Week 30: Limpa

SWEDEN: Limpa is actually the Swedish word for any loaf of bread, but here in America, it’s the term we use for this slightly sweet rye bread flavored with molasses and scented with cardamon, fennel, anise and orange. You can bake it free-form, but it tends to spread, so I prefer using a 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan, which also makes for uniform slices. Njut av!

STEP 1: BLOOM SPICES

  • 1 c milk
  • 64 g brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick / 4 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp anise seeds, 2 tsp fennel seeds, preferably partially ground with a morter & pestle
  • 2 tsp cardamon powder
  1. In a small saucepan, mix spices, brown sugar and molasses in with milk and heat until nice and warm, but don’t boil!
  2. Cool to room temperature (about 70 degrees)

STEP 2: HYDRATE FLOURS

  • 245 g bread flour
  • 175 g whole wheat flour
  • 140 g rye flour
  1. Measure the flours in the bowl of a stand mixer, fixed with the paddle attachment
  2. Slowly add milk and continue to mix until there’s not dry bits of flour. You aren’t kneading the dough, yet, just incorporating the liquid into the dry.
  3. Cover and let sit (at room temperature) for an hour.

STEP 2: PREPARE and KNEAD DOUGH

  1. Mix yeast in with milk to dissolve
  2. Add to the hydrated flours
  3. With the dough hook, knead on #4 for 5 minutes, then on #2 for 5 minutes.

STEP 3: 1st RISE (1 hour)

  1. Cover and let rise in a room that’s about 72 degrees (or a warmed up microwave) for about an hour. This dough won’t double in size — will only rise a little bit

STEP 4: SHAPE LOAVES

  1. Scrape dough onto oiled or wet surface and divide into two pieces
  2. Flatten each into a (roughly) 7″ square
  3. Shape into a tight roll, using the “head and shoulders” method.
  4. Place in 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pans, seam side down, pressing on the top to fill the pan

STEP 5: 2nd RISE (1 hour)

  1. Let rise until the top is about 1″ above the rim of the pan
  2. Preheat oven to 375

STEP 6: BAKE

  1. Either dust with flour OR brush with a glaze made by mixing 1 egg yolk with 2 Tbsp orange juice
  2. Score with very sharp knife (a razor blade makes a good scoring tool)
  3. Immediately place in oven, and decrease temperature to 350
  4. Bake 40~45 minutes, rotating once after about 20 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature between 190 – 200 degrees
  5. Remove from pans and let cool on a wire rack before slicing (see why on the Tips page)!

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