Joululimppu/ Finnish Christmas Bread

previous post: Lefse/Norwegian Potato Flatbread | next post: Breadsticks: Pizza hut Copy cat Style Guest post for Cook Like Priya.

 I started my Christmas baking with   breads that I was longing to make for a long time. Earlier I had made Stollen, famous Christmas bread from Germany, now I am starting to fill the world’s Christmas bread list. You can’t go to any store and order that, as you need a bread from another country, so what better way, than to explore it, from your kitchen. That is what I am doing.

 I visited Finland while staying in Stockholm, Sweden. I and a few of my friends took the ferry from Stockholm in the evening and reached   Helsinki, Finland the next morning. It was a fun filled trip, my first trip in a ferry, and I loved watching the sunset from the dock and the also sun rise. I also visited few places like Helsinki Cathedral , National museum  etc, and was back the next morning in Stockholm.   It was short trip but a sweet one.

 I was planning to try Finnish flat bread Rieska for long time, but I will do it after my Christmas baking session is over.  Finnish cuisine includes a lot whole meals like rye, barley, oats, and also berries like blueberries, lingonberries, cloudberries, and sea buckthorn, along with fish and poultry.  They will try to include rye, barley, oats on their cookies, bread, crackers etc.

Rye is most liked flour in our family, my hubby, princess and even my little 8 teeth wonder man likes rye bread. When I was searching recipes for Swedish limpa bread, I got recipe of Joululimpuu from this site. I thought, I will wait until Christmas to make this recipe. This is a delicious rye bread, but I didn’t have dark syrup in my hand, so substituted with molasses, dried bitter orange peel got substituted with orange zest. I also added some orange juice which is not in the original recipe. I had learn from King Arthur flour baking site, that if you use whole wheat adding orange juice will reduce the bitterness of whole wheat.

The spice used in this bread is fennel seed and caraway seeds added to the molasses and boiled so that the intense flavor of spices diffuses into the molasses. I learnt that technique with this bread. I Used melted butter to make is tastier. It is difficult to imagine a Finnish recipe without buttermilk or milk. So this bread contains buttermilk as one ingredient. Finally bread is brushed with molasses and water syrup in between baking which gives intense color to bread

I sliced the bread after a very hard wait and slathered them with butter, and when I took a bite, I knew that this is bread I was looking for, for a long time. It is so delicious, that my hubby has given the opinion that this is best rye bread he has ever tasted.

If you like nuttiness and chewiness of rye and season’s flavor of molasses, fennel and caraway seeds, then go for this yummy bread.  It won’t disappointment your taste buds. Try this traditional Christmas bread of Finland for your Christmas table.
   Here goes the recipe
 Weigh the  dry ingredients, make spice mixture, extract orange juice, buttermilk. Mix in with flours to form a sticky smooth dough and set aside for fermentation for about 90 minutes.
Once dough  is doubled in volume transfer and make a round boule and set aside for second fermentation of about 45 minutes. In between pre-heat oven  to 400 F. Bake it for about 20 minutes and brush with syrup and complete baking.

 Remove bread from oven when it has internal temperature 190F and set aside for cool completely.
Once cooled well  slice and serve with butter. 
                                                                       Print recipe from here

Joululimppu/ Finnish Christmas Bread

Adapted from Scandi Home
Prep Time    20 minutes, Fermentation time 90 minutes + 45 minutes
Cook Time    40 minutes
Serves    1 round

1 ½ cup/ 203g Rye flour
 2 cup/ 300g Whole wheat flour
 67 g /3 tablespoon Molasses
 2g/1 tsp fennel seeds
1g/ 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
½ tablespoon orange zest
1 cup  buttermilk  ( I made using 1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar set aside for 5 minutes)
3 tsp Instant yeast
½ teaspoon Salt
56g/4 tablespoon melted butter
Juice of 1 orange
¼  cup  water
For brushing
1 tbsp molasses, extra
100ml water

    • In a microwave safe bowl add molasses, spices and orange zest heat it for about 30 seconds and high heat and set aside.
    • Extract the orange juice and set aside.
    • In a bowl of kitchenaid stand mixer weigh, both flours, instant yeast, salt and set aside.
    • Add the molasses spice mixture, buttermilk, orange juice and water into the flour and with paddle attachment mix everything to form a sticky dough.
    • Replace dough attachment and knead once the dough  for about 10 minutes or using hand 15 minutes to smooth but not sticky dough and set aside.
    • Transfer the dough into well greased container and cover and set aside for doubling for about 90 minutes.
    • After 60 minutes, punch down the dough and set aside for another 30 minutes of doubling .
    • Once the dough is doubled transfer the dough to table and shape it into a tight ball, and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper for second rise of about 40 minutes. Make sure to prick the dough all over with fork.
    • At end of second baking time preheat oven to 400F and  bake the bread for about 20 minutes.
    • While bread is baking  make syrup using one tablespoon of molasses and water and set aside.
    • Remove the bread from the oven and brush them with syrup and continue to bake for about 20 minutes or until the bread register the internal temperature of 190 F.
    • Let the bread cool in the baking sheet for about 5 minutes and after 5 minutes transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool the bread completely before slicing.
    • Enjoy the bread with butter.
    • Variations:

    • If you can catch hold of dried orange peel that is better.

I am  linking this to Hearth and Soul Blog  Hop  Hosted Here
 Favorite recipes : Christmas recipes hosted here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

If you like this post,


  1. says

    Love the recipe Swathi, the bread has come out really well and has a very nice crust n colour!
    I don’t think I have seen rye flour here, will find a good substitute!

  2. says

    I so want to try rye flour but they are not available in India. exploring cuisines of other countries sure is a fun thing and love doing that. this bread looks perfect like the dark hue of brown.

  3. says

    Hey Swathi,

    How are you doing dear? What a lovely coincidence, my first ferry trip was also from Stockholm to Helsinki.

    Wow!!! I gotta make this bread soon. Perfect for the festive season!

  4. says

    pictures are very beautiful.n bread looks simply superb…I know this tastes awesum…
    BTW If gets sumtime plz visit my space n check out my new FB page dear..Thankx in advance…..

  5. says

    I love Joululimppu… but have never made it myself…My brother and his family live in Finland and I have traveled there many times and had the opportunity to spend Christmas there about 15 years ago. I also spent some time in Sweden.

  6. says

    Love using molasses in bread so any bread recipe with molasses catches my eye. This Christmas looks delicious! I can almost taste it!

  7. says

    I love love love rye bread. I usually use white flour with the rye when I bake some but this particular recipe is fantastic.
    You are a great baker.
    I blogged about that wonderful stollen last Christmas.
    Take care dear lady.