Gramma Lund's Limpa Bread Recipe

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6 votes | 2144 views

My paternal grandfather emigrated to the US in 1912 bringing with him his mother's family recipe for the incredibly delicious - almost cake-like - limpa of the southern Swedish countryside. I looked at every recipe for Swedish Limpa Bread on the C-E-S site. None of them are family recipes, although there is a rye bread recipe, it's not Limpa.

I remember making this bread every winter before Christmas, working with my dad and sister in the kitchen, where we turned out uncounted loaves to take to all our neighbors.

I have eaten in many Swedish-themed restaurants over the years. I have never tasted a better bread than that made from this true family recipe. I want to share this with you because it is one of the most unique, tasty and enjoyable breads in the world. I would urge you to try not to eat it all before you can share it with someone you love.

And, believe it or not - this is a fabulous sandwich bread - cheeses, mortadella and other 'light' deli meats are excellent on Limpa - plain or toasted.

Fresh out of the oven, with plenty of warmed sweet butter, it is one of life's great and satisfying pleasures. The recipe makes 2 nice loaves. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have for my whole life!
TIP: BE SURE to warm with hot tap water any bowl you will be moving the yeasted dough into - just dump & wipe the bowl before you add the dough to it. And NO drafts on the rising dough - cover the bowl with a clean towel during the risings.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 2


Cost per serving $2.26 view details
  • 2 pkgs yeast
  • 1-1/2 C warm water (100-110^F)
  • 1/4 C dark molasses (TIP: I prefer Baking Molasses, but use what you can get as long as it isn't too 'bitter')
  • 1/3 C granulated sugar
  • 1 T fine sea salt
  • 2 T lard (lard is best, but you can substitute sweet butter)
  • 1 T whole anise seeds
  • 1 T fresh grated orange zest
  • 2-1/2 C medium (Bohemian) rye flour (avoid light rye and dark rye flours)
  • 2-1/2 C white flour + 1/2 white flour (for the board & kneading - just add a little at a time to keep the dough from sticking)


  1. Warm a mixing bowl, add the warm water and dissolve the yeast with the molasses, sugar, salt, orange zest, anise seeds and shortening mixed in.
  2. [TIP: at this time I'll interject that I like to sift the medium rye & white flours together, first into one bowl, then back to the original bowl
  3. Add the rye flour, mix until smooth.
  4. Add the white flour a little at a time until the dough is well kneaded and a bit sticky to the touch. Hand kneading will take about 5-8 minutes. [TIP: on your Kitchen-Aide, use the lowest speed for about 5 minutes, adding small amounts of the extra flour until the dough is nicely balled up, then kick the speed up a notch for about 3 minutes]
  5. Grease a large, warmed bowl.
  6. Place the dough into the bowl, then turn the greased side up.
  7. Cover with a towel and place the bowl in a warm place out of any draft. Let the covered dough rest and rise for about 60 minutes.
  8. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, round it, cover it and let it rise 40 minutes more.
  9. Punch the dough down again and divide the dough into 2 pieces.
  10. Shape each piece into a round, slightly flat loaf.
  11. Place the two loaves on opposite ends of a greased baking sheet.
  12. Cover the baking seet with the towel and let the loaves rise a third time, this time for 60 minutes.
  13. Bake 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees in a preheated oven.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 553g
Recipe makes 2 servings
Calories 1334  
Calories from Fat 75 6%
Total Fat 8.59g 11%
Saturated Fat 2.24g 9%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 1196mg 50%
Potassium 1375mg 39%
Total Carbs 286.2g 76%
Dietary Fiber 24.6g 82%
Sugars 58.47g 39%
Protein 30.99g 50%
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  • A.L. Wiebe
    I wanted to make this RIGHT NOW. I have all of the ingredients except for the rye flour. Dang it all! I have never tried Swedish Limpa bread, so this will be my first. Tomorrow or bust!
    1 reply
    • Amos Miller
      January 27, 2012
      Chef - be sure to use bohemian (medium) rye - not light or dark, pumpernickle or chops. It will be worth the search for medium rye flour.
    • Cindy McNamara
      Okay, Only thing I noticed was that you've got a tiny typo by the water amount on the ingredients. I used1 1/2 c water...maybe a tad more to get the consistency I wanted. The recipe worked up easily using my stand mixer and I think hand mixing would have been a head ache due to the sticky nature of the dough.
      The texture is spot on, the flavor is spot on. I gave my loaf a egg white/molasses wash to give it the shiny crust I remember from ancient history in Skara Sweden.
      Well DONE!!
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
      This is a variation
      1 reply
      • Amos Miller
        January 27, 2012
        Well done, Cindy! Texture & flavor is what it's all about, so I am delighted that you were successful in execution and were pleased with the end result. You were correct: there was a typo. The correct measure of water is 1-1/2C, which is what we have always used. The dough is always sticky and we always do hand-knead it. We make two round loaves, rising in well-buttered bowls, per batch. Thanks, also, for posting your photos. I'll put mine up, as well.
      • Salad Foodie
        MAGNIFICENT! I've tried many rye bread recipes over time but mostly they fell short of my expectations. Amos, this one delivered! Beautiful grain, crust and moisture, and I loved the subtle flavors of orange and anise. With all due respect to both Gramma Lund and you, I took the lazy way out and used my bread machine to knead and proof the dough. I made one loaf for the test run (a half recipe) and used the 1 pound, whole wheat setting; removed the dough just before the machine baking cycle kicked in, with the third and final rise on baking sheet as per your recipe instructions. My only regret is making just the half recipe. Next time, I'll make the full recipe and use the 2 pound loaf setting on my machine. With this experiment so successful and satisfying, I can only imagine how much better yours is done the right way - the Gramma Lund way! Thanks truly for sharing this recipe.
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        This is a variation
        • Amos Miller
          Salad Foodie - Thanks for the hearty endorsement! I am thrilled to know that this will be successful in a bread machine (we're kinda ol' fashioned in my kitchen - but I will admit that I have had success on the super KitchenAide, dough hook, lowest power, 6 minutes). I am now baking this bread in round 9" cake pans, rather than on sheets, both to contain this very active recipe and toimprove the uniformity of the potions (slices). I'm getting a sort of 'toque'-shaped result. I'll post a photo later. Also, a light milk wash on the top crust as sone as the loaves leave the oven produces a nice baker's glow. I hope you made a couple of pieces of toast with this - softened butter and orange marmalade are deadly delicious on toast... Thanks, again, for a job well done! Gramma would be proud.
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
          This is a variation
          • J. Gino Genovesi
            I enjoy looking at all your recipes. Really professional. I will be trying some of the. J. Gino Genovesi


            • Cindy McNamara
              June 3, 2012
              Hello from lower Alabama! Relocation over with and boxes all gone finally....Just made two loaves again today. One free form the other I threw in a loaf pan so we could use it for sandwiches. SO GOOD and SO worth the time and effort. Love love love this recipe.
              Have a great summer Amos!
              1 reply
              • Amos Miller
                June 4, 2012
                Hi, CM - Relocation is a BEAR! Glad you are settled. Next time try baking the Limpa in 9 or 10 inch spring form'll get a really attractive "toque" loaf. Best wishes and enjoy this summer! - Amos
              • Foodessa
                January 29, 2012
                Interesting combo of ingredients...and an equally lovely background story.
                Amos, this bread is calling my tummy ;o)

                Thanks for sharing your Swedish specialty.

                Ciao for now,
                • Amos Miller
                  January 27, 2012
                  While digging through other family recipes, I discovered a Swedish Rye Bread recipe that is not like my Swedish Limpa. This second recipe was also brought from Sweden and was used extensively in the house of my Great Aunt Violet. I'll be posting that recipe soon.
                  3 replies
                  • Cindy McNamara
                    January 27, 2012
           on now. I just pulled out a couple of my swedish mom, Gunilla's recipes. One is for Artsoppa (Yellow Pea Soup) and Dalaknacke (Hard Bread) Of course both of the cards are written in swedish so It's gonna require serious concentration on my part to read and translate. About once every couple of months Gunilla and Mormor (grandma) would spend a whole day in the kitchen cooking, baking and freezing any local produce we'd been given to all sorts of baked goodies. Those little cinnamon rolls rarely made it to the freezer because the 2 boys and I would eat them as fast as they came out of the oven. I can smell that kitchen to this day.
                    2 replies
                    • Amos Miller
                      January 27, 2012
                      I LOVE it!! I recall knackebrod with cheese or herring or that pink fine-grained Swedish caviar that we'd squeeze from a tube. Let's be sure to post our new findings on the Swedish Group page, as well. I am all over that pea soup recipe. Put it up! To all the Mormors and Forfors in the world: thank you!
                      1 reply
                      • Amos Miller
                        January 27, 2012
                        By the way - i hope you are not holding back the cinnamon roll recipe....
                  • Amos Miller
                    January 26, 2012
                    Elaine - I am baking this weekend, as well, and will freeze a couple of loaves for fortunate future guests. Please let me know what you think, Chef!
                    • Amos Miller
                      January 26, 2012
                      Oh, Cindy! I have EVERY confidence that my recipe will match or beat anything you ate in Sweden, unless you had it at some wonderful farmhouse in Skane province. The Lund family recipe is treasured, and true treasures are meant to be shared. So, while I will not share the actual pounds my Limpa may add to your all-too-skinny frame - I will share in your joy at eating the first loaf. Try to save the second loaf for the family. Can't wait to hear your comments and your review. I am also baking this weekend, so I'll put up my photos.
                      • Cindy McNamara
                        January 26, 2012
                        At LAST! Just reading through the ingredients I think....there is a chance....that this recipe just MIGHT....give me the long sought after taste of true "Sweet Limpa" that I gained 20 lbs eating everyday in Sweden as a 17 yr old exchange student. The crust was soft and shiny, the crumb was cake-like and had a distinct orange-anise flavor. My Swedish mom shared a couple of bread recipes before she passed but she didn't make Limpa because she loved the local bakery version so much.
                        I'm going to be making this TODAY...NOW...I'll give you the taste test results afterwards!!!
                        1 reply
                        • Amos Miller
                          January 26, 2012
                          Oh, Cindy! I have EVERY confidence that my recipe will match or beat anything you ate in Sweden, unless you had it at some wonderful farmhouse in Skane province. The Lund family recipe is treasured, and true treasures are meant to be shared. So, while I will not share the actual pounds my Limpa may add to your all-too-skinny frame - I will share in your joy at eating the first loaf. Try to save the second loaf for the family. Can't wait to hear your comments and your review. I am also baking this weekend, so I'll put up my photos.
                        • Elaine
                          January 22, 2012
                          Sounds like a fantastic recipe, Amos! Thank you so much for sharing it. I will definitely be baking this next week on my days off. Obviously, great cooking and baking runs in your family! :)
                          1 reply
                          • Amos Miller
                            January 27, 2012
                            Hi, Chef - Be sure to re-read this recipe. I made a couple of slight adjustments and want you to have a successful go at this bread. Good luck!

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