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Swedish Lussekatter (Saint Lucia Saffron Buns)

Swedish Lussekatter (Saint Lucia Saffron Buns)


  • 100g (just under 1/2 cup) butter (softened)
  • 0.5g (3/4 teaspoon) powdered saffron
  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 65g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 400-500g (3½-4 cups) bread flour


  • 1 small egg
  • ½ tablespoon whipping cream
  • Handful of raisins


  1. Melt the butter in a pan and then add the saffron. Let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes and then remove from the heat. Add the milk and cream and stir to combine.
  2. When the liquid is le-warm, crumble in the fresh yeast and let it sit for five minutes before stirring. Once stirred, leave for a further five minutes to activate. Finally, add the egg and sugar and stir to combine.
  3. Pour around 300g (2½ cups) flour into a large bowl and add the wet ingredients. Quickly stir (almost beating) the ingredients together and slowly (SLOWLY) add only enough flour just to make the dough workable (see my bread making [tips|http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-making-bread-doesnt-need-to-terrify-the-pants_us_576c42a0e4b0fa01a13fb2a9 ] for advice on how to make any kind of bread).
  4. Pour out on to a floured surface and continue to add more flour as you go. The dough should be very sticky when you first turn it out of the bowl. When the dough is ready to knead, work it for around five minutes until it is pliable and soft. Place back in the bowl, cover, and leave in a warm place to proof for about an hour.
  5. Prepare a large baking tray with grease-proof paper (you may need two). When ready, knock back the dough and divide into 12 bits of pretty equal size. Take each one in turn and roll into a long, thin string (around 25cm). Place the string of dough on the baking tray and gently curve into an "S" shape, curling both the bottom and tip of the "S" into a spiral and then tucking the ends in. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F), cover again and leave for around 30-45 minutes.
  6. Beat the egg and stir together with the cream, then wash over the buns. Take the raisins and gently add one to both ends of the bun (where the spirals form). Bake for around 10-14 minutes, dependant on size. The buns should be a lovely, yellowy-golden colour when ready.
  7. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Eat when still a little warm or allow to cool completely. Keep in an airtight container or freeze for later. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

I often use fresh yeast for my bread recipes. However, if you prefer instant or dried, here are some handy tips for converting the measurements.