On Friday in Sweden it was Santa Lucia’s day. Children get dressed as Lucia and everybody’s baking and eating lussekatter, saffron buns. They are very nice and fluffy with a nice saffron aroma and taste, very enjoyable with a glass of milk and reminding you that it is soon Christmas.
Recipe from here
100 g (1/2 cup) butter
200 ml (1 cup) sugar
25 g dry yeast or 50 g fresh yeast (1 package)
500 ml (2 cups) milk
½ teaspoon salt
250 g quark (kesella)
1700 ml (about 8 1/2 cups) flour
1 egg for brushing
Start by melting the butter in a pan or the microwave. Add the milk. Make surethe mixture is lukewarm about 37oC /99 oF (warm to the finger touch). If it’s not warm it a little more. Put it in a big bowl, add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Add the sugar, saffron, quark, salt and in the end the most of the flour. I used about 1600 ml of the flour, it didn’t need more. Work the dough with your hands or the mixer until it becomes smooth and nice. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 40 minutes or until it becomes double in size.
Knead the dough and divide it into 32 pieces. Form each one to a piece, then start forming a double S. There are other shapes too but this is the most common. Put one raisin on each edge and cover them with a towel. Let them rise for about 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 225 o C/ 435oF. After the 30 minutes brush the buns with the egg and put them in the oven for 5 -8 minutes. Let them cool covered with a towel. Pastries with saffron tend to dry very easily.