he’s NO fun!!)

  6. postedMar 15, 2012 7:00 AM

    Oh goodness, my husband will go crazy for this. Perfect flavors to win him over again!

  7. postedMar 15, 2012 7:14 AM
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    OMG, I am not even a reuben person but I want a big slice of this bread!!

  8. postedMar 15, 2012 7:16 AM

    That’s beautiful! I’ve been craving green beer lately, yes, there’s something in the air 🙂

  9. postedMar 15, 2012 7:40 AM

    Sometimes you just feel like a little sliver of a good Reuben – this way you can! Looks terrific.

  10. postedMar 15, 2012 7:54 AM

    Such a fun, creative way to serve corned beef.

  11. postedMar 15, 2012 8:02 AM
    Jenn @ Icing on the Cake

    Wow, this looks delectable. My mouth is watering. I wish I had the patience to make it!

  12. postedMar 15, 2012 8:03 AM

    That bread is absolutely gorgeous!

  13. postedMar 15, 2012 8:14 AM

    THAT IS SO SEXY. Sorry to scream but I’m freaking out.

  14. postedMar 15, 2012 8:51 AM

    Love this creative take on St. Patty’s Day fare!

  15. postedMar 15, 2012 9:14 AM
    shirley woolward

    on my list to make asap ! love the photos – hope mine looks like yours !

  16. postedMar 15, 2012 9:23 AM

    Such a great idea! Makes me want to not cook corned beef and cabbage. Although strangely IDK if I would want to saurkraut in there.

  17. postedMar 15, 2012 11:54 AM

    This is such a clever and yummy take on a Reuben. I’m pinning it.

  18. postedMar 15, 2012 12:46 PM

    How many points + is the recipe per serving?

    • postedMar 15, 2012 3:44 PM

      No idea on this one!

  19. postedMar 15, 2012 4:55 PM

    Oh my that looks good, and I don’t even like corned beef. I may try it and stuff with turkey, since I love all the other fillings. And I hear you on the Jr League cookbooks, I have the Sol Food one from San Diego and make those recipes all the time. Happy St. Patty’s Day to ya and your family. 🙂

  20. postedMar 15, 2012 8:20 PM

    I have to say WOW! This is seriously a pretty sandwich! Since i do have a stand mixer, i really have no excuse not to try this..other than i may be too lazy! My hubby would love this. You have some great recipes! 🙂

  21. postedMar 16, 2012 2:51 AM

    I am really liking the idea of this reuben bread!

  22. postedMar 16, 2012 5:04 AM

    This will be an easy recipe for a family gathering. I have family coming into town, guess what I’m making? Thank you for sharing, my husband is going to love this.

  23. postedMar 16, 2012 5:18 AM

    I have been making a similar recipe for 20 years. It is delicious! Sometimes I like to substitute the thousand Island dressing for mustard….I guess it is the german in me 🙂

  24. postedMar 16, 2012 5:59 AM

    That looks insanely delicious! The bread is gorgeous!

  25. postedMar 16, 2012 6:10 AM
    Heather @ Sixty Minute Housewife

    WOW – this looks amazing! I can defintely see coming up with different versions of this bread based on various sandwich combos. DELISH!

  26. postedMar 16, 2012 7:08 AM

    This looks pretty terrific!

  27. postedMar 16, 2012 7:25 AM

    Fantastic recipe! makes me wish I saved some corned beef this week!!

  28. postedMar 16, 2012 8:40 AM

    going to include this in a friday fun stuff post.
    just to let you know
    ok to use a photo?

  29. postedMar 16, 2012 10:07 AM

    What a fabulous idea! Now I can mark off what I am making for dinner tomorrow! Can’t wait to try this.

  30. postedMar 16, 2012 10:23 AM

    This is such a great idea! Looks so pretty too! I have never made corned beef (gasp). We aren’t Irish, and aren’t into green beer so St. Patricks Day just kind of passes us by.

  31. postedMar 16, 2012 1:36 PM
    Liz Lopes

    Hi Lori!
    I was wondering could I prep this all tonight and place it in the fridge (before baking it) over night and cook it tomorrow?
    Thanks 🙂

    • postedMar 16, 2012 9:26 PM

      I haven’t tried it that way, so I’m hesitant to recommend!

  32. postedMar 16, 2012 4:35 PM

    Ok, I couldn’t do this as a Reuben Braid, but I had Turkey & Swiss on hand, and so I used that. It was SO DELICIOUS! What a great recipe to have on hand! Tips – use plenty of cheese, roll it out on the parchment initially so you don’t have to move it (mine got very messed up in transition), and it won’t look like its risen very much but it will rise in the oven. I will be making variations on this OFTEN! Also, this is such an easy yeast bread to do! Anyone can make it!!

  33. postedMar 16, 2012 6:25 PM

    This look so good. I love how you topped it with caraway seeds.

  34. postedMar 16, 2012 9:15 PM

    You just reminded me how much I love Reuben sandwiches! I can see this bread getting really comfortable in my house – love everything about it:) Have a great weekend!

  35. postedMar 17, 2012 9:28 AM

    Man I just made this for St. Patrick’s Day. Wow! It was fun and easy to make. Now to make it extra spectacular, I bought a small corned beef roast with the spices from the meat dept. at my local grocer and let it sit over night with the spices and cajun seasoning on top. The next morning I put it in a big pot, with two (2) peeled onions (for flavor), covered with water and poured in a can of beer (I used Corona, you can use Guiness or any brand beer). Bring to boil. Turn down heat after it boils. Then let simmer for 2 hours. For each pound of corned beef, let simmer for an hour. Once it was done cooking, I turned off the heat, let it sit in the juices for awhile, and then shredded up the corn beef. Amazing. While the corned beef was cooking, I made my bread and let it rise. I didn’t make the recipe here for bread, I bought Bob’s Red Mill brand of rye bread mix, it already includes the yeast and eveyrthing you need. I let it rise about 2 hours just to be on the safe side. Then layered everything accordingly. Brush with an egg and sprinkle with the seeds. It’s fantastic.

    • postedMar 17, 2012 9:39 AM

      I love your adaptation! What a great idea to use Bob’s Red Mill rye bread mix- those mixes are great! thanks for sharing your success 🙂

  36. postedMar 17, 2012 9:44 AM

    @Liz Lopes I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND making this the night before and baking it the next morning. Once everything is assembled, including the 1000 island dressing and the sauerkraut mixture, it gets a little wet out of the sides, where you cross the layers for the bread. I think it would get too soggy overnight. It’s best to make it fresh and bake right away. It only takes about 30 minutes to bake anyway.

    — March 16, 2012 @ 1:36 PM
    Hi Lori!
    I was wondering could I prep this all tonight and place it in the fridge (before baking it) over night and cook it tomorrow?
    Thanks 🙂

  37. postedMar 17, 2012 12:16 PM

    I used to have a Junior League cookbook and this has me wondering where it is. You’re so right — lots of fun recipes in them. I’m dying for a piece of this right now. My smoothie didn’t quite hit the spot this morning and I’m starving. Haven’t had a reuben sammy in forever!

  38. postedMar 18, 2012 11:11 AM

    Yum! This looks so good, and very creative for a St. Patrick’s Day recipe! I would love to try this with our corned beef leftovers. Mine’s cooking right now (we’re having our St. Patty’s dinner a day late) so maybe I can make this tomorrow!

  39. postedMar 19, 2012 8:27 AM

    I love Reuben sandwiches any time of year, and I love your version!!

  40. postedMar 19, 2012 9:18 AM

    I want to hug you right now – is that weird? Because all of this, bread, pastrami, sauce and glory just made my dreams come true. o.O

  41. postedMar 19, 2012 2:38 PM

    OMGosh I have corned beef in the crockpot right now! Just might have to make this! YUM!!!

  42. postedMar 24, 2012 3:05 PM

    My family would simply go ballistic over your fantastic-looking recipe…the problem for me is that I CANNOT SEEM TO LOCATE THE CORNED BEEF here in the French/Swiss border area (near Geneva)…Would you or any of your kind readers know of a “boucherie/traiteur”…or specialty cold-cut boutique where I might purchase it…or online? We so miss Reubens…and yours looks superlative!

  43. postedApr 2, 2012 12:32 PM

    Really great, I did your Reuben Bread today, with a homemade 1000island sauce. Instead of corned beef I put the rest of the roast beef in thin slices into the dough… aaahh… and NO caraway seeds! ;-))

    Thanx for the recipe!

  44. postedOct 12, 2013 6:58 AM

    This was delicious..thank you for sharing!

  45. postedNov 10, 2013 2:11 PM

    I don’t know about the junior league cookbook but I have been carting around for almost 40 years the magazine advertisement/clipping (pre-internet obviously) for the Fleischman’s Reuben Loaf. My precious recipe is tattered-torn and frayed from the many times I made it in years of yore. Got it out because my husband mentioned it the other day and am making it tonight. 40 years are telling as I could barely read it with my dimming eyesight. So I got on line and find everyone in the world with the recipe! Some made it sound like a new invention in 2006 (laugh) not hardly.

  46. postedNov 10, 2013 2:16 PM

    Oh, forgot to mention from my experience if you don’t have a 4″ rolling pin like I do made for pizzas and you want to roll it out without moving it from place to place and your edges on your sheet pan interfere with the rolling then turn the pan over and work it on the bottom of the pan instead of the top. You can bake it that way and easier to cut too. I highly recommend you make more than one at time, at least two because one won’t last the dinner meal but you are missing out big time because it really tastes best the next day. The flavors, especially the caraway really penetrate then.

  47. postedJun 7, 2014 7:51 PM

    Just made this and it came out great. I substituted Polish grain mustard for the Thousand Island dressing, and it was spectacular.

  48. postedMar 14, 2017 8:33 AM

    Can pizza dough be substituted? I know I’d never be able to make the bread correctly.

    • postedMar 17, 2017 9:10 AM

      You can certainly try it!

  49. postedMar 3, 2018 2:40 PM

    Could you freeze these sandwiches ? Would they still be good ?

    • postedMar 13, 2018 1:22 PM

      I’m not sure!

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