This Week for Dinner: Swedish Limpa Bread Recipe

Monday 21 June 2021

Limpa is a bread my family has loved and enjoyed for generations. Swedish limpa bread is a rye bread, but before you say “I don’t like pumpernickel,” hear me out. (And when you do like pumpernickel you will be particularly enthusiastic). While these limpa bread recipes are made with rye flour, limpa has a different, more subtle flavor than most rye breads. The texture and taste are a bit lighter and the bread has a nice sweetness. I love limpa with a thick layer of cold butter, but Havarti cheese as a topping is another family favorite. Limpa is also great on toast and even good on meat and cheese sandwiches! If you love to bake, I definitely recommend trying this limpa bread recipe!

Swedish limpa bread cut in half to show the texture of the bread

Our family could find Limpa in bakeries for many years, but as time has passed and we have all moved to new places, Limpa is becoming increasingly difficult to find. My sister in law took the trouble and found a great limpa bread recipe that finally took away the family sadness of not being able to find a bakery that makes good limpa! This limpa bread recipe is the winner! You can click here to access the original recipe that my Cora found. I’ve rewritten it below with more details on how to prepare, including backup info, and added it to the blog here so I don’t lose it!

I made this Limpa Bread recipe for the first time myself last Christmas and it turned out wonderful. It was also the first time Owen (then 9) had eaten limpa. He took his first bite and declared that his taste buds were in heaven. I’ll be making limpa again this week for our family’s midsummer festival, a Swedish tradition that takes place during the summer solstice. Enjoy!

Loaves of Swedish limpa bread

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’m still allergic to wheat. And yes, this week I’m going to try to make a GF version so I don’t have to agonize over watching everyone else eat wonderful, delicious, beautiful limpa. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Swedish limpa bread

  • 2 cups of orange juice
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1⅓ cups dark brown sugar (light brown sugar is fine if you’re in a pinch)
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • 2½ teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons aniseed or 4 pods of star aniseed (I’ve looked EVERYWHERE for aniseed but couldn’t find it. I’ve done a ton of research and star aniseed is the best substitute for the aniseed in this recipe, so feel free to use star aniseed in a pinch !)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 3 tablespoons yeast
  • 4 cups medium rye flour
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine orange juice, butter, brown sugar, molasses, cumin, and aniseed/star anise. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes, then add salt and water. If using star anise, remove the pods. Otherwise, the seeds remain in the mix.
  3. When the mixture reaches 105º-115º F (which is fairly warm but not too hot to the touch), add yeast.
  4. Pour into a large mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer), then add the rye flour and all-purpose flour. The dough will be wet and sticky, that’s okay!
  5. Knead well. When using a food processor, knead with the dough hook for approx. 6 minutes. Again, the dough will get sticky and I highly recommend using a stand mixer if possible.
  6. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise until doubled in size.
  7. Divide dough into four equal parts. Shape each piece into a round ball and fold the dough underneath to create a smooth surface. Place on a floured board, cover with a cloth and let rise again until doubled in size.
  8. Score the top of the loaves with a sharp knife. Place in a preheated 350ºF oven and bake on a baking stone. Bake for about 30 minutes until browned and the internal temperature reaches 190ºF.
  9. As with most breads, allow to cool before slicing. Although we always break the rules and only cut a hot bread because it’s irresistible!


Posted by Jane Maynard at 5:28 pm 6 comments
Categories: Recommended Recipes, Recipes, Side Dishes, Path Gourmet

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