Lussekatter – sweet saffron buns

lussekatter panini dolci allo zafferano

“Lussekatter” are a traditional swedish dish: they are small sweet saffron buns, made especially on St. Lucy’s day (the 13th December).

INGREDIENTS aproximately 20 buns:

550 gr flour

100 gr butter

1 egg

15/20 saffron threads (buy here)

250 ml milk

100 gr sugar

25 gr fresh yeast (or 8gr dry active yeast)

1 pinch salt

raisins to garnish

1 egg yolg + 2 tbsp milk to brushing over

DIRECTIONS:

In a pan on low heat, melt butter with milk, bring it to a simmer then add the saffron threads and let them infuse for at least 40min (you can shorten the process by breaking the threads into pieces before adding). Put flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl, stir well then work the dough with a stand mixer – or by hand – until it is well combined but not too sticky. Cover the bowl with a table cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, it will take about 1 1/2 hour. While the dough rises, put the raisins in a bowl and cover them with warm water.

At the end of the rising time, the dough should be light and soft at touch. Transfer the dough on a floured working area and divide it in 20 pieces: roll each piece to long strips then curl in an S shape. Place one raisin into each end of the bun. Place the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, leaving some space between the buns, and let them rise for another 15-25 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolk with 2 tbps of milk and use the mixture to brush over the buns.

Preheat the oven at 220°C/425F and bake the buns for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a rack.

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