Sourdough Limpa

Light Rye Bread

Light Rye Bread

By Cat, Jan 2012 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Includes: Sourdough Limpa (a Swedish Rye Bread)

See also:  1. Sourdough Introduction; 2. Bread & Rolls Menu; 3. Swedish Limpa Bread (Vörtlimpa) Other sites: BreadTopia (1), see comments for a Swiss Rye sourdough recipe by Heinz.

This month I started a rye sourdough starter, using dark rye flour and water. I love rye bread, and right now it’s the only true grain to which I am not sensitive, so until my grain sensitivities can be cleared, it’s my only choice. Good thing I love rye!

Rye is a true grain, but is lower in gluten than wheat. As a flour, it comes in different grades of wholeness, from light rye (the rye equivalent of unbleached white flour, containing primarily the endosperm), to whole rye (contains the bran, germ and endosperm). See Sourdough Home: Rye Types (2) for a great discussion of the types of rye, and which are the best to use for different purposes. He recommends medium rye, which is a comparable mix of light and whole rye. Unfortunately, that can be hard to find at local grocers; it is still available at certain online stores. See Online Sources in the References section below.

Swedish Limpa

Limpa is a classic and festive rye bread from Sweden, but all of the Scandinavian countries have a similar version. It is slightly sweet and flavored with orange zest and/or juice, and flavorful seeds such as caraway, anise and fennel. See Swedish Limpa Bread (Vörtlimpa) for my yeasted version of Limpa.

This version uses the Rye Bread recipe from BreadTopia (1) to modify my yeasted version. Both rye and wheat flours are used in this bread. BreadTopia (1) provides videos for the process, which is helpful if you are not familiar with the ‘stretch and fold’ method of kneading (Day-2 video). See also my Ciabatta Integrale recipe for summary of ‘stretch and fold’ instructions.

Makes 1 loaf. Not yet tested

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • ⅓ cup rye starter (fed the night before)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 ¾ cups non-chlorinated water
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp anise seed
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • 1 ¾ cups whole-rye flour
  • 1 ¾ cups unbleached white flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 ¾ tsp Unrefined sea salt
  • 2 bowls
  • wooden spoon
  • cotton cloth/towel
  • 9” round cake pan, or 9” x 5” bread pan



  1. Grate zest of orange; squeeze the juice into a 2-cup measure. Add enough water to make 1 ¾ cup.
  2. Stir juice/water into starter in mixing bowl. Add molasses, seeds and orange zest.
  3. In second bowl, whisk together flours and salt. Gradually stir this into the liquid mixture until flour is well incorporated. It will be soft and sticky. Cover with moist towel and let rest 15 minutes. Then mix again for a minute or so. Repeat rest and mixing one more time.
  4. Cover bowl with damp cloth and weight with a plate so that plate rests on top of bowl (alternately, place bowl with the damp cloth into a plastic bag). Let rest overnight, 12 – 14 hours.
  5. In the morning, turn dough out onto floured board. Stretch and fold the dough (a type of kneading), shaping it into a round or oblong shape for baking.
  6. Cover with damp towel and let rest 15 minutes before final rise in pan or proofing basket (banneton). Cover again with damp cloth weighted with a plate and let rise 1 – 1 ½ hours in warm spot.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat over to 475°F about 30 minutes before baking. Score top of dough with razor, then bake until internal temperature is about 200°F.
  8. Cool completely before eating.


  1. BreadTopia recipe (
  2. SourdoughHome, Rye Types (

Online sources of Medium Rye flour

  1. Honeyville Grain, 50 lb bags (
  2. King Arthur Flour, 3 lb bags (
  3.  Weisenberger Grain, 5 lb bags (


About Cat

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