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
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.