Sweet rye rolls

Sweet rye rolls

Scandinavian Comfort Food
Columbus Leth

In Scandinavia we eat a lot of bread with spices. Apart from cardamom in almost all soft sweet white bread, we also bake sweet rye bread with green anise. Called limpa, it’s very common in Sweden, and when I go there I love going to a bakery to buy this distinctive tasting bread. I have been inspired by the flavours for years, and I bake different rolls and breads similar to the limpa bread.


Quantity Ingredient

Day 1

Quantity Ingredient
20g fresh yeast
300ml lukewarm water
125g strong wholemeal bread flour

Day 2

Quantity Ingredient
600g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
200g wholegrain stoneground rye flour
50g butter
10g sea salt
10g anise seeds
50g fresh yeast
350ml lukewarm water
150g dark syrup
150g walnut halves
150g dark raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
50ml cold coffee


  1. DAY 1

    Crumble the yeast into the lukewarm water in a bowl and stir to dissolve. Mix in the wholemeal flour, cover with foil and leave overnight.
  2. DAY 2

    The next day, mix the white and rye flours together in a bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub it into the flours with your fingertips until it resembles crumbs. Add the salt. Roughly pound the anise seeds using a pestle and mortar, then add these as well.
  3. In another bowl, crumble the yeast into the lukewarm water, then stir in the treacle and the flour and yeast mixture from the day before. Now mix this into the flour and butter mixture. Roughly chop the walnuts and add them to the bowl, with the raisins, and form into a smooth dough. Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes.
  4. Place in a big bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 2 hours. Knead lightly again and form into 24 rolls. Place on baking sheets lined with baking parchment, cover with tea towels and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Mix the egg with the coffee. Brush the rolls with some of the egg mixture. Spray cold water in the oven to create steam and bake for 5 minutes, then brush the loaves again with the coffee-egg wash, and bake for another 25–30 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
comfort food
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