Serves a Crowd

Saffron Buns “Lussekatter”

December 14, 2010
5 Ratings
  • Makes 36 buns
Author Notes

December 13th is Lucia in Sweden or St. Lucia Day and traditionally you have saffron bread on lucia “Lussekatter.” But also these are great side buns for dinner or breakfast or just tea in the afternoon! Lucia is a ceremony where a girl is elected to portray Lucia. Wearing a white gown with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head, she walks at the head of a procession of women, each holding a candle “Lucia Train.” The women sing a Lucia song while entering the room, to the melody of the traditional Santa Lucia song describing the light with which Lucia overcomes the darkness. —Delishhh

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 tablespoon saffron
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 packets fresh yeast (1 packets of 0.6 oz)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Raisins for decorating
  • Egg white to be brushed on before baking
  1. Use a mortar to grind the saffron to textured powder. Melt the butter and add the milk, making sure that the mixture is a little bit warmer than lukewarm (98 F) and add to a bowl.
  2. Then crumble the fresh yeast into little pieces and add. Then add the rest of the ingredients, adding the flour a little bit at a time until the dough is loosening from the bowl. It should stick together nicely without sticking to the bowl.
  3. Let the dough rise in its bowl (cover with kitchen towel) for about 45 minutes.
  4. Add the dough to a working area (countertop, large table). Knead it lovingly and start rolling it out with a rolling pin. Cut strips of dough, about 10? long and ½ ” in thickness, and shape it by rolling it between your hands into a sausage. Alternatively just take a piece of dough and roll it into the above mentioned proportions. Form traditional Lussekatter by creating two opposite spirals.
  5. Let the Lussekatter rise for 30 minutes.
  6. Heat the oven to 440 F.
  7. Decorate each individual spiral with a raisin in the middle and brush with beaten egg.
  8. Bake the Lussekatter in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 440F.
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  • Sagegreen
  • AntoniaJames
  • hardlikearmour
  • fiveandspice
  • drbabs

6 Reviews

Sagegreen December 15, 2010
Great headnote and photo!
AntoniaJames December 15, 2010
Really like these, and your headnote. I have a touch of saffron I've been saving for a special recipe. This is it! I plan to make these, even if I am late for St Lucia's day! ;o)
hardlikearmour December 14, 2010
These are really lovely, I love the saffron color! There was a really interesting article about St. Lucia Day on the Huffington Post yesterday. I'd never heard of it, and the tradition is really fascinating.
fiveandspice December 14, 2010
Natten gaar tunga fjoet, rundt gaard och stuva...Spent Saturday baking up these and other Scandinavian delights for my annual St. Lucia party! (a friend and I actually do dress up in the robes and crowns and force our friends to sing in mixed Swedish/Norwegian with us). Thanks for sharing your recipe!
drbabs December 14, 2010
And great story!
mrslarkin December 14, 2010
These are beautiful!