how to make lussebullar

Jacob Skaggs

December 13 marks Saint Lucia’s Day in Sweden. You can learn more about St. Lucia here, but today we’ll be focusing on how to create Lussebullar, traditional Swedish Saffron Buns.



1/2 stick (1/4 cup) plus 1 tablespoon butter

2 cups milk

1 1/2 small envelopes (3 1/2 teaspoons total) active dry yeast OR 1 cube of live yeast

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

2 eggs

5 1/2-6 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt


1 teaspoon water


  • Crush saffron with a little sugar in a mortar with a pestle and stir into melting butter.
  • In a separate pan over medium heat mix milk and sugar; add the butter and saffron and heat until LUKEWARM 37˚C/ 98.6 ˚F
  • Crumble live yeast and stir until it is completely dissolved. (If you use dry yeast dissolve it according to instructions on packet.)
  • Sometimes in warm water and a teaspoon of sugar.
  • Pour the milk, yeast , butter, sugar, saffron mixture into a mixing bowl.
  • Add 1 egg, 3 cups of flour, and salt; knead with mixer for five minutes by machine or by hand for ten. Add the rest of the flour ½ cup at a time for smooth dough.



  • Sprinkle flour over dough, transfer to greased bowl and cover with cloth. Allow approx. 40 minutes for dough to rest and double in size.
  • Punch down dough. Add flour to counter and hand knead dough briefly.
  • Pull pieces of dough and roll into rope approx. 10 inches long. Swirl into letter “S” and place a raisin in the center of each swirl. Repeat with the rest of the dough.



  • Place buns on greased pan; cover and let rest until they double in size (30-45 minutes).
  • Heat oven to 450ºF. Brush buns with beaten egg. Bake on middle rack until golden, 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Enjoy :)