View our Main Site »

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jeff Carlson's mother's Swedish rye bread (Limpa)

If you have a traditional or family recipe you think others might enjoy, don't hesitate, submit it to The Buzz editors today!

By Jeff Carlson

I grew up in a family surrounded by Swedish relatives and friends. My mom and dad would drag me, my brothers and sister to countless smorgasbords, either in homes or at the local Vasa Lodge. The air was full of great smells and heavy Swedish accents and most of the time I didn’t understand what was being said. One thing I did understand was that I liked bread, in particular, Swedish rye bread or Limpa. Most Limpa recipes contain molasses, fennel, anise, or caraway seeds, and (or maybe not) orange peel. Some recipes will actually call for stout as this bread was originally made from fermented brewer’s wort, the reason why it's also known as Vörtlimpa (“Wort loaf”).

My mother’s recipe is handed down from her mother. It contains fennel and anise, molasses, and a few other ingredients that aren’t too common, mashed potatoes and oats, for example. Also, if you can’t find lard or want a more heart-healthy version, use vegetable shortening or oil as a substitute. This recipe makes a very heavy and sticky dough. I’ve never tried to make it a smaller batch because it goes like crazy around my house. It always seems like I use more white flour then the recipe calls for. Maybe my liquid measuring skills aren't so good.

The finished bread is dense and moist and has a very intoxicating aroma of licorice. At our smorgasbord table, I really like this with a good sharp cheese -- Ost as we Sweds call it -- along with some thin-sliced summer sausage or salami. But to die for is topping it off with a good pickled herring (Inlagd Sill) imported from the mother country, not that Dutch stuff you get around here*. Cream cheese and Gravlax isn’t too shabby as a topping either. So, even if you’re not Swedish, give this bread a try, I think you really will enjoy it.

*The author's opinion of Dutch pickled herring does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Buzz staff or its parent company, Siciliano's Market. Readers should know that Siciliano's privileges no nationality of pickled fish over any other.

Ingredients & Directions

    • 2 cups water
    • 1 big can evaporated milk
    • 1 cup white sugar*
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. salt*
    • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp. lard
    • 2 pkg. dry yeast*
    • ½ cup warm water
    • ¼ cup molasses*
    • ½ cup cooked oatmeal
    • 1 cup mashed potatoes
    • 2 tsp. anise seed
    • 2 tsp. fennel seed
    • 4 cups rye flour*
    • 6-8 cups white flour (more as needed)*
Dissolve sugar, salt, and lard in almost boiling water. Add molasses, oatmeal,
potatoes and seeds (course grind). Then add evaporated milk, mixture should be about
lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water, add to mixture. Stir in rye flour,
then add white flour. Use hands if necessary, as dough will be stiff and sticky. Knead
thoroughly, 6-8 minutes, let rise in bowl about 2 hours (or until roughly doubled.) Divide
dough into 5 or 6 loaves and let rise again in bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for about
50 to 55 minutes.

*Indicates ingredients for sale at Siciliano's Market.

Photos of the Process

Tack och god jul.
(Thank you and happy Christmas.)

No comments:

Post a Comment