Swedish Limpa

Sliced limpa bread on top of a wooden cutting board next to an orange

An easy and tender buttermilk rye bread with just a hint of orange and anise.  Perfect for fall and winter!



1 cup buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons molasses

Zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon anise seed, toasted briefly in a dry skillet and then ground, or 1 teaspoon ground anise seed

1 teaspoon fine salt

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1 cup dark rye flour (I use the Bob’s Red Mill brand)

2 cups bread flour


  1. Combine buttermilk and baking soda in a liquid measuring cup.  Set aside.
  2. Combine butter, water, molasses and orange zest in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.

  3. Add buttermilk mixture and molasses mixture to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.

  4. Add ground anise seed, salt, yeast and rye flour to the bowl.

  5. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on medium low until ingredients are combined.  Add bread flour and continue to mix on medium low until the dough is fully combined and clearing the sides of the bowl.  Increase speed to medium and knead for approximately 4 minutes.  If you are mixing and kneading the dough by hand, the process will take longer.

  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Remove the dough from the bowl and pat into an oval shape that is about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 45 minutes to an hour.

  8. Remove plastic wrap and decoratively score dough with a razor blade or a sharp knife.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. The internal temperature of the dough should be at least 198 degrees when it is done.  Allow bread to cool before slicing.

Keywords: Swedish, Limpa, bread, rye, easy