Friday, 13 December 2013

St Lucia Saffron Buns



Today, the 13th of December, is St Lucia's day. In most parts of Scandinavia, these saffron buns - also known as Lussekatter or Lussebullar - are made to celebrate.



Lucia of Syracuse was one of the earliest Christian martyrs, killed by the Romans in AD 304. Lucia - Lucy in English - is the patron saint of the blind and her celebration is one of light and hope at the darkest point in the year.



Each country has a different St Lucia song about light and darkness. Here's the first stanza of the Swedish song in English (from Sweden.se, which also has more information and photos of the celebrations):

"The night treads heavily
around yards and dwellings
In places unreached by sun,
the shadows brood
Into our dark house she comes,
bearing lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia!"

John Donne wrote about Lucia's day and light too:



"‘Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s,
Lucy’s, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;
The sun is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;"

A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy’s Day – John Donne, c.1627.




Having looked at some more pictures of Lucia buns today I've realised that I should probably be shaping them by coiling the ends round to give a curlier 's' shape. Having said that, I've become rather fond of the way I've been tucking the ends underneath and their slightly awkward shape once they've been baked.



There isn't enough saffron in my recipe to turn the colour of the dough more than a creamy pale yellow but I didn't want to add more (it's so expensive and I don't like a strong saffron flavour) or use food dye. I tried cranberries and raisins to stud the bread but I loved dried cherries the most (as suggested by Signe). The cherries plump up from the moisture in the dough and have a spicy flavour that works beautifully.

I really love these buns - they're soft and tender inside, with a delicate sweetness and a crisp, shiny crust. They've warmed my cold hands and brightened many of my dark December mornings.



St Lucia Saffron Buns
(inspired by Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen, Trine Hahnemann and The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas)

180ml milk
10 strands of saffron
60g unsalted butter
10g fresh yeast/4g instant yeast
300g plain flour
30g caster sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 egg + 1 for eggwash*
16 dried cherries (or raisins, cranberries etc)

Heat the milk and saffron in a small saucepan until the milk starts to steam and bubble. Pour into a bowl/jug to steep and cool. Place the butter in the milk pan and heat until melted - leave to cool in the pan. If you're using fresh yeast, when the milk has cooled to body temperature crumble the yeast into the milk and stir. Place the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and stir together with a spoon. Stir the instant yeast into the dry ingredients at this point if you're using it. Pour the milk, butter and one beaten egg into the bowl and stir together until it starts to form a dough. Put onto the machine and knead on medium-high (I use 6 on my KA) for 5 minutes (do time this). The dough should be slightly shiny, elastic and coming away from the sides of the bowl - it's quite a wet dough. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for 75 minutes or until doubled (you can also leave it in the fridge overnight to rise).

Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and give it a few gentle folds to knock out some of the air. Divide the dough into 8 (around 75g each) and place the dough pieces under a clean tea towel. Take one out and roll and shape it into a rope about 7"/18cm long then put it back under the towel to rest while you shape the others. Get a baking sheet and line it with baking parchment. Take the rope you formed first and shape into an S by curling each end round. Place onto the baking sheet and cover with another clean tea towel. Repeat with the other seven. Leave to rise covered in the tea towel for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

When they've risen, push a cherry into the middle of the swirl at the top and bottom of each bun, pushing deep into the bun (or they pop out). In a small bowl, beat the other egg with a pinch of salt. Brush the buns with the egg wash, carefully covering all of the sides and down into the dips. Place into the oven and bake for 16-20 minutes (mine are usually perfect at 18), turning half way if your oven bakes unevenly - they're ready when they're risen, deep golden brown and sound hollow if you tap them on the bottom.

Remove to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes - eat while they're still hot. They keep for 3-4 days in a sealed bag or box - reheat for 5 minutes in a hot oven before eating after the first day. They also freeze well.

(Makes 8 buns)

*I know using egg wash is a pain as you don't use much but these buns look so much better shiny and brown - I tend to use the remaining egg in scrambled eggs or something similar.



Three more recipes that include milk:
Coconut Cream Cake
Pancakes with Lemon & Thyme Sugar
Vanilla Ice Cream

25 comments:

  1. Warm Vanilla Sugar13 December 2013 11:27

    These are so pretty!! And sound lovely. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh goodness - I love the idea of cherries in these. And the subtle saffron looks heavenly - I adore saffron, but completely agree that in something like this a hint is much better than a blast... They look fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the story with this post. it is so wonderful when food is inspired by times of hardship and triumph. They demand to be the highlight of the kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
  4. poiresauchocolat13 December 2013 18:24

    They're really delicious - I hope you try them someday!

    ReplyDelete
  5. poiresauchocolat13 December 2013 18:24

    The cherries are awesome - I've never really baked with them before but that's definitely going to change. Glad you like them!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that golden brown sheen you've got on the buns - sometimes I'm lazy and skip the egg wash when I'm making things like this but you've convinced me that's a big mistake! Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. poiresauchocolat14 December 2013 10:58

    I'm the same - beating up an egg then only using a tiny bit is annoying (though since it's such a tiny bit used I've taken to chucking it into something else like scrambled eggs). It does give them a gorgeous sheen though - I tried the first batch without it and they didn't look a patch on the ones with ti.

    ReplyDelete
  8. These little buns look beautiful, I love the slightly rustic 's' shape. Perfect festive food.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks Kate - I've become rather fond of their funny shape too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. love boasters, and yes they did have a hazelnut range too! one day i went into Asda and realised after asking staff, that they had stopped selling boasters and started selling their own version!
    been looking for a decent recipe for a while.. these look yum!.. thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello, by double cream you mean heavy whipping cream? thanks you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. British double cream is 48% fat, which I believe is more than heavy whipping cream. Hope that helps.

    ReplyDelete
  13. THANKS TO GREAT DR ASIJE FOR SOLVING MY PROBLEMS......
    i was married to my husband for 5 years we were living happily together for this years and not until he traveled to Italy for a business trip where he met this girl and since then he hate me and the kids and love her only. so when my husband came back from the trip he said he does not want to see me and my kids again so he drove us out of the house and he was now going to Italy to see that other woman. so i and my kids were now so frustrated and i was just staying with my mum and i was not be treating good because my mother got married to another man after my father death so the man she got married to was not treating her well, i and my kids where so confuse and i was searching for a way to get my husband back home because i love and cherish him so much so one day as i was browsing on my computer i saw a testimony about this spell caster DR ASIJE testimonies shared on the internet by a lady and it impress me so much i also think of give it a try. At first i was scared but when i think of what me and my kids are passing through so i contact him and he told me to stay calm for just 24 hours that my husband shall come back to me and to my best surprise i received a call from my husband on the second day asking after the kids and i called Dr ASIJE and he said your problems are solved my child. so this was how i get my family back after a long stress of brake up by an evil lady so with all this help from DR ASIJE, i want you all on this forum to join me to say a huge thanks to DR ASIJE and i will also advice for any one in such or similar problems or any kind of problems should also contact him his email is drasijesolutionhome@gmail.com he is the solution to all your problems and predicaments in life. once again hi email address is drasijesolutionhome@gmail.com or contact him through his private website at
    http://drasijesolutionhome.webs.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. WELCOME TO THE ILLUMINATI

    Join the Illuminati cult online today and get instant sum of 1million
    dollars with a free home anywhere you choose to live in the world and also
    get 2500 dollars monthly as a salary. contact: illuminatifrimacyworld@gmail.com or call +2348140825681

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mrs Beatrice Adam23 December 2013 23:28

    Hello friends,i really came hear to share my testimony on how i became an Illuminati member, through my friend. i was moving with my friend for more than 5 years and he have been getting rich everyday and even giving me money but he never told me the secret of his success until a day i was frustrated to let him know that he should help me.that was when he open up to me and tell me that he was a member of the Illuminati that he have been in the court for more than 8 years that his riches and protection came from this court.so i told him to let me be into the court but it not an easy task to be a member but i was finally initiated into the fatality of the Illuminati and i was confirm in there church. after a month of being a member of Illuminati i got promotion that same month in my working place and within a year i was promoted thrice in my working place to the extend of being a managing Director. i never know how to thank this church of Illuminati and today am rich as my friend also, i really thank you people Illuminati. so i just want to share to the world that this is real and it have help me and work for me so if you want to become a member i can lead you into the court of richness and protection and even famous and you will never be poor again, know that it only a member in the Illuminati that can initiate you into the church of Illuminati they do not contact directly that the rules that guide the church. because they are fake Illuminati all over the world, this is my email orderilluminati14@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. When i read a testimony online on how Dr Ajayi the great and most powerful spell caster online of ololo temple i was wondering how can this be true, Because many has failed me in the past without any result from them. I just let the post pass by and move on the forum. To my notice under again, Some person posted and said tested and trusted spell caster. After reading through the mail it was this same Ajayi of ololo temple she was talking about. So i have no other option than to really check up how he works TRULY SPEAKING THIS MAN IS REALLY A GREAT SPELL CASTER AS HE DID NOT FAIL ME BUT GRANT MY WISHES BY BRING MY HUSBAND BACK TO ME. All i can tell all that are passing through any kind of difficult in life is just to send email to the following email which is: ajayiololo@yahoo.com to get the problem solve, Because there is no spell caster online like him.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Be careful here nobody can help you here or even suggest how you can get your ex or love back,any testimonies of most spell caster here must be ignore.because most of them are scam i mean real scam which i was a victim and i got ripped of thousands of dollars because i was so anxious to get my wife back after she left me for over 2 years with my 7 years old son jerry,i have applied to 7 different spell caster here and all to no avail they all ask for same thing send your name your ex name address and picture phone number etc which i did over and over again and most of them were from west Africa until i saw a post about mama Anita spell and i decided to gave her my last trail.she ask me four things my real name,my ex and my ex mother name and $180 and said my ex will come back in 24hours, i have paid over $3000 on spell casting and courier and nothing have work for me after 3 days i was thinking about how much i have lost so far so i said let me give her a try so i called her again and send my real name,my ex and my ex mother name and the $180 because i swear it was my last try so i was waiting as she told me to wait till next day and i could not sleep that night because i really love my wife and want her back at 9pm that day i saw my wife on line on face book and she said hi at first i was shock because she never talk with me for the past a year and 9 month now i did not reply again she said are you there? i quickly reply yes and she said can we see tomorrow i said yes and she went off-line i was confused i try to chat her again but she was no more on line i could not sleep that night as i was wondering what she is going to say, by 7.am the next morning she gave me a miss call i decided not to call back as i was still on shock again she call and i pick she said can we see after work today i said yes so she end the call immediately i got off work she call me and we meet and now we are back again i call mama anita the next day thanking her for what she has done in fact i still call her and thank her as my life was not complete without my wife please be careful here i have been scam thousands of dollars if you want a true love spell then contact mama Anita (mama.anitatruelovespell@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I definitely remember hazelnuts in Boasters! These look yummy - do you think they might work ok if I used Pure sunflower spread instead of butter, or do you think the texture might change too much? I've been looking for some biscuit recipes I can make dairy free!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ashley Thomas24 April 2014 19:10

    My Name is John Richmond,I never believed in Love Spells or Magics
    until I met this special spell caster once when i went to Africa to
    Execute some business..He is really powerful.The woman i wanted to
    marry left me 1 weeks to our weeding ceremony and my life was
    upside down.she was with me for 7 years and i really love her so
    much..she left me for another man with no reason..when i called her
    she never picked up my calls and she don’t want to see me around
    her…so,when i told the man what happened.he helped me to do some
    readings,and after the readings he made me to realize that the
    other man has done some spells over my wife and that is the reason
    why she left me..he told me he will help me to cast a spell that
    bring her back.At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a
    try…In 2 days,she called me herself and came to me apologizing..I
    cant believe she can ever come back to me again but now i am
    happy she’s back and we are married now with lovely kid and we live
    as a happy family..Am posting this to the forum incise
    anyone needs the man.His email address is uzorspelltemple@gmail.com
    the following are the spells that he can
    launch within 72 hours. :
    ( 1) If you want your ex back .
    ( 2) if you ever have nightmares.
    ( 3) Do you want to be promoted in his office.
    (4 ) Want women / men who are behind you.
    ( 5) If you want a child.
    ( 6) [ Do you want to be rich.
    (7 ) You want to tie your husband / wife to be yours forever .
    ( 8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9 ) Care Herbal
    10) Help get people out of jail
    ( 11) Marriage Spells
    ( 12) The Miracle spells
    ( 13) The beauty spells
    ( 14) CHARM PROPHECY
    (15 ) The Spell of Attraction
    ( 16) Evil Eye Spells
    (17 ) Kissing Spell
    ( 18) Remove Spells disease
    (19)ELECTION WINNING SPELLS
    (20)HOW TO GET THE PERFECT VALENTINE’S GIFT FOR YOUR BOYFRIEND
    contact him on this email:
    uzorspelltemple@gmail.com OR www.uzorspelltemple.webs.co

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you posting this. I am homesick and have hazelnuts and flake bars ordered from Amazon and I'm about to make this :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Gosh, Amy, I'm really sorry I didn't reply to this at the time - not sure how it slipped the net. I'm not sure about margarine, but that's probably partly my great dislike of the stuff - though I believe butter does change the texture a bit. I'd be interested to know how it goes/went though, if you try it?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ah, don't worry about it, I'd actually totally forgotten I'd commented on this, haha!
    I haven't tried them yet, but I do have some hazelnuts in the cupboard so I might give them a go with margarine and dark chocolate. In my head I always think biscuits will come out much softer with marg, but I'm not sure if that's always the case?! I'll let you know what happens when I get round to trying the recipe! : )

    ReplyDelete
  23. Message: I'm Luise Casandra, I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my boyfriend return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank DR. OYAKHILO for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found a grate spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. Three days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 6 years now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. DR. OYAKHILO released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that`s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to DR. OYAKHILOfor the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in any situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too. oyakhilobhegbelovespelltemple@live.com you can also call the great man on his cell phone +2348134875929

    ReplyDelete
  24. Lizzy Patrick7 August 2014 15:21

    my name is Lizzy from washington help me thank Dr Agbagie for what he have done for me in 3 months ago. me and my lover was having a problem he lift home for 3 months but i was confused and i runed to a friend of my that give an email of the great Dr Agbagie. when i email him he told me that my problem solved, that he we cast a spell on him that before 48hours my lover we be back when we was in 24hours my lover came back begging me to accept him back. help me thank the great Dr Agbagie contact him today on agbagietemple@gmail.com or +2348052849204

    ReplyDelete

If you would like to leave a comment or question, please do - I appreciate every one and will reply as soon as possible.

ShareThis