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Swedish Limpa Bread

Swedish Limpa Bread

Swedish Limpa Bread

The classic, slightly sweet Swedish limpa bread is absolutely delicious. Top with cheese, smoked salmon or prosciutto.

Swedish Limpa Bread, a savory rye staple, carries with it the flavors of Scandinavia. It’s distinguished by its iconic pairing of fragrant orange zest, anise, and caraway. Traditionally baked during holiday season, but enjoyed by millions of Swedes daily for breakfast or lunch, Limpa’s hearty crust and soft interior make it a unique, versatile bread, perfect for sandwiches.

Swedish Limpa BreadWhen I was little, my family was lucky enough to have a friend who would bake us this bread on occasion, introducing me to its rich, intoxicating flavor.  My mom started baking it frequently and has passed the recipe on to me.  My favorite way to eat limpa is toasted with Havarti cheese but the dense, moist bread goes well with many toppings and also makes gourmet sandwiches. Try it with thinly sliced gravlax, adorned with fresh dill, which complements its caraway notes. For a sweet pairing, consider lingonberry jam, offering a tangy contrast.

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Swedish Limpa Bread

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Swedish Limpa Bread

Swedish Limpa Bread

  • Author: Kelsey Hilts
  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 mins
  • Yield: 3 loaves 1x


The classic, slightly sweet Swedish limpa bread is absolutely delicious. Top with cheese, smoked salmon or prosciutto.


Units Scale
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups (6dl) warm water
  • 3/4 cup (17cl) molasses
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp anise seeds
  • 1/3 cup (8cl) shortening
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 56 cups (12-14dl) bread flour
  • 1 egg, optional


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  Stir in the molasses, sugar, salt, anise seeds, shortening and rye flour, one at a time.  Beat the mixture until it is smooth.  Gradually mix in the bread flour until you are able to handle the dough.  (It will still be slightly tacky.)  Knead the dough on a lightly-floured surface until you can form a smooth ball.  Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and then flip it over so that the greased side faces up.  Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 1/2-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
  2. Punch down the dough and then round it back into a ball.  Let it rise for 1 hour.
  3. Shape the dough into three round loaves and place them on a greased baking sheet.  Cover the loaves with a towel and let them rise for 1 hour.
  4. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush the loaves with a beaten egg.  This step is optional but I like how the egg glaze finishes the bread.
  5. Bake the bread at 350°F (175°C) degrees for 30-40 minutes until the internal temperature of the bread is between 190 and 200 degrees.  (Insert your baking thermometer through the bottom into the center of the loaf.)  The bread will also sound hollow when tapped.  If the crust is getting too dark, cover the bread with foil while it continues to bake.
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Bread
  • Cuisine: Swedish
View Comments (25)
  • Hi Kelsey

    I’m a Swedish girl that is living abroad. I have two boy and they love ‘Skogaholms limpa’ witch is a bread in Sweden. Unfortunately as we live in Ireland we can not buy this bread, so i thought maybe i can bake something like it.
    Your bread seems a lot like it.
    I just have some questions, The yest is it fresh or dry? The anise seeds is it in powder?
    Thank you!
    Kind regards Kristina

  • Finding rye flour is a problem in some places. When I spent winters in Tucson, the only place I could find it was a small grocery coop near the campus. In Madison, WI, all good-sized grocery stores carry it. I’m sure it all depends on the demand for it – i.e. plenty of people who bake.
    You’ll almost always find it at “health” food coops, or establish a relationship w/King Arthur Flour co. They have a great catalog – a bit pricey at times, but stuff you’ll unlikely to find anywhere else.

  • My first job was as a busboy at the Swedish Inn in bellflower CA. This is where I had my first taste of this bread and I loved it! I am now 63 and going to make it for the first time!

  • I used to go to a Smorgasbord in Huntington Beach, CA called Villa Sweden, (its gone but the memories are still there) I loved their Limpa bread and this sounds like the way it used to taste. So I am going to bake a few loaves and give to my siblings as they liked the bread too. So glad I looked at Pinterest for the recipe.

  • I made no knead limpa today from a different source. It tastes yummy right out of the oven with butter! It was so crusty and good. Now I want to try it in a bread making machine.

  • This bread has been part of our holidays for years past. At 92 I still make it for my family .My mother and my mother in-law,both from Sweden made this bread and passed down the recipe to the family where we have carried on the tradition for years . So Good yummy. I add some orange grated for extra flavor

  • My Swedish grandmother (I am 66 years old) used to fill up the family deep freeze with her bread when she came to visit. It was everyone’s favorite, even my German grandmother pronounced it very good! She didn’t have a recipe, so it is nearly impossible to reproduce the flavor and texture, although many attempts have been made, but yours comes very close. A high compliment, all in my family would agree!

  • Hi
    I just wanted to tell you this is the best recipe!!! I made my his for Thanksgiving and I am making this for Christmas!!
    Thanks for this awesome recipe!!????

  • I loved all your wonderful breads from Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I cannot wait to get home to Johannesburg to try to bake these delicious loaves.

  • ‘Limpa’ Is Swedish for ‘loaf’, so perhaps someone misunderstood or misheard the instructions?
    Nevertheless, rye or råg bread is popular here in Sweden and Denmark.

  • Hi,
    I was wondering if you could suggest how I best could mix in the rock solid shortening. At the moment it’s not mixing in well.

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