Being Irish, there are certain foods that I think are just in our blood. We’re meat and potatoes kind of people. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, when it comes to great Irish food I have my very favorites. I adore shepherd’s pie. There’s something about all those veggies and that beef swimming in gravy topped with mashed potatoes. For me, that’s comfort food at its finest.
Have you ever had Colcannon? It’s such a simple traditional dish but is one of my favorite ways to enjoy potatoes. Cabbage and mashed potatoes make perfect partners. Sometimes people add bacon or cheese. No matter how it’s made, I can’t help but eat more than my fair share.
When it comes to cabbage, it’s other perfect match is corned beef. Each year for Saint Patrick’s day I make corned beef and cabbage for dinner in celebration. We gather with our family to enjoy the day together. Each time I make this meal, I wonder to myself why in the world I don’t make it more often. Corned beef and cabbage practically makes itself.
There are never leftovers and plates are always cleaned without a morsel left behind. Using a nice crusty piece of bread to soak up the broth and swipe up the tiny pieces of corned beef and mustard. Bellies leave the table full and happy. That’s a feeling that belongs to more of the year than just St. Patrick’s Day, if you asked me.
This Reuben bread will leave you with the same happy feeling. It combines all the things that make an Irish dinner something special into one lovely braid. This golden braid hides tender corned beef, cabbage, mustard and a bit of mild Jarlsberg Swiss cheese to hold it all together. This bread is very reminiscent of a Reuben sandwich minus the thousand island dressing, mostly because I like my Reuben with mustard but if you’re partial to the classic dressing then go for it!
Once it emerges from the oven, be sure to serve it warm. Trust me, you wouldn’t be able to wait anyway. It’s that good! You’ll cut into and all that warm, melted cheese has melded with the corned beef and cabbage. The smell is intoxicating and this loaf will be devoured, just like any Ireland-inspired dinner.
You could also make “The Rachel” version of this bread, subbing in turkey for the corned beef.
Reuben Bread Recipe
- 2.25 Instant Yeast
- 1 Water 105-110°F
- 3 Granulated Sugar divided
- 2.75 Bread Flour
- 1 Salt
- 1 Unsalted Butter room temperature
- 0.5 Spicy Brown Mustard or grainy mustard
- 0.25 Corned Beef thinly sliced
- 0.75 Sauerkraut drained well
- 6 Jarlsberg Cheese (Trader Joe’s)
- 1 Egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- 1 Caraway Seed
- In a small bowl, stir together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and the water. Allow to stand at room temperature 5 minutes until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk together flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add butter and foamy yeast mixture. Knead for about 5 minutes until smooth. Alternately, this can all be done by hand.
- Allow the dough to rest 10 minutes then roll the dough to a 10×14-inch rectangle on a well floured surface. Spread the mustard down the center of the dough, about 3-4 inches wide. Top evenly with corned beef slices. Top the corned beef with sauerkraut then sprinkle the cheese over the top.
- Using a sharp knife, make long slits from the filling to the edge of the dough at 1-inch intervals. Repeat on both sides of the filling. Fold the ends of the dough over the filling then starting at the top, fold one long strip over the filling then repeat on the other side. Alternate side to side to form a braid.
- Transfer dough to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and allow dough to rise 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove the towel and bake bread in preheated oven 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes then serve warm.