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
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.
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.
Let the dough rise in its bowl (cover with kitchen towel) for about 45 minutes.
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.
Let the Lussekatter rise for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 440 F.
Decorate each individual spiral with a raisin in the middle and brush with beaten egg.
Bake the Lussekatter in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 440F.