Limpa, or Rye Bread

27 Jun

This weekend a girlfriend brought over some Limpa bread for the barbecue we were having, it was so delightful that I had to ask for the recipe.  She looked at me a bit funny, because I am not really good about sharing my recipes with others.  Not because I don’t want to, but I don’t really measure things so in truth, I don’t really know how to explain “a smidgen of this, up to the 2nd wrinkle on my knuckle of that”.  After you make things so much, you just start eyeballing things and learn by smells and textures what is right.  Quite often when someone wants a recipe, I have to make it based on my eyeball and write down the measurements so I can kick it out in an email.  After she teasingly stated, “oh just a little of this and a glob of that”, she shared with me her delightful recipe.


  • 2/3 cup molasses (black strap, organic)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel (saved from the fennel harvest)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 (2-ounce) cake compressed yeast (4 ounces liquid yeast)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 cups sifted medium rye flour
  • 5 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup
  • Melted butter


In a  saucepan, mix together molasses, water, brown sugar (I prefer dark), fennel, and salt. Bring to boiling point, then gently cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add shortening. Let stand until lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water (unless using liquid, in which case reduce liquid by same amount). Add cooled molasses mixture and mix well. Stir in the ryr. Beat until smooth. Cover and let rise at room temperature overnight, about 9 to 10 hours.

In the morning add 5 cups white flour, and place remaining 1/2 cup on a pastry or board for kneading. Turn out the dough and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Cut dough in half and shape into 2 loaves (round is more traditional). Place in 2 greased 9 inch pie pans. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise until light, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Remove and brush tops with melted butter

Thank you so much Brenda for sending me your recipe.

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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Bread, The Kitchen


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