As we head into December, a month with a special spirit, the Christmas spirit. This makes us think more about others and less about ourselves, we begin to prepare for Christmas with our friends and relatives with special menus for that day that we will spend with our family.
Occasionally we have mentioned a certain pastry, which is a typical Swedish pastry which we love as one of its ingredients is saffron, this treat is the Lukssekatter or sweet saffron buns. They are typically eaten in Sweden on 13 December to celebrate St. Lucia Day.
Therefore we bring you a recipe that with sufficient time you can prepare and eat the buns on that day and should you prefer to prepare them for this Christmas.
Ingredients for Lukssekatter or sweet saffron buns
All ingredients must be used at room temperature. These amounts will make 15 buns.
Ingredients for the leavened or fermented dough
40 g fresh yeast
5 dl milk, at room temperature (approximately 18 to 20 degrees Celsius)
500 g (or 8 dl) wheat flour
200 g white sugar
saffron (0.5 g) or a few strands
Ingredients for Decoration
Raisins, soaked in water (preferably soaked overnight)
A beaten egg for glaze
Lukssekatter or sweet saffron buns Preparation
Dissolve the yeast in warm water in a large bowl. Next, add the following four ingredients and beat for approximately 15 minutes. Then, cover with a cloth and let sit for approximately 30 minutes, until the dough had risen and doubled in size.
When the dough has risen for the first time, add salt, flour and the egg. Stir well to combine, approximately 10 minutes. Slowly add the butter, continuing to stir.
When all the ingredients have been uniformly mixed, cut and shape the dough into lussekatter (tight S shapes). Decorate by placing the raisins in the centres of the “S” spirals and place on baking paper on a baking tray.
Cover the lussekatter with a cloth and leave to stand again for 1 to 3 hours, depending on the kitchen room temperature. Let sit for second rise: checking every so often to see if the buns have risen to approximately double in size again as compared to the size that they originally had.
Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 5 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. To finish, brush the buns with the beaten egg wash using a pastry brush and bake. Immediately remove the buns from the oven and leave to cool before serving.
Tip! The yeast must be fresh as it is characteristic feature of these buns and is what gives them their taste.