Swedish Limpa Bread – A Delicious Holiday Bread Recipe

Limpa bread is a traditional Swedish rye bread that is flavored with certain spices. I am using anise seed, cumin, molasses and orange.  I really enjoy eating limpa toasted with raspberry jam and Havarti cheese, but the dense, moist bread goes well with a variety of toppings.


  • 3 1/2 -4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 4 cups unsifted rye flour                            
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water (for the yeast)
  • 1/2 cup warm water 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 2 (1/4 ounce in each package) active dry yeast  
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed, optional
  1. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, molasses, butter, orange peel, salt, aniseed and boiling water.  Stir the mixture until brown sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Next stir in cold water. Let the mixture stand until it cools. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in molasses mixture. Mix well the mixture well in the bowl.
  3. Gradually add 2 1/2-3 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup rye flour; beat until smooth and dough leaves sides of bowl. Gradually add 3 cups wheat flour.
  4. Mix in last of flour with hand until dough leaves side of bowl. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic – about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Place in lightly greased large bowl and cover with towel. Let it rise in a warm place without draft until double in size for approx.1 1/2 hour. 
  6. Divide into 2 piece and shape each half into an oval. With palms of hands, on lightly floured surface, roll each half into a round loaf.  With sharp knife, make three diagonal slashes on top of loaf.
  7. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place for 1 to 1-1/2 hour.
  8. Brush with melted butter (and sprinkle with caraway seed if desired).
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  10. Bake on middle shelf for approx. 35 minutes.
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