December 13th is St. Lucia Day, also known as the Festival of Light. A day of celebration in Sweden, in the spirit of Advent and Christmas
Throughout the month of December a special bun is made and eaten to celebrate St. Lucia Day. On the 1st of advent most Swedes will enjoy their first ''Lussebulle'' to celebrate the festive season. The rolls are lightly sweet, buttery, and vibrant yellow from the saffron-infused dough. The raisins in the “eyes” of the rolls give them just a little extra sweetness when you bite into them. Here we show you how to make some to enjoy with your friends and family. We used a traditional Swedish recipe from a cookbook called Vår Kokbok
1g (2 packets) Saffron
50g Fresh yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 dl Sugar
875g Plain flour
Glaze and Garnish:
1 Egg for glazing
Raisins for decoration
Start by breaking up the saffron threads, to do this add a pinch of sugar and the saffron to a pestle and mortar and crush until broken into smaller pieces. Add a dash of milk to this and stir. Leave to one side
Slowly melt the butter in a saucepan. Once the butter has fully melted add the rest of the milk and stir. Keep this on the heat until it reaches 37c (room temperature). Tip: If don't have a thermometer dip your finger in the liquid to feel that it is the same temperature as your finger
Crumble the fresh yeast into a large mixing bowl. Pour a large dash of the butter and milk liquid to dissolve the yeast. Once the yeast has fully dissolved add the remainder of the melted butter and milk, mix and stir
Add the sugar, egg, salt and saffron mix to the large bowl and stir. Slowly add all the flour while mixing. Knead the mixture together in the bowl for about 10 minutes to form a dough. Tip: Leave a small amount of flour to the side for when you knead the dough after its proved. Cover the bowl and leave to prove for about 40/50 minutes until dough has doubled in size
Preheat the oven at 200c. When the dough has proved, knead for a few minuets. Add a little flour if the dough is too sticky. Now you can get creative with the shape and design of your buns. The most common shape is to roll the dough into S-shapes, coil each end of the S-shape tightly like a scroll. There are many traditional shapes you can try out.
Image source: www.ica.se
Once you have made your shapes leave them on a baking tray and cover. Prove for a further 30/40 mins.
Once all the dough has proved beat one egg and brush over the buns to glaze them. Decorate the buns with raisins, pushing them into the dough. Bake for about 5-10 minutes for smaller buns, 10-15 minutes for large sizes (this can vary based on the size of yours buns and your oven, so keep watch and take out once golden brown)
Once all your batches have been baked - cover and leave to cool. Best enjoyed with a fresh cup of coffee or a mulled wine!
We hope you feel inspired to bake some of these yummy Swedish buns and have fun in the kitchen this Christmas. For more Scandi festive ideas check out this out