Swedish Limpa Rye Bread, in a Cloche, on the Grill


OK, it’s finally 85 degrees in Minneapolis, so we really have to get outside and do everything on the gas grill.  Even Swedish Limpa Rye. Here’s how to do it, in a cloche, on the Grill:

Mix up a batch of Limpa dough from the book, using the basic recipe, but swap 1 cup of rye flour for 1 cup of unbleached all purpose.  To the liquid ingredients, add 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (use a microplaner to get the zest but not the bitter white pitch).  Mix till a wet dough forms then allow to rest and rise for about 2 hours at room temperature.  Refrigerate loosely covered and use over the next seven days.

On baking day, dust the surface of the dough with some flour and tear off a grapefruit-sized piece.  Quickly form a loaf and elongate it (see the videos).  Let it rest on parchment paper sitting on a pizza peel for at least 40 minutes, or as long as 90 minutes.  60 or more minutes will give you a more open hole structure.

30 to 45 minutes before you loaf is fully rested, preheat your outdoor gas grill to about 375 degrees, with a covered baking cloche (clay cooker) sitting inside the covered grill, right on the grates.  I’d thought about doing this with a baking stone under the clay cloche, but that propped it too high and the grill lid wouldn’t fully shut (which it must for temperature to be maintained).  It takes about 30 to 45 minutes, with some fiddling, to get the temperature you want.  A 20-minute preheat is too short to get the cloche up to temperature.


Just before you’re ready to bake, paint the surface with water (use a pastry brush) and sprinkle with cardamom-anise sugar (1/4 teaspoon, ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground anise seed, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar).  Then slash with a sharp bread knife, making cuts at least a 1/4-inch deep:


Put on baking mitts!  Open the grill lid, and then carefully remove the lid of the cloche.  Slide the loaf, parchment and all, into the bottom section of the cloche.  Replace the lid.  No steam added steam is needed in the grill.

Bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the cloche cover to finish baking for another 10 minutes or so.  Result is as nice as anything I get in the oven indoors:


OK, truth-telling moment:  I way over-rested this loaf, and it spread sideways and flattened a bit too much for sandwich slices—it probably sat for 2 hours while I dealt with house problems, errands, and fiddling with the grill today.  The trade-off is that the hole structure is gorgeous (see the picture).  In order to get slices for sandwiches, just cut at an angle:


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30 thoughts to “Swedish Limpa Rye Bread, in a Cloche, on the Grill”

  1. Congrats to all of the winners!
    I really have to try making bread on the grill, it looks like so much fun!
    PS – you had a real nice write-up on the King Arthur Flour blog today – check it out!

  2. At least they gave you credit. it got my dander up when I saw the email from them as I thought they had stolen your idea. I calmed down once I read the recipe.

    One of the advantages to any of the dough recipes is the limitless ways it can be used, modified, and suited to the bakers’ taste.

    Even the failures turn out wonderful to eat.

  3. Speaking of limitless ways–I made that naan again–so easy and a real home favorite. I used the peasant loaf dough which I am quite fond of in any form but Indian breads seem to be made of a more whole wheaty flour anyway so it tastes very authentic with this dough.

  4. Hi, Zoe & Jeff. I have a rather important question, and I’m looking forward to your unbiased answer.

    I have been trying to conceive for quite a while and it was recommended to me that I need to switch over entirely to whole-wheat flour, and additionally, that it should be freshly-ground to preserve the nutrients.

    When I use your artisan bread recipe, will nutrients be lost if the dough sits in my fridge for a week or two? If so, what’s the longest that I should refrigerate the dough for, if I’m still going to keep it as healthy as possible?

    I can’t wait for your healthy bread recipe book to come out — hopefully it can go into some great detail about all this kind of stuff!

    1. Mickelle: I haven’t heard one way or the other about how nutrient content might change over the storage life of mixed dough. Unless the science behind a nutrition question was pretty clear, we haven’t included it in the new book.

  5. Does anyone know how to make bread in high altitude (above 6500). I have been trying for 20 years and have only come up withlethal weapons.

  6. I don’t do grilling. Can I use this bread dough in the oven or in the bread machine? Looks great !! Thanks.

    1. Hi Sue,

      Yes, all of our breads can be made in your home oven. We just like to bake breads in the grill during the hot summer months. The book is geared toward oven baking!

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. Today is my Breadaversary!

    I have purchased one loaf of store bread in one year… TODAY!!!!

    I’ve made EVERYTHING I have needed from the ABin5 book… hamburger buns, naan, pita, bagels, pizza, calzones, you name it!

    Zoe, Jeff… you have changed my kitchen and our health… FOR THE BETTER!!!

    Thank you so much!!! CAn’t wait for Book 2!!!

  8. I like the idea of cooking on a grill, but I still live in the charcoal erra. Other then that, would an upside down azelea clay pot and saucer work. There is the hole in the bottom, if it was stuffed with aluminum foil would that be sufficient to keep the steam in the “cloche?”

    I just had to purchase my own book, the local public library’s “Artisan Bread in 5” was in high demand! Thanks!

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Using a charcoal grill is possible, but they are much more difficult to regulate the temperature. There tend to be hot spots and cool ones, which you will just have to pay close attention to. You may want to start with a flatbread that bakes quicker and will not be harmed by the changing temperature.

      We have baked on unglazed garden tiles, so I don’t see why the clay pot wouldn’t work as well. As you mentioned you will need to seal the hole. Please report back and let us know how it goes!

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. I’m loving your book, and can’t wait until the next one comes out! In the meantime, if I don’t have a cloche (yet) and I want to bake this loaf indoors, what teperature would you suggest? I put it in at between 475-500 (which is what I bake my regular bread at) and the sugar turned the loaf black. (I dug out the inside and had some. . . it was wonderful. Cardamon rocks!) Anyway, should I cook it at 375 in the oven with my pizza stone, too? Let me know. Thanks!

  10. I love your book as well! Had to buy it for a wedding shower gift and the receiver loves it too! If I don’t have a cloche, can I use…say… one of my cast iron dutch ovens, on the grill? My daughter and I LOVE using the 5-minute a day bread as pizza dough for making pizzas on the grill. She is 16. We also make english muffins with this dough. Excellent. My daughter thinks she wants to try english muffins on the grill. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. We’re gonna try it!

  11. I have tried many of your recipes now and I love them. About the grill, I kept scorching the bread bottoms in my cast iron dutch oven so I tried placing a small cookie rack on the baking stone before placing the dutch oven on it. Ta Da! Perfect!
    Now I would like to make hamburger buns that have a softer crust than what comes with the peasant dough. Do you think that the buttermilk dough would work? I’d probably want to replace some of the AP flour with WW flour.

    1. Hi Nina,

      I love your solution to the grilling issues. Everyone’s grills are different so it takes so playing with to get the set up just right.

      I’ve made hamburger buns with the soft whole wheat dough and they are perfect. It may be a good alternative for you. The Buttermilk dough is also great, as is the brioche. We do have whole wheat burger buns in our new book as well.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. I have been working with the Limpa dough and find it exceptionally wet. I use many of the other recipes and have not had a similar experience. This would be the first recipe that I felt I really had to adjust. The flavor is fabulous! Is anyone else working with this dough? If not I will begin by cutting the water back by 1/2 cup.

  13. Swedish as I am I have to correct you on your limpa recipe.

    We don’t use honey, we use dark syrup (sirap) instead, I guess you could use molasses. Sirap makes the dough kind of heavy.

    The crust should’t be hard, so we use milk (or milk and water) as the liquid.

    Cardamom is for Swedish cinnamon rolls (kanelbullar), not limpa. In limpa we use anise and fennel. No orange zest.

    We enrich the dough with 50 g of butter.

    We never sprinkle the top with anything.

    Sorry about the criticism, otherwise I love your book. I am actually going to use it for my bread class I’m giving on Saturday (along with other things).

    1. No problem Marie, we’re just pleased that our book has had appeal all over the world. We’ve taken a variety of world recipes and adapted them— no claim to absolute authenticity here, in many cases our recipes are composites of flavors we enjoy from a particular cuisine’s approach to bread.

      Good luck with your class Saturday. Have you seen the British edition of our first book, which uses weights and metric units? See https://amzn.to/fLNCN2


    1. Hi Christina,

      I have not, but I bet it will be wonderful! If you try it, please let us know what you think.

      Enjoy, Zoë

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