Today is Santa Lucia Day in Sweden, and other countries. Here is an article I wrote last year about it. That article includes a recipe for the traditional “lussekatter” buns.
1 3/4 sticks butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
.06 ounces saffron threads
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
6 (.25-ounce) packages yeast
1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk, warm
2 eggs, beaten separately
1 teaspoon salt
8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup raisins
1. Combine melted butter and cream.
2. Crush saffron with 1 tablespoon sugar in a mortar until very fine.
3. Combine yeast, milk and 2 tablespoons sugar; let stand 10 minutes or until mixture is foamy.
4. Add butter mixture, saffron mixture, 1 of the beaten eggs and salt to yeast mixture. Stir well. Add remaining sugar. Add 6 cups flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Turn mixture out onto a floured surface; knead about 10 minutes, adding additional flour 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a large bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
5. Boil water and pour over raisins; let sit until raisins are plump.
6. Preheat the oven to 475F. Knead dough and divide into 24 pieces. Shape each into an S shape. Place 2 raisins at ends of buns. Let rise 1 hour. Brush with remaining beaten egg. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until browned. Yield: 24 buns.
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