• Yoshika Lowe

Saint Lucia Buns (Lussekatter-- Saffron Buns)


On 13 December the Swedes celebrate the Italian Sankta Lucia with saffron-flavoured buns, in Swedish called a lussekatt, "Lucia cat." The shape of the bun may vary somewhat,but is based on bread designs from early Christmas celebrations in Sweden. They are often served with a mulled wine



Ingredients:


1 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, lightly crushed

1/2 cup butter

4 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/4 cup potato flour or 1/2 cup instant potato flakes

1/2 teaspoons salt*

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoons if you use salted butter


Topping:

1 large egg white mixed with 1 tbs cold water

coarse pearl sugar, optional

golden raisins, optional


In small saucepan heat milk and saffron over medium heat to a simmer;remove from heat and stir in butter.


Set mixture aside;allow butter to melt,and to cool to lukewarm,30-35 mins.Separate one of the eggs;set the white aside.


In a large bowl,whisk together yeast, flours,salt and sugar.Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients. Add 2 eggs,1 egg yolk,and vanilla to mixing bowl.


Mix to combine;knead for about 7 minutes by mixer, till dough is smooth and supple.

Place dough in lightly greased bowl,cover;let rise for 1 hr,or till quite puffy,though not necessarily doubled.


Gently deflate dough;divide into 12 equal pieces.Shape pieces into rough logs;let rest,covered,about 10 mins.


Roll each log into a 15" to 18" rope;shape each rope into an "S" shape.Tuck a golden raisin into the center of each of the two side-by-side coils (optional).


Place buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.Cover and let rise for about 30 mins,till noticeably puffy,but definitely not doubled.While they're rising,preheat the oven to 375°F.


Beat egg and water together in a small bowl.Lightly brush egg wash on the risen dough shapes. Bake the buns until they're golden brown,about 18-20 mins.If using raisins,tent with foil for final 3 mins,to prevent raisins burning.When done, transfer them to a cooling rack.


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