Swedish Limpa Bread Recipe

If you've ever been to Sweden before, then you may already be familiar with limpa bread, but for most people, it will be a new bread choice. In fact, that was the case for chef and recipe developer Miriam Hahn of YouCare-SelfCare, who says of this Swedish rye bread, "I first heard of it through a friend who grew up eating it, so I decided to try it. I love that it uses molasses, which is something I don't use very much, but it has a lot of nutrition benefits. I also like the flavors of the spices which you don't find very often. It is an unusual combination that is really tasty!"

And don't worry, because as unique as this bread may seem to you at first, you'll do just fine preparing this recipe. "It is pretty easy for those [who] have made homemade bread before," Hahn says. Just make sure you have a good food thermometer on hand, because temperature matters with the prep here. As for how to enjoy the stuff, that's entirely up to you. "The bread is actually pretty versatile," says Hahn. "I love it with a little butter and honey. You can put cream cheese and preserves on it, or eat it plain. It can be a breakfast bread, dessert bread, or served with soup and salad."

Gather your ingredients to prepare Swedish limpa bread

Gathering all the ingredients you need for this bread may lead you to the grocery store, but the trip will be well worth it. All told, you'll need milk (any type), butter (non-dairy works fine), caraway seeds, anise seeds, fennel seeds, molasses, active dry yeast, all-purpose flour (with some set aside for use during kneading), dark rye flour, salt, orange zest, and oil.

As you likely noted, this bread can be made vegan when you use non-dairy milk and butter options. (Hahn recommends Earth Balance as a good butter substitute.) So not only is this bread yummy, but it can work well to accommodate everyone's dietary choices. So, let's get started making Swedish limpa bread.

Combine the milk and butter, and grind the seeds

In a saucepan, heat up the milk and the butter for about five minutes, or until the butter is fully melted. Remove the pan from the heat, and let the liquid cool for 15 minutes, or until it reaches 100 F when checked with a food thermometer. "It should be warm to the touch, but not scalding," Hahn notes.

While that's cooling, add the three different types of seeds to a spice grinder, and blend until fine. For a little hack, if you don't have a dedicated spice grinder, an electric coffee grinder or a precise food processor can work for this step.

Mix the milk and yeast, then prepare the dough

When the milk mixture is cool, pour it into a large bowl, and add the active yeast and the molasses. Stir the ingredients gently, and then let them sit for five minutes. The mixture should be bubbly and foamy looking when the brief time has passed.

Next, add both flours, the spice mixture, salt, and the orange zest to the bowl with the milk, molasses, and butter. Mix everything well to combine all of the ingredients into a dough, then put the dough on an open, flat kneading surface dusted with flour, and knead it for five minutes. You may need to keep adding flour to the work surface when the dough gets sticky.

Let the dough rise in stages

Now for some waiting around, followed by more waiting around. Place that well-kneaded dough in a glass (or metal) bowl that has been coated with oil, cover the bowl with snugly fitting plastic wrap, and let it sit out at room temperature for one hour.

Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set the dough on it. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and let it sit again, this time for 90 minutes. When there are 20 minutes left on the timer, preheat your oven to 350 F.

Bake the bread to rich perfection

After that second resting period is over, it's finally time to get baking. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough, and place the baking sheet into the hot oven. Let the loaf bake for between 35 and 40 minutes. Use a toothpick to make sure it is done. (The toothpick will come out clean when it is.)

With the baking part is done, let the bread cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve whichever sounds great to you, remembering Hahn's ideas from earlier. Your kitchen will smell so scrumptious at this point, and everyone in your house will want to taste this yummy delight. After all, is there anything more fun to eat than warm bread that's fresh out of the oven?

As for any leftovers, Hahn says, "I store it on the counter in a sealed container, and it is good for about three days. I like to warm it up before eating."

Swedish Limpa Bread Recipe
5 from 23 ratings
You won't go wrong enjoying limpa bread with butter and honey. It can be a breakfast bread, dessert bread, or served with soup and salad. The choice is yours!
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
loaf of sliced limpa bread
Total time: 55 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons anise seeds
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour + more for kneading
  • 1 cup dark rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon oil
Directions
  1. In a saucepan, heat up the milk and the butter for about 5 minutes, or until the butter is melted.
  2. Remove from the heat, and let the mixture cool for 15 minutes, or until it reaches 100 F when measured with a food thermometer.
  3. While that's cooling, add all of the seeds to a spice grinder, and blend until fine.
  4. When the milk mixture is cool, pour it into a large bowl, and add the active yeast and the molasses. Stir, and then let it sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Add both flours, the spice mixture, salt, and orange zest, and mix well to combine.
  6. Put the dough on a kneading surface dusted with flour, and knead for 5 minutes.
  7. Place the dough into a glass bowl that has been coated with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 1 hour.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set the dough on it, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let this sit for 90 minutes. When 20 minutes are left on the timer, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  9. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough. Then, place the baking sheet into the oven, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, using a toothpick to make sure it's done.
  10. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 285
Total Fat 8.5 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 19.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 45.8 g
Dietary Fiber 5.4 g
Total Sugars 10.3 g
Sodium 247.7 mg
Protein 7.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe