Swedish Limpa Bread

When my brother-in-law, Russell, was in town he made an entire Swedish meal – Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar) with Gravy and Swedish Creamed Potatoes.  He also made this wonderful bread.  Swedish limpa, is moist rye bread is flavored with citrus peel. The result is a very flavorful, fragrant loaf of bread.

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Swedish Limpa Bread 

(The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, 1st Edition, 1984)

[Russell’s comments – RM are in brackets]

One of my favorites—a slightly sweet bread that is flavored with orange and rye and is absolutely delicious.

2 packages dry yeast
2½ cups warm water [105-115 degrees F…any hotter and the yeast will die]
2½ cups rye flour
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour [RM maybe even a bit more, see my note at end]
1 Tbs salt
½ cup finely chopped seeded orange, including rind [RM: one clementine works well]
3 Tbs honey
¼ cup brown sugar
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) butter, softened

Glaze: [RM—I don’t bother with this]
1 egg white mixed with
1 Tbs water

Stir the yeast and warm water together in a large mixing bowl, and let stand for a minute or so to dissolve. Add the rye flour, 2 ½ cups of the all-purpose flour, the salt, chopped orange, honey, brown sugar, and butter, and beat to blend thoroughly. Add enough additional all-purpose flour to make a manageable dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a minute or two, then let rest for 10 minutes. [RM: I always need a pastry scraper with a rye bread dough because it will stick to the wood board at first]

Resume kneading for about 10 minutes, sprinkling on enough all-purpose flour to keep the dough from being too sticky. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk [RM I put it in my oven barely heated to 85 degrees, it takes about an hour to rise there].

Punch the dough down and shape into two round loaves. Place several inches apart on a greased baking sheet, and slash a 1/2 –inch-deep cross in the top of each loaf, using a sharp knife or razor blade. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a towel, and let rise until double in bulk. Brush the tops of the risen loaves with the egg-white glaze, and bake in a pre-heated 350-degree F oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a rack.

[RM: I put the loaves on one cookie sheet, sort of in opposite corners, but they can spread out too much and merge and overflow and end up quite flat. More flour might make the dough thicker but also harder to manage, so maybe baking in bread pans would be a solution. But it tastes good even is the loaf isn’t the highest…enjoy!]

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