Swedish Limpa Bread

Swedish Limpa bread
erik forsberg / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
  • 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 3 hrs,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 loaves - 12 servings
Ratings (15)

Also known as Vörtlimpa (“Wort loaf”), Swedish limpa bread was originally made from the fermented brewer’s wort produced in beer-making. There are many excellent recipes that still include stout beer as a key ingredient. But it is also quite common, especially during the Christmas season, to make variations flavored solely with combinations of orange rind, fennel, caraway, and anise seeds.

This recipe will make two loaves of bread.

What You'll Need

  • 1 3/4 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
  • 2 1/2 cups medium rye flour
  • 2 to 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F, turning it off immediately once heated.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine orange juice, butter, molasses, brown sugar, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, and anise seeds. Bring it to a low boil. Maintain the low boil for 5 minutes. Remove it from burner and cool until the mixture is lukewarm.
  3. Once the liquid spice mixture is warm, but not hot, to the touch, whisk in active dry yeast, salt, and grated orange peel.
  1. Place the liquid in a mixing bowl and gradually stir in 2 1/2 cups rye flour. Continue to add in 2 to 3 cups of all-purpose flour until the dough is soft and pliable (it will be slightly sticky).
  2. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Either by hand or with the dough hook of your mixer, knead the dough lightly for about 5 minutes, until the dough is stiff and smooth.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl (either oil or butter is fine), flipping the dough once to coat it with grease. Cover the bowl with a clean towel, place it in a warmed oven, and let it rise until double, about 1 hour.
  5. After the dough is risen, punch it down, divide it into 2 halves, and shape it into 2 round loaves. Place the loaves on lightly floured baking pan or pizza paddle (if you use a bread stone in your oven). Cover it with a towel and let the loaves rise on the counter until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F. When the loaves have risen, place the in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until they are dark, crusty, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow the loaves to cool and enjoy.