The Classic Deli Bread To Try For A Boldly Flavored Grilled Cheese

A classic grilled cheese sandwich is anything but bland. The savory, sometimes tangy melted cheese oozing out of the sides of perfectly griddled bread is the epitome of comfort. Still, for those of us who seek even bolder flavors, your choice of bread is very important to the overall success of the sandwich — and there's no better option to add a flavorful twist than two hearty slices of deli rye bread.

Also known as Jewish rye, this particular style of bread came to the United States via the Jewish Eastern European immigrants who operated delicatessens in New York City. The flavor of deli rye is strong, thanks mostly to the addition of a seasoning mixture known as bread spice. This concoction of caraway, anise, fennel, and coriander seeds lends a very aromatic, almost licorice-like flavor to the bread. Deli rye is also made with a combination of a rye-based preferment, rye flour, wheat flour for structure, and some commercial yeast for added lift.

What you have then is a bread that tastes every bit as bold as it smells. When it's slathered in butter or mayonnaise and tossed on the griddle for a good sear, the flavors become even more amplified, thanks to the umami savoriness of the coatings. But given the new flavors introduced by the bread, you may also need to update the other important ingredient in your grilled cheese sandwich — the cheese!

Bold bread needs bold cheese

A bold bread calls for bold cheese to both balance and provide optimal flavors. There are lots of cheeses — and condiments, for that matter — that pair wonderfully with deli rye bread, so you won't be at a loss for ingredients for your grilled cheese. You'll need to choose a cheese that does two things: melts and complements the flavors of the rye bread. Think a savory Muenster or Gouda, a tangy Swiss or Gruyere, a spicy Pepper Jack, or a smooth, creamy, garlicky Boursin. Goat cheese, too, with its kick and earthiness, will work great with deli rye.

Additional condiments can then be chosen based on the cheese you're using. Some great ones for rye are sauerkraut, caramelized onions, pickles, and Dijon mustard. You could even add some smoked ham or pastrami if you felt so inclined — that might make it more of a Reuben, but it would sure be tasty. The point is, don't be afraid to get creative and bold with your grilled cheese additions.

In the end, you should end up with a sandwich that is absolutely bursting with bold flavors. From the spiciness of the rye to the savory depths of the cheese and whatever else you've added to your sandwich, you're sure to be in for one indulgent treat.