Today is the 13th of December, it is Lucia Day, the celebration of Christian Light and Hope. At this time when it’s dark when you leave home and dark when you get home, a party of light is just what we need. These little decorated buns originates from 17th century Germany, but they are best know from Sweden, where they are called Lussekatter and sometimes interpreted as a protection against the Devil or Lucifer. The bun, with its yellow colour, was supposed to have driven the Devil away from the good children, who got the buns from Jesus, while the bad children were thrashed by the Devil. They are delicious on a Sunday morning, so you do not just have to bake them on December 13th.
LUCIA BUNS (LUSSEKATTER)
1 G OF SAFFRON, STIRRED OUT INTO 1 TABLESPOON OF HOT WATER.
1 DL COLD WHOLE MILK
15 G FRESH YEAST
60 G SOFTENED BUTTER
40 G SUGAR
40 G GRATED MARCIPAN, 60% ALMONDS
1/4 TSP. SALT
200 G FLOUR
CURRANTS OR RAISINS
1 EGG FOR BRUSHING
Let the saffron steep in the water for 30 minutes before use.
Mix yeast into the cold milk, until completely dissolved.
Add the saffron liquid to the milk.
Mix butter, sugar, salt and marcipan together in a bowl.
The saffron mixture is added a little at a time.
Knead the flour into the batter until the dough is soft and pliable.
Place the dough in the fridge overnight with a damp cloth over the bowl.
In the morning, the dough must be slightly tempered so that it is not completely cold when forming the loaves. Leave it on the kitchen table for about 30 mins.
Form the buns in the classic designs and decorate with currants. If you do not have that, raisins can easily be used. There is no need for flour for the kneading.
Brush the buns with the egg.
Leave the bread to rise for 30 minutes and preheat the oven at 200 degrees celsius.
Bake the lucia buns for 12-15 min until they are golden and sound hollow when you knock lightly on the bottom with a finger.
Serve with butter and a good cup of hot cocoa … coffee … the.
Happy 3. Sunday of Advent.
P.S. If you cannot wait a whole night for the dough to rise. Stir the yeast out into lukewarm milk. Let the dough rise for 1.5 hours and let the shaped buns rise for another 1 hour before baking.