Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Lussekatter (Swedish St. Lucia Buns)

Matthew has been on a baking kick lately. Yesterday he made (by accident) a brioche loaf, which was excellent after he sliced it and made it into French toast (recipe coming soon). So we have been looking for new bread recipes that are not very common for us, and this one caught my eye: Lussekatter, or St. Lucia Buns, which are traditional breads served in most Swedish homes on December 13th. These are moist, tasty and very yellow buns. I have no idea who St. Lucia was, or why Sweden celebrates this day--because I think St. Lucia is Italian--but I figured since Matt's family is part Scandinavian we'd give it a try. By the way, "lussekatter" translates to "Lucia cats." Meow!

INGREDIENTS (makes 12 buns)

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 and 3/4 cups flour
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Raisins

Place milk and butter in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until the butter melts.

In a large bowl mix the warm water and yeast and let stand 60 seconds. Add the warm milk and butter mixture. Then add the egg, sugar, salt, and saffron.

Add 1-1/2 cups of flour. Mix well. Add more flour gradually until the dough is stiff. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Coat the bowl with a little vegetable oil and put in your dough ball. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise until it is doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Punch down the dough and divide it into 12 sections. Roll each section into a rope. Cross two ropes in the middle and curl the ends into circles (see diagram). how to make a lussekatterCarefully place the buns on a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let rise until they are doubled in size. Mix and egg and water and brush the tops of the buns. Decorate with raisins on each end (see diagram) and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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