Swedish Limpa Bread

Swedish limpa bread is also known as vörtlimpa or wort loaf. Traditionally made with brewer’s malt, this recipe uses dark beer resulting in a milder but tasty loaf.

Serves: 16Hands-on: 1 hourTotal: 6 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 16


  • 1 bottle (12 oz.) dark beer
  • 1⁄4 cup butter
  • 1⁄3 cup dark molasses
  • 2 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp. anise seeds
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (4 1⁄2 tsp.)
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly grated orange peel
  • 2 1⁄2 cups rye flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • In a small saucepan, combine the beer, butter, molasses, salt, brown sugar, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, and anise seeds. Bring to a low boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Cool until the mixture is lukewarm.
  • Whisk the dry yeast, orange peel, and rye flour into the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment.
  • Set the mixer on low and gradually incorporate the liquid mixture into the flour. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl and exchange the paddle for the dough hook.
  • At low speed, incorporate the all-purpose flour into the dough; increase speed to medium-high and beat for 7 minutes, or until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Allow the dough to rest in the bowl for 20 minutes. As the dough rests, preheat oven to 300°F, then turn it off immediately.
  • After the dough has rested, knead it lightly, either with the dough hook or your hands, until it is stiff and smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • Place dough in a lightly buttered bowl, flipping once to coat with butter. Cover with a clean dish towel, place in the warmed oven, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
  • Punch down the dough, divide it into even halves, and shape each half into a round loaf. Place on a lightly floured baking pan or wooden paddle (if you use a bread stone in your oven). Cover with the kitchen towel and let the loaves rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Place a cake pan on the lowest shelf in the oven; position the bread stone (if using) on the shelf above.
  • Slash each loaf 4 or 5 times across the tops. Turn the loaves and make 4 or 5 slashes perpendicular to the first slashes. Transfer to the oven and place 2 or 3 ice cubes in the lower pan, and shut the door immediately. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes away clean (the loaves should sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom with a knife).