Grandma B’s Swedish Limpa Bread

purchased from Getty Images


2 pkg dry yeast
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 t salt
2 1/2 cup rye flour
1 t crushed fennel seed
2 1/2 – 3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
3 T grated orange peel
2 T shortening
1 t crushed anise seed


Mix yeast with warm water. Stir in the molasses, sugar, salt, and orange peel. Blend well. Stir in the rye flour, shortening, fennel, and anise seed. Add the remaining white all-purpose flour to form stiff dough.

Turn out onto a a floured surface and knead until a pinch of dough feels rather like the lobe of your ear.

Cover, and allow to rise out of drafts for about one hour.

Punch the dough down and shape into two rounded slightly flattened loaves on opposite ends of a greased baking sheet.

Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Bake the loaves for about 30-35 minutes or until they are nicely browned and thump well (sound hollow when you thump it with your thumb). If your oven runs hot, reduce the temperature a bit so the loaves do not get too dark a brown.

Brush the crust with maple syrup and water – this softens the crust for the perfect Limpa finish!

Spoon Mage™ Notes:

If you have three young children who want to help, the recipe works well if you make three small loaves instead of two, just watch so they do not over-cook.

My Grandma B grew up in Sweden many years ago. I loved “helping” her make this beautiful aromatic bread. The memories will be with me forever. Make a couple loafs today with your favorite person to create the most mindful of memories – culinary memories.

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