Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Limpa from Gotland


Gotlandslimpa, which translate's into "loaf from Gotland" is what many people perceive as a very Swedish bread. It's a classic "limpa" which is really just another word for "loaf" but usually used for slightly sweet, dense breads. This is a classic bread, and it uses bitter orange peel to give it a special hint of flavor. Do try to get that, or it will not be the same.

Also, the recipe uses rågsikt, which is a mixture of fine rye and wheat flour in roughly 40/60 proportion. I imagine it's hard to get outside of Sweden, so mix your own.

This is not a very fast bread to make, and it's a little fiddly. The flavor is well worth it - enjoy it with a salted butter and a strong cheese to set off the sweetness!

Limpa from Gotland
Makes 2

On day 1:
850 g rye/wheat flour (see above)
1/2 tbsp salt
1 liter boiling water
7 g whole bitter orange peel, dried
1/2 tbsp distilled white vinegar

Day 2:
35 g fresh yeast
75 ml molasses or dark syrup
1 tsp sugar
the orange peel from day 1, in fine dice
720 g bread flour

To bake:
100 ml bread flour
1/2 tbsp molasses or dark syrup, in 50 ml warm water

On day 1, morning:
Soak the bitter orange peel in 100 ml of boiling water. Leave to soak all day.

On day 1, evening

Bring 1 liter of water to the boil, and pour over the rye and wheat flour. Add the liquid from the bitter oranges, salt and distilled vinegar. Work the dough really well - either use a wooden spoon (that'd be the traditional way) or in a stand mixer (my way) for at least 10-15 minutes.

Cover the surface with flour, wrap in two kitchen towels and a blanket to keep the dough warm, and leave overnight.

Pour a little bit of warm water over the peel, to make sure they're soft for the next day.

On day 2, morning

Drain the peel, and cut into fine dice. Mix with the yeast, sugar, molasses and bread flour. Work all this into the dough from last night. When it's well mixed, leave to rise for 45 minutes.

Turn out the dough on a well-floured surface, and carefully shape two loaves. Use lots of flour, as the dough is very sticky. Move the loaves to lined baking sheets, cover with towels and leave to rise for 30 minutes.

Bake at 200°C for one hour. Before you place them in the oven, brush them with syrup mixed with water, and keep brushing a few times during the baking if you want a deeper, cracklier surface.

Cover the baked breads with towels and leave to cool completely at room temperature before slicing.

Recipe in Swedish:


Aveen said...

It looks totally different to anything we get here in the UK! I really want to try this. I don't think I'll be able to find dried bitter orange peel though, and the Seville orange season is over or I could have made some myself. Any ideas for what I could substitute? Would regular oranges be too sweet?

Jonathan said...

Looks great. I always land up asking how to say "loaf" in Swedish when I go the bakers... so thank you for teaching me the word "limpa".

Lucia said...

This looks wonderful! I had thought of ordering Limpa bread for Christmas in the US from, it comes from a bakery in Andersonville in Chicago...But I might try making it myself. I remember my past Limpa(s) being a little darker in color. Thanks for sharing