Swedish Limpa

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Swedish Limpa

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This orange- and spice-scented Swedish loaf is a favorite among Scandinavians. It's especially delightful toasted and spread with sweet butter.

2 to 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1/2 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup pumpernickel
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons EACH caraway, fennel, and anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon orange oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1 to 1 1/4 cups water
4 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients until a rough dough forms, then knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour. It'll become somewhat puffy, but probably won't double in bulk. You may also prepare the dough to this point in a bread machine programmed to the dough cycle.

Shape the dough into a ball, flatten it slightly, and place it on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a dough rising cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or till it's puffed up noticeably.

Bake the limpa in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil for the final 10 minutes if it appears to be browning too fast. Yield: 1 large round loaf.

Tip: Because this loaf has a tendency to spread as it rises and bakes, we like to cradle it in our cloche baker to ensure an even loaf. This also gives the bread a heartier crust. To make this bread in your cloche, allow the dough to go through its second rise in the cloche. Bake the loaf in a preheated 400°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes, remove the cover of the cloche, and continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the top crust is golden brown.


  • star rating 11/20/2014
  • Jon Erik Larson from Oradell, New Jersey
  • Better than my grandmother's. Worse (far worse) than Bread Baker's apprentice.
  • star rating 01/17/2014
  • Juli J from Olympia, WA
  • Really tasty As recommended by others, I used the marmalade and orange zest (no oil) I made this start to finish in a bread machine and it worked wonderfully well other than missing the more traditional shape Very good....a keeper! Will be part of our Christmas Smorgasbord and throughout the year
  • star rating 07/31/2013
  • Mary from Virginia
  • Delicious! I made two changes: like other reviewers, I substituted orange zest for the orange oil, which I don't stock in my pantry; in addition, I used Smucker's Orchard's Finest Pacific Grove Orange Marmalade Medley (which does not contain corn syrup) in place of the corn syrup in the recipe. A clerk in a Swedish bakery in northern Wisconsin told me that they sweeten their Limpa with orange marmalade, so I gave it a try. The bread was wonderful and I plan to sweeten other breads with marmalade also. I baked the bread in a nine-inch loaf pan so that we could use it for sandwiches. It was all perfect and I will make it often.
    The marmalade is a great tip! Elisabeth
  • star rating 05/01/2011
  • pammyowl from KAF Community
  • I got a beautiful loaf! Very easy recipe. I added the zest of one orange, as my orange oil is not very potent. One of the spices, I'm not sure which one made my tongue numb! Excellent toasted.
  • star rating 02/23/2011
  • maryloucookie from KAF Community
  • My whole family loves this recipe. I like it as is, and it is delicious toasted. My only change is to use one tablespoon of orange rind zest instead of the orange oil, and molasses instead of corn syrup. Oh, and using all three kinds of seeds enhances the flavor.
  • star rating 09/17/2010
  • kpervatt from KAF Community
  • If I had to select the 5 best recipes on this website, this bread would be among them. I make bread this about every 3 or 4 weeks. It's wonderful.
  • star rating 09/07/2009
  • Susie from Missouri
  • This is one of my favorite breads to make. The smell is just heavenly when baking and again when toasted a couple of days later. I've used both regular rye flour and pumpernickel, depending on availability. Either one works for a delicious bread. I'm fortunate to live close to an Amish bulk food store where I can buy all the seeds in large quantity for very little money, which allows me to bake this bread all time!
  • star rating 05/05/2009
  • Mary from Cupertino, CA
  • Very tasty and also comes out of the oven looking very attractive. However, it quickly deflated when I set it to cool and its crust was a bit too soft.
    I am sorry to here of your difficulty. Did you check the internal temperature? It should be 190 degree. Please call us if you need assistance, 800-827-6836. Frank @ KAF.
  • star rating 01/24/2009
  • Mary from Burlington, VT
  • It's a great bread although a bit lighter than the Limpa that I remember my grandmother making. Next time I'll increase the amount of wheat and rye flours a bit and see what happens. It also makes a really big loaf so I'd probably divide into 2 loaves and put one in the freezer.