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Limpa (Swedish Rye Bread)

  • Author: Adapted from Delishhh
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 30 1x


A traditional Swedish rye loaf - subtly sweet with hints of orange, caraway and fennel. Absolutely perfect when sliced thick and toasted, preferably with a generous slathering of melting butter or chunky orange marmalade. This recipe makes 3 large-ish loaves, so either plan to give some away or make some room in the freezer to store the extras.


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp grated orange rind
  • 4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 2 tsp salt


Prepare the Sponge:

  1. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring water, coffee, sugar, caraway, fennel, butter and orange rind to a boil. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until butter is melted and sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and rye flour in a large bowl. Measure out 4 cups of this mixture into a small mixing bowl, and set aside to use in the first rise. (You should now have 6 cups of flour left in your bowl.)
  3. Pour the cooled water and coffee mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add yeast, and mix on medium speed until well combined. Gradually add the 6 cups of flour, mixing until you have a very soft and elastic dough.
  4. Scrape the sponge into a large lightly buttered mixing bowl, and cover with a clean dishtowel. Place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise until double in size, about 1 ½ hours.

First Rise:

  1. Once the sponge has doubled in size, punch the dough down and knead in the salt and reserved 4 cups flour using your hands or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Dough should feel smooth and elastic.
  2. Transfer the dough to a large lightly buttered bowl and let it rise again until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Shaping and Second Rise:

  1. Once the dough has once again doubled in size, transfer to a clean, lightly floured work surface and knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
  2. Divide the dough into 3 equally-sized pieces, and shape each one into a chubby oval loaf roughly 10" long. Arrange the loaves on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (don't worry if the loaves are very close together - this is fine).
  3. Cover with a clean dishtowel, and let rise again for about 30-45 minutes, or until roughly doubled in size. It's okay if the sides of the loaves are touching by this point.

Baking the Bread:

  1. Shortly before the loaves are done their second rise, preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Bake the loaves in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until tops are dark brown. If the crust starts to brown too quickly, tent with foil for the last 15 minutes of the baking time to avoid burning.
  3. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (or dig in while the bread is still warm, if you don't want to wait that long.)
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Bread