According to the Calendar of Saints, tomorrow, that is, 13 December is St. Lucia’s Day, a feast day in many towns in our country and abroad. In Sweden, the saint’s day is celebrated by making delicious pastries called Lussekatter, similar to the St. Lucia buns.
St. Lucia buns are saffron buns, which marks the beginning of the Christmas season in the country. Being a delicacy which both children and adults love. These buns are made in different shapes, although the most common and characteristic is that of the S shape.
The success of the recipe lies in the quality of the saffron It is essential to use a good saffron so that the spice imbues sweetness to the flavour and the characteristic colour of this traditional Swedish recipe. Although the elaboration of the St. Lucia buns is mainly associated with Christmas, these pastries are great for any occasion.
- 300g strong flour (also known as bread flour)
- 50 milligrams saffron strands
- 125 ml whole milk
- 75 g white sugar
- 25 g cream
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 15g fresh yeast
- 2 eggs
- Raisins for the garnish
Let’s commence by removing the seeds from cardamom using a knife. Crush the seeds and saffron together with a small spoonful of sugar in a mortar. When crushed, combine the result with the remaining sugar and set aside.
To prepare the cream, add into a saucepan over heat the milk and cream and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, add the sugar prepared with saffron and cardamom and stir until the ingredients are well combined.
Subsequently, add the diced butter and continue stirring until melted and remove from heat. When all the ingredients have tempered, add the baker’s yeast stirring until everything is blended.
Sieve the flour into a large bowl adding a teaspoon of salt, and mix. Using your fingers, make a circle or crater in the flour in the bowl’s interior and pour the cream mixture which has been previously prepared.
Beat an egg, and also add to the flour … and it’s time to knead! If you have a dough mixer, perfect, otherwise with your hands, but whatever the method, you should work the mixture between 15 and 20 minutes. Finish the process by shaping the dough into a ball, and cover with a cloth and leave it to rise until the volume has virtually doubled in size (approximately an hour).
Now we’re going to prepare the individual rolls. Making small balls of approximately 50g which will be stretched into strips of approximately 20 centimetres in length.
To give the original shape to the St. Lucia buns, roll the ends of the ‘churritos’ in the opposite direction until forming an ‘S, and place on baking paper on a baking tray, set aside for a second rise for approximately 15 minutes.
Using a brush, baste the buns with the beaten egg that still hasn’t been used, and garnish the buns by placing a raisin in the eggs of the ‘S’ spirals that have been shaped for each bun.
Preheat the oven to 200º and introduce the tray with the St. Lucia buns into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, and when golden brown, and voila! it’s time to indulge in this typical Swedish delicacy.
Sweet and Merry Christmas everyone!