I was rifling through The Gourmet Cookbook and saw a recipe for Limpa, aka Swedish Rye Bread. I asked Martin if that was an accurate translation and he said “limpa” really means “loaf.” So I was making … loaf. Awesome. 🙂

I’ve made it twice now and still have not figured out a way to make my loaf not flat and skinny. Next time, I am going to try baking it in a regular bread pan. There is nothing wrong with the taste and texture of the bread, it is just hard to do things like …. eat it as a sandwich and place slices of cheese on it. Other than that, it is just right.

This recipe is really easy to make but I still worry that I’m not getting the kneading technique down pat. Overall, the hardest part was actually finding rye flour – I had to stare at the flour section of the grocery store for awhile before finally locating it. And may I say – I had NO IDEA there was that much flour in the world! Corn flour, potato flour, crazy flour … they could probably turn meat into flour if they put their minds to it.

The taste was like your typical rye bread, soft but with a crisp crust. One time, his mom made a sweet, dark rye bread for Christmas dinner. I know hers was a mix she found at the grocery store, but I would like to replicate something like that so if anyone has suggestions for recipes, please share!

This bread is sort of medium brown with a tight, dense crumb. I punched down the dough about halfway through and am wondering if that contributes to it. I wonder what would happen if I didn’t punch down the dough – does anyone know the physics behind this?

Martin calls this a winner. I think he’s just happy to not be eating bread with high fructose corn syrup (it’s remarkably hard to find bread, even wheat bread, not made with this!) and that’s dark, just the way he likes it. Hopefully, over time, I will perfect this a little better. At least I have a willing tester. 🙂

Swedish Rye Bread

2-½ tsp. dry active yeast
¼ cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees F)
Pinch of sugar
¾ cup milk
2 –⅔ tbsp. molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
¼ stick unsalted butter
½ tbsp. anise seeds
½ tbsp. caraway seeds
2 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. finely grated orange zest
1 cup rye flour
1-⅞ to 2-¼ cups unbleached AP flour

1- Stir yeast, warm water and sugar together in mixing bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2- Combine milk, molasses and butter in a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Remove from heat and cool to 105 – 115 degrees F.

3- Combine yeast mixture, milk mixture, anise seeds, caraway seeds, salt, zest, rye flour and 1-⅞ cups AP flour in mixing bowl and stir together until dough forms with paddle mixer.

4- Switch to dough hook and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 – 10 minutes. Test dough by pressing with finger. If the spot fills back in, dough is ready.

5- Transfer dough to a buttered large bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, approx. 1-½ hours.

6- Butter large baking sheet. Punch down dough and turn onto floured surface. Knead 3 – 4 times.

7- Form into a round loaf and transfer to baking sheet.

8- Let rise, covered with a non-terry cloth kitchen towel, until almost doubled in bulk, approx. 1 hour.

9- Preheat oven to 375-degrees F and put rack in middle of oven.

10- Prick loaves with fork to form decorative pattern. Bake until brown and bottom sounds hollow when tapped, approx. 30 – 40 minutes.

11- Transfer loaves to rack to cool.

Servings: One 8″ round loaf

We weren’t very patient, we dug right in.

Please don’t judge me for the mixing bowls galore. I swear my kitchen is normally MUCH tidier than this!