St. Lucia Saffron Buns recipes
December 13, St. Lucia Day, also known as the Festival of Light, is a day of celebration in Sweden, in the spirit of Advent and Christmas. Young girls are dressed in white robes with a red sash, with one girl selected as “Lucia” who wears a crown of lit candles (or battery powered ones), the others carrying a single candle. Processions with singing and revelry abound.
At home, the eldest girl dresses up in robe, sash, and candle crown, and delivers coffee and lussekatter, or S shaped saffron buns to her parents for breakfast.
St. Lucia Saffron Buns recipes
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St. Lucia Saffron Buns
- 3/4 cup milk 175 ml
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup 50 g white, granulated sugar
- One 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast check the expiration date on the package to make sure it's still good!
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- The seeds from 3 cardamom pods ground (optional)
- 1/4 cup 1/2 stick, 4 Tbsp, 56 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup of sour cream
- 1 egg beaten
- Heat milk, saffron, sugar: In a small pot, heat the milk, saffron, and 1 teaspoon of sugar together until the milk is steamy. Remove from heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let cool until about 115°F, or warm to the touch, but not hot.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the warm saffron-infused milk and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
- Whisk flour, sugar, salt, cardamom: In the bowl of a stand-up mixer* whisk together 3 1/2cups (490 g) of the flour, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, salt and ground cardamom (if using).
- Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast milk saffron mixture, the eggs, the butter, and the sour cream. Mix the ingredients until well incorporated.
- Knead the dough: Switch to the dough hook of your mixer (if using, otherwise knead by hand). On low speed start to knead the dough. Slowly add additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, kneading to incorporate after each addition. Do this until the dough is still a little sticky to the touch, but does not completely stick to your hands when you handle it.
- Let dough rise: Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Let sit in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Form dough into S shapes: When the dough has doubled in size, gently press it down and knead it a couple of times. Break off a piece and form it into a ball about 2 inches wide (60 to 70 grams if you are weighing). Roll the ball out into a snake, about 14 inches long.
- Then Curl the ends in opposite directions, forming an "S" with spirals at each end. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Let sit for second rise: Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough shapes double in size, 30 minutes to an hour.
- Brush with egg wash, place raisins on buns: Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Using a pastry brush, brush some beaten egg over the tops and sides of the uncooked buns. Place raisins in the centers of the "S" spirals.
- Bake: Place in the oven and bake at400°F (205°C) for about 10 to 11 minutes (turning halfway through cooking to ensure even browning), until the buns are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before eating.