Doppa i Grytan

Please send your favorite Doppa i Gryta recipes to Bev to post, or if you are an admin, post it yourself. If you are a guest viewer and celebrate this Swedish meal, we would love to hear from you (bev@sitesandsounds.com).

Swedish Limpe Bread

By Beverly Wilcox Collins

This rye bread is prepared for Doppa i Grytan, which is a Swedish tradition handed down from my mother’s mother’s parents, Charles and Sophia Anderson Nelson, who immigrated from Sweden to the United States. Charles was 15 when he came to this country by himself; he already had been trained in the skill of masonry, which was laying foundation for buildings. Sophia was one of six daughters brought to America by their father (the mother had died in Sweden).

My grandmother was a first generation American and very proud of it. She was embarrassed that her mother spoke only Swedish. I would beg her to teach me Swedish words and she would refuse. Later I learned it was because she wanted her children and grandchildren to speak English and be Americans.

While her mother and father were alive, my grandmother celebrated the Swedish tradition of Doppa i Grytan, which meant dipping the bread in the pot.of broth. There are many different pronunciations and spellings for it as it got translated from the Swedish language to English language. You may see it many other ways, like Dueppe Grueta, Duppa Greeta, Dopp i Grytan.

The day before Christmas was very busy in Swedish homes as families decorated for Christmas and prepared the holiday feasts. So at noon the day before Christmas, the meal was simple: beef and pork were simmered in a pot of salted water to make a rich broth. Leftover bread was dipped in the broth and served with the meat and slices of cheese. It was delicious, hearty, and filling.

When my Great Grandfather died, my grandmother stopped observing this tradition. She was now a full-fledged American and no longer did the old country ways. But after 10 years, she began to miss this special time, and when I was 12 she fixed Doppa i Grytan for the family. We grandchildren loved it and asked why we hadn’t been doing it all along! She was happy … and relieved, for she feared we would find it silly and old country. But we were glad and pleased to learn we had a family tradition!

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Doppa i Grytan. For many of the family, it is the most special day of the year. We make the Swedish Limpe bread a few days before the event so it will get a little dry and be able to soak up the broth made from cooking beef and pork. I freeze some of the bread after baking as some like to eat it fresh with butter.

For many years, we purchased the special rye bread, which was available only at holidays from a local grocery store in my Iowa hometown of Marshalltown. There were many Swedish families in the area who celebrated this tradition. I worried that the baker who knew how to make this bread might leave, so one day I went to the store and asked the baker if he would give me the recipe, which he gladly shared. I was glad I did, as the next year he was gone and so was the recipe.

Swedish Limpe Bread (for Doppa i Grytan)

1 1/2 cups water

1 pkg. instant dry yeast

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 Tablespoons dry milk granules

3 Tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)

1 1/2 cups rye flour

4 Tablespoons butter, soft or melted

2-3 ounces good quality chopped fruit cake mix, including 2 Tablespoons raisins

2 cups bread flour

2 1/2 cups white all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in 105-110 degree water. Add sugar, salt, dry milk, molasses, and caraway. Beat in rye flour, then softened butter. Add bread flour and fruit/raisins. Stir in enough all purpose flour to make a kneadable dough. Turn out on floured surface and knead about 8 minutes. Dough should be very firm. Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease all surfaces. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size. Punch down. Divide dough in half and shape into 2 balls. Place on parchment paper. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Bake directly on a preheated baking stone in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, until bread tests done (about 200 degrees internal temperature). Remove to rack to cool. If desired, bread may be glazed with 1/4 cup corn syrup and 2 tablespoons water which have been brought to a boil; a dash or rum or almond extract may be added.

The Pot: Put a beef roast (like arm or chuck roast) and a pork roast in pot of salted water. Bring to simmer, cover and simmer until meat is tender. Remove meat from pot and cut into serving size pieces. Adjust broth as needed with salt, pepper, chicken bouillon or concentrate, and sage if desired.

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This article was published in the December 2013 Broadmoor Bluffs Magazine.-

Doppa i grytan – A Holiday Tradition at our house

By Bev Collins, Broadmoor Bluffs area resident

We almost lost Doppa i Grytan. My Swedish grandmother was a first generation American and proud of it. She wanted her children and grandchildren to speak only English and be Americans. When her parents died, she left the “old country” ways behind. But the year I turned 12, Grandmother was missing a tradition that had been a big part of her life. The day before Christmas was very busy in Swedish homes as families decorated for Christmas and prepared the holiday feasts. So at noon the day before Christmas, the meal was simple: beef and pork were simmered in a pot of salted water to make a rich broth. Leftover limpe rye bread was dipped in the broth and served with the meat and slices of cheese. It was delicious, hearty, and filling. To Grandma’s delight, the grandchildren loved it and we have introduced out spouses, children and grandchildren to the tradition. Family comes from as close as across the backyard to across the United States to be together on this favorite day of the year.

We all gather in the kitchen, anxious to dip a slice of the bread in the pot on the stove, but first comes the traditional glass of grape juice or wine and a blessing. After the meal, Janet’s Christmas Tree Cake and an assortment of holiday candies and cookies satisfy the sweet tooth while we engage in the usual games of quizzes, Password and Scrabble. (If any readers would like the bread recipe, you may contact me at bev@sitesandsounds.com.)

Janet’s Christmas Tree Cake

1 Betty Crocker White Cake mix

3 egg whites

1 1/2 cups water

1/3 cup oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

  1. Combine all ingredients in mixer bowl and stir on lowest speed for 30 seconds.

  2. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.

  3. Pour into Christmas Tree Cake Pan which has been greased with Crisco, then floured.

  4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in thickest part comes out with one or two crumbs adhering to toothpick.

  5. Cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully turn cake out onto a cooling rack.

  6. Place cake on tray or serving dish to frost with Butter Cream Icing.

Butter Cream Icing

2 lb. bag powdered sugar

1 cup Crisco

1/2 cup water

1/2 stick butter, melted (4 Tablespoons)

1 teaspoon Almond Flavor
M&M candies

  1. Put everything but the M&Ms into a mixer bowl.

  2. Beat at low speed until well mixed.

  3. Add additional powdered sugar if too thin.

  4. Color a small portion of frosting yellow (for base of tree) and the rest pale green.

  5. Frost cake.

  6. Zig zag M&Ms across the tree like Christmas tree lights.