St. Lucia Day Lussekatter

A few weeks before Christmas in Sweden is St. Lucia day. A tradition that comes from monks bringing Christianity to Sweden and stories of a young martyr. The legends of St. Lucia are many, one if that she would bring food to persecuted Christians, wearing candles on her head so her hands were free.

Now a days a young girl wearing white and wreath of candles bring saffron flavored buns, called lussekatter to her family.

2/3 c. + 1 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. saffron
1 tsp. yeast
3 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. flour

1/3 c. heavy cream
20 raisins or currents
2 Tbsp melted butter 

Heat the milk until it's really warm but not boiling. While that is heating crush the saffron. Add it to the warm milk, remove from the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes gently re-warm the milk, you do NOT want it hot at all, just warm. Add the honey and sugar and stir to mix in. Check to make sure the milk isn't hot and add the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes. 

Stir in the egg, vanilla, and melted butter. 

Stir in 2 1/2 cups of flour. Place on a clean surface to knead, adding flour as needed to form a dough and keep it from sticking. Let rise in the fridge 8 hours or overnight. Remove from the fridge and let sit for 15 minutes. 

Separate the dough in to 10 pieces. Roll eat piece in to a long rope. Starting at one end curl the rope in on itself and roll about 2/3 of the way. Take the other side and roll it the same way facing away from the first swirl. Transfer to a baking sheet, brush lightly with cream, and place one raisin in the center of each swirl. Repeat with remaining dough. 

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. 

Heat the oven to 400. Brush lightly with the cream a second time and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush with the butter, and allow to cool. Eat warm or hot. 


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