This Jul I did an experiment with making homemade Limpa Bread — a staple to the Smörgåsbord . Also known as Vörtlimpa (“Wort loaf”), Swedish limpa bread was originally made from the fermented brewer’s wort produced in beer-making. My Limpa is a rye bread that is sweetened and flavored with anise, caraway, fennel and grated orange peel. I tried several different recipes I found, all with ingredients that made me raise my eyebrows (cumin? Really?) I finally settled on a recipe that seemed “right.” It turned out fantastic! I made sure to use King Arthur Bread Flour which has a higher protein content and works well with rye flour to help it rise. It is so dry in South Dakota, that I have found yeast breads to have trouble rising, so any little bit to help!
Right in the middle of my first rise, the power went out! Oh no! I didn’t have my trusty Kitchenaid to use to knead the bread — which needs a good 10 minutes of kneading to develop the gluten! Ack! Luckily I have twin daughters and we took turns kneading the bread. Right when we set it for the second rise the power came back on. Figures!
- 1 3/4 cups orange juice
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup dark molasses
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- 1 tsp. anise seeds
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. freshly grated orange peel
- 2 1/2 cups medium rye flour
- 2 to 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
Preheat oven to 300 degrees, turning off immediately once heated.
In a small saucepan, combine orange juice, butter, molasses, brown sugar, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, and anise seeds. Bring to a low boil; maintain low boil for 5 minutes. Remove from burner and cool until mixture is lukewarm.
Once liquid spice mixture is warm, but not hot, to the touch, whisk in active dry yeast, salt, and grated orange peel.
Place liquid in 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 dough is soft and pliable (it will be slightly sticky).
Let dough rest for 20 minutes.
Either by hand or with the dough hook of your mixer, knead dough lightly, for about 5 minutes, until dough is stiff and smooth.
Place dough in greased bowl (either oil or butter is fine), flipping once to coat with grease. Cover bowl with clean towel, place in warmed oven, and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
After dough is risen, punch down, divide into 2 halves, and shape into 2 round loaves. Place loaves on lightly floured baking pan or pizza paddle (if you use a bread stone in your oven). Cover with towel and let loaves rise on the counter until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. When loaves have risen, place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until they are dark, crusty, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Yield: 2 loaves (12 servings).
I highly encourage trying this recipe. It is very wholesome, with only natural, good ingredients. I may try a version substituting honey for the molassas and brown sugar and see how that works. I’ll keep you posted –
The rest of the menu:
Meatballs –flavored with cardamom, allspice and ginger
Sill — pickled herring
Ham — Mark made this glazed with honey and bourbon
Pickled beets from the garden pickled last September. Mmmmmmm
Cheeses: Danish Havarti, Jalsberg, Swedish Fontina (missed out on the Bondost -doh!)