Here’s another Swedish Christmas tradition for you! Swedish Saffron Buns, also called St. Lucia Buns or ‘Lussekatter’, are sweet buns that’s great for snack, dessert or breakfast. Try making them at home!
Every 13thof December, Swedes celebrate Saint Lucia Day – and this celebration comes with these saffron buns.
Often served with glögg (mulled wine), this day technically marks the start of Christmas celebration in Sweden.
HOW TO MAKE SWEDISH SAFFRON BUNS (LUSSEKATTER)
CAN I USE SAFFRON POWDER FOR THESE SWEET BUNS?
Absolutely. It actually saves you time when you use saffron powder, instead of threads.
With threads, you need to grind them using a spoon or mortar and pestle first. Skip that when you have powdered saffron.
CAN I REPLACE THE RAISINS FOR THESE ST. LUCIA BUNS?
I replaced them once with sultanas. The result was alright, but it just didn’t feel right to me. Feel free to experiment with your favorite dried fruit, though.
WHAT TYPE OF FLOUR IS SUITED FOR THIS SAFFRON BREAD?
You can use all-purpose flour or bread flour, does not make a difference. Just make sure you sift the flour before combining it with salt.
HELPFUL TIPS ON MAKING THESE SWEET BUNS
- The dough is not sticky, so there is no need for you to use extra flour when rolling and preparing the buns.
- When you roll them from both ends, make sure it’s not too tight. They’re not like cinnamon buns. The rolls on both sides should not rise too high once baked.
- Unlike Swedish cinnamon buns, there is no need to spray water (for extra steam) in the oven when you are using all-purpose flour for these sweet buns.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH ST. LUCIA BUNS
These saffron buns are great with coffee or wine (even more so with mulled wine 😀 ).
If you’ve got left-overs, just heat them up in the microwave for about 25 seconds and you’ll be good to go! Enjoy! 🙂
WANT TO SEE MORE SWEDISH RECIPES? THEN CHECK OUT Classic and Not-so-traditional Swedish treats!
INTERESTED FOR MORE SNACK IDEAS? THEN CHECK OUT MY SNACKS COLLECTION!
OR IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE CHRISTMAS RECIPES, YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE –
- Spanish Christmas Biscuits (Polvorones)
- Swedish Saffron & Pistachio Cookies
- German Baked Marzipan Bites
- Mulled Wine
Swedish Saffron Buns (Lussekatter)
- 2/3 cup milk, warm (divided into two 1/3 cups)
- 1/8 tsp saffron
- 1 & 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 cups flour, heaping
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup sugar, heaping
- 50 grams butter, unsalted & melted (about 5 tbsp)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 24 pcs raisins
- 2 tbsp milk, for brushing buns
- Combine 1/3 cup warm milk and saffron. Set aside.
- Combine 1/3 cup warm milk and active dry yeast. Set aside until foamy.
- On a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.
- On a medium to large mixing bowl, mix sugar and melted butter.
- Add egg yolk, saffron & milk mixture and yeast mixture. Mix to combine.
- Add flour and salt. Mix to form a dough.
- Knead dough until smooth.
- Place dough on an oiled bowl and cover with clean kitchen towel.
- Once the size of the dough has doubled (normally takes at least an hour and a half), remove it from the bowl and divide it into 12 equal portions.
- To create a bun, roll a portion into a thin log (like a long cigar), approximately 40 to 45 cm.
- Start rolling from opposite ends and stop in the middle, forming an ‘S’ figure.
- Place a raisin on each side, middle of each rolled end.
- Place each bun on a baking tray lined with baking sheet. Keep some space in between buns.
- Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and set aside until buns are slightly puffy. This normally takes 30 to 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (375°F).
- Brush the buns with milk.
- Place the baking tray in the middle of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the top of the buns have turned slightly golden.
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