Lussekatter (St. Lucia Buns)
St. Lucy’s day marks the opening of the Christmas season in Sweden. Lussekatter are their delicious saffron buns made in any number of figures: cats, “s” shapes, or figure eights.
Servings: 10 buns
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 8 ounces 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 ounces 1 stick butter
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 beaten egg white for egg wash
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound saffron threads to break down strands.
- In a small saucepan, heat milk to lukewarm.
- Mix yeast with 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside.
- On low heat, melt butter in saucepan with milk. Add crushed saffron. Let cool.
- In large bowl, mix together flour salt and remaining sugar.
- Stir yeast into cooled milk mixture. Mix into dry ingredients, beating to mix well. Add beaten eggs. Knead in bowl for 5 – 7 minutes. Turn onto floured board and knead another 7 – 8 minutes.
- Put dough in lightly greased bowl, turn to coat all sides, cover and put in warm, draft-free place to rise for about 1 hour.
- When dough has risen, knead lightly to push out air and divide into small pieces (about 10 – 12). Using the hands, roll each small piece into a strip about 8 – 10 inches long. Shape each strip into an ‘S’ or a figure 8. Place on lightly buttered cookie sheets.
- Cover with clean cloth and let rise again until double in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- When dough has risen, brush lightly with egg white. Bake in preheated 375° F oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on wire rack.
Yield: 10 – 12 buns