Skip to main content

Swedish Limpa Bread

Baking bread while it's cold out is a good way to warm up one's home.  Over the past few months I've been baking Swedish Limpa Bread on a regular basis because it seems to have a little bit of everything.  There is a hint of sweetness that is just right with every bite, and yet, it's perfectly savory to have with eggs for breakfast because of the rye flour.  The recipe I turn to, which I'm quite spoiled by, is from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. If you don't own this book you really should add it to your cookbook library, because there is a lot to learn from Bernard's recipes, tips and anecdotes.

Have you ever had limpa?  If so, then you understand that enjoying a slice of it slathered with butter or some marmalade is one of life's little pleasures.  I love having this toasted bread with my tea or with a cup of coffee if I can help it. Don't tell anyone, but I've also had it with some nutella spread and it is amazing!  Keep reading.

As I said, I've been baking Limpa this Fall and Winter, so there is a fresh loaf at all times in the freezer just waiting to be toasted and reheated.  Thankfully I've managed to find the exact recipe online for all of you to try, if you aren't familiar with it, and let me just say, you've been warned!  Once you master the recipe once you will try it again and again, perhaps adding something or subtracting something to suit your tastes.  There aren't too many ingredients and with only two rises, you can have loaves warm and ready for dinner in no time.  The one thing I recommend you not omit is the freshly grated orange zest, for it is essential to the bread's flavor.

Swedish Limpa Ingredients
I always find it best to set out my measured ingredients before I begin the recipe.  Some may find this fussy, but I find it to be an absolute must if you want success when baking.  As you can see, the flours are separated (per the recipe), the raisins are a mix of golden and regular Thompson, the molasses and sugar are ready to be added and the orange zest is fragrant and fresh.  The caraway, cumin and fennel seeds are sitting in my Mason & Cash mortar and pestle from England, waiting to be pounded.  The recipe doesn't call for this, but I like to crush the seeds as I'm doing the initial kneading so that I release the essence of the seeds.

Flours: the bread flour of choice in my kitchen is from King Arthur.  I've experimented with different rye flours and have come to love Arrowhead Mills Rye Flour and Hodgson Mill Rye Flour.  The choice is yours.

click on the link above

Ever since I bought myself that giant KitchenAid 7qt. mixer, I have loved how quickly the ingredients come together.  I've done this recipe by hand and believe me when I tell you that if you have a stand mixer in the kitchen, use it for this.  Rye breads are heavy to knead by hand and you will indeed have to employ a lot of elbow grease should you choose to do it the old-fashioned way.

Give yourself a good amount of counter space to do the final kneading by hand.  That giant board on my dough counter is used for this purpose, because it sits a few inches lower than a standard counter. I love working here by the sunny window.

Find a good bowl to allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place.  This stoneware bowl from Martha by Mail is perfect.  

The generous recipe makes two loaves.  Once they've cooled down, slice the breads as thin or thick as you feel like and enjoy them.    

Tip:  since the breads don't contain any preservatives, they will only keep for one day.  What I do is slice them completely and seal the loaves in zip-top freezer bags after they have cooled, removing every bit of air.  They then get placed in another zip- top bag to prevent any freezer burn.  Whenever I feel like having some, I remove as many slices as we're going to consume and toast them.  I've kept this bread for up to a month in the freezer and have never had any problems with it.

Limpa and nutella heaven!  If I'm not having it with this chocolate chestnut spread, then I reach for some good butter and/or marmalade.  With a cup of coffee or with a cup of tea, Limpa is bound to become a favorite at your house.  Make some this week!


  1. A little behind on my reading of all that is posted for feb. I like to scour the whole blog for wonderful pictures and ideas. I love the suggestions for everyday things and ideas that make my life easier and enjoyable. Thanks again for such a wonderful recipe. I'm going to try this bread! It can go along with a Katie Brown recipe of her grand mothers cinnamon bread that I make often and love! Thx David.��

  2. I've never looked at Katie Brown's cinnamon bread, but I'm going to find it. Co.Co., isn't it wonderful when you have bread baking in your kitchen? There is nothing like that aroma.

    Happy Baking!

  3. My mother was full Swedish. As a boy we traveled often to Chicago to visit my grandparents who were Swedish migrants from the 1920s and lived in a Swedish district called Andersonville. I grew up loving Limpa, Swedish coffee cake, palt with mint jelly, pickled herring, and Christmas Glog.
    The last remaining authentic Swedish bakery in Andersonville closed last February. All the original immigrants have died off and the community has been gentrified by affluent generation X'ers with families. Better than it becoming run down I suppose. But sad there's no one left to remember and keep alive the taste of Sweden.


Post a Comment

Thank You for Posting!

Popular posts from this blog

Antique Salt Cellars

There was a time when salt cellars played an important role on the dining table for the host or hostess.  As a result of it being such an expensive commodity several hundred years ago, salt was seen as a luxury and it was the well to do that made salt cellars quite fashionable & a status symbol for the home.  A single salt cellar usually sat at the head of the table and was passed around throughout the meal.  The closer one sat to the salt cellar, the more important one was deemed by the head of the household.  Smaller cellars that were more accessible and with an open top became a part of Victorian table settings.  Fast forward to the 20th century when salt was no longer a luxury and when anti caking agents were added to make salt free-flowing, and one begins to see salt cellars fall out of fashion.  Luckily for the collector and for those of us who like to set a table with Good Things , this can prove to be a boon. Salt cellars for the table come in silver, porcelain, cut glass

How to Paint a Chair

If you have ever felt the need to spruce up a set of chairs or give them a new look, why not try a little bit of paint?  Our tastes in decor and color will probably alter throughout our lives, and at some point, we may find ourselves wanting to change the look of our furniture without having to spend a lot of money.  That's where a few handy tips, some tools from the hardware store, and good-quality paint come in handy.   I know I'm not alone in paying visits to local antique shops, antique fairs and flea markets, and falling in love with pieces of furniture that would be perfect if they were just a different color.  You don't have to walk away from a good purchase simply because it's the wrong color.   My dear friend, Jeffrey, is forever enhancing his home with collectibles from flea markets and tag sales.  However, certain items aren't always up to Jeffrey's tastes when he brings them home.  He is the type of person who won't hesitate to chang

Vintage Wilton Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes have certainly evolved over the decades just as tastes and styles have in our American way of life.  There was a time when elaborate & very formal towering feats of sweetness were the standard for every bride & groom.  Growing up in a household where I witnessed several wedding cakes take shape from start to finish, I can tell you  that every single one of these was a true labor of love.  For mom, Wilton was the go-to supplier in every aspect of cake baking, including the wedding cakes which flew out of our house every single year for friends & family.   Vintage Wedding Cake Toppers It’s fun going back and looking at Wilton’s methods and styles for wedding cakes during the 1960s and 1970s.  Back then, the shapely cakes were not simply stacked and covered in perfect fondant the way they are these days, but were iced and decorated with real buttercream, along with a multitude of accessories.  There was even a working fountain available that could b