St Lucia Saffron Buns Christmas Cookies 5

December 14th

Free download of St Lucia vintage
images  St Lucia images 
Yesterday in Scandinavia was St Lucia day a day when young children dress in white and carry candles singing in parades.  All school children take part and it is sight and scene full of community spirit as many of the children's parades will take themselves along to old people's home and day centers.  It is a day when many are thankful for what they have and a tear is truly often shed.  It's an emotional and happy sharing day.  But what is St Lucia day?

According to many sources Lucy was a young christian girl who used to take food to persecuted Christians in Rome who were hiding in the catacombs of the city.  In order to carry the food and to be able to see in the dark catacombs it is thought she wore a crown of candles on her head to light the way.   In 304 AD she was killed for her beliefs and thereafter became a martyr.

On December 13th all over Scandinavia the St Lucia song is sung, lussekatter (saffron buns) are eaten, usually at breakfast time, but often throughout the day, parades take place and pepperkaker are handed out to one and all.
To listen to the St Lucia song:  St Lucia music

For a great explanation with bit of tongue in cheek, check out the Scandikitchen blog post all about St Lucia:  here

This year I tried a different recipe, because why not, it's from the Dane Trine Hannemann and was featured in The Guardian in 2011.  She is also topping the Hygge best seller book list at present, so I thought I would keep things current.

Lussekatter (saffron buns)

Adding saffron to the warm milk
fresh yeast 40g  not easy for those in the UK to get hold of so instead use  15g dry yeast
lukewarm milk 500ml 
saffron 5g
butter 200g, melted
plain flour 1kg 
caster sugar 100g 
raisins 75g

To finish:
egg 1, beaten


Yeast begins to froth
♥  Follow the directions on the dry yeast packet for mixing up the yeast.  Any liquid used at this stage must not be in addition to the milk, so it will therefore be necessary to reduce the milk amount accordingly.  

♥  Add saffron to the warm milk and stir until yellow.  When ready add the yeast mixture.

♥  Add the melted butter.

♥  In a separate bowl sift the flour and salt and then stir in the sugar.

Dough should come
away from the sides
♥  Pour the yeast mixture mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes away as cleanly as possible from the edge of the bowl.
Adding the yeast mix to the dry

♥  Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, I find this really take it out of me, hard on the arms!  The dough should be shiny and not sticky at the end.

♥  Place the dough back in the bowl and allow to rise for 1.5 hours at room temperature.

The dough should be shiny
and not sticky after kneading

Let the dough rise for 1.5 hours

♥  Lightly knead the dough again and divide it into 22 equal parts.
 ♥  Roll each section into a sausage shape and then place on lined baking trays in the shape of the letter 'S' or other s think the shape looks like the number '8', making sure to tuck both ends under the bun itself.

♥  Place a raisin in each center of the 'S', see photos for clarification.   This is a very traditional shape for St Lucia Day, but others are also used.

♥  Leave to rise for a further 30 minutes covered with a clean tea towel.

♥  Brush each bun with beaten egg to glaze.

♥  Bake in the oven on 175 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Saffron buns ready for the second rise

♥  You can eat them as they are or spread with cold butter.

Lussekatter ready to eat
Along with the lussekatter it is traditional to eat pepperkaker on this day and to drink Gløgg, with friends, acquaintances and family,  what a great combination, what a lovely day.
For recipe click link:  Pepperkaker

For recipes clink on link:  Gløgg

 Keeping the Scandinavian traditions 
alive in the UK  


  1. I have really enjoyed your mini series, it is a real joy to visit.

    1. Thank you mama that is very kind of you to say. I'm delighted x

  2. What a lovely, festive post !
    In the mad rush you instill a very welcome Christmas spirit..thank you

    1. Oh Val how kind of you. Your comment has warmed my heart. Thank you xxxx hoping you have a calmer time if it and Christmas is all that you wish for x

  3. Another terrific post full of wonderful traditions.

  4. Replies
    1. Oh Karen. Thank you. But if you saw others you wouldn't think so x

  5. Great tutorial and they look fabulous!


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