Dedicated to "Uncle" Homer Johnson
Illustrious Camp Squanto Director
1 1/2 C lukewarm water (105-115 degrees F)
1/3 C sugar
1/4 C dark molasses
1 T melted shortening (butter)
1 T salt
2 T finely grated orange rind
2 yeast cakes (dissolve in lukewarm water)
2 1/2 C rye flour
2 1/2 - 3 C (unbleached) white flour
fennel or anise seed (2-3 T)
Combine water, sugar, molasses, shortening, orange rind, and yeast. Allow yeast to bubble, In a separate blow mix rye and white flour thoroughly, blending in salt and seeds. Add dry ingredients (stir in gradually) to moist ingredients. Knead, let rise in a bowl covered with a clean moist (linen) towel. Punch down. Form into (3-4) round loaves. Place on a flat baking sheets and let rise. Bake at 375 degrees F for 33 to 35 minutes.
NOTE: If yeast is not potent enough (you can tell by the bubbles as it reacts with the sugars - lots bubbles are good) or if you would like a lighter bread, use approximately 2 parts white flour to one part rye.
©Wilma Carolyn Johnson Short
Tillie was the cook at Camp Squanto during its early days. She was famous among campers for her sizzling hot corn fritters drenched in maple syrup, pancakes made with sweet blueberries from Mount Monadnock, gathered by Squanto hikers, but Tillie is probably best remembered for her Swedish Limpa bread which she baked several times a week. My memory of fresh, moist, flavorful bread with her delicious meals is among the best from my summer weeks at Camp Squanto.
My cousin Claire was Tillie's assistant one summer. Tillie eventually entrusted Claire to prepare the loaves of Limpa for baking in the giant mixer, "Big Bertha". According to my cousin, she was sworn to keep Tillie's coveted Limpa recipe a top secret.
Several years after Tillie's passing, Claire entrusted the recipe to me. I have some vague recollection of having to keep it under lock and key. But that was then. Claire has since passed on too. I am certain they would both be delighted to share the sweet warm fragrance of homemade Limpa filling your kitchen, just as it wafted from Camp Squanto's kitchen enticing campers to the dining hall. Certainly Tillie and Claire would both smile as you take that first bite of moist brown bread smeared with creamy butter, but please! promise to continue the tradition of keeping it a secret.
Recipe donated and edited (with parentheses) by WC Johnson, enthusiastic indulger of Tillie's Limpa at Camp Squanto from 1958-1965.