St.Lucia buns/Lussekatter/ Swedeish Saffron Buns

By Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Last week of BM#50, i chose Bookmarked theme.  As a food blogger when you see recipes on other blogs or find an interesting recipe in a book or an online magazine, you tend to immediately bookmark it, thanks to Bookmarks icon on the browser, what would we to, without it, ahh!!! 
So, with that icon comes, the problem of ever growing list of bookmarked recipes, that are waiting to be tried and tested. So, whenever there is this theme in our regular BM, i try to take it  do some justice to that never ending list.

Ok, a little story about St.lucia's day. St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD. There are lot of stories that exist around this St.Lucia day. One among-st is she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding  under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, in the old 'Julian' Calendar and a pagan festival of lights in Sweden was turned into St. Lucia's Day.
St. Lucia's Day is now celebrated by a girl dressing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head. The crown is made of Lingonberry branches which are evergreen and symbolise new life in winter. A popular food eaten at St. Lucia's day are 'Lussekatts', St Lucia's day buns flavored with saffron and dotted with raisins which are eaten for breakfast. Info Courtesy : Christmas in Sweden
These buns today were bookmarked for last year September Marathon of International Cuisine, and was in my drafts for a long time now, so here it is seeing the publish button.

Source Simplyrecipes
1 cup milk 
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 and 1/4 tsp instant yeast
4 Cups Bread flour (Original recipe used All Purpose flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaped tsp of cardamom powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup hung curd + 1 tsp lemon juice (Original recipe used sour cream)
Raisins for studding the buns
For Glaze
2 tbsp milk + 1 tbsp oil
  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk, saffron, together until the milk is steamy. Remove from heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. To this hot but not boiling milk, add butter and let it sit until it is warm enough to touch or add yeast.
  • I made a mistake of adding saffron after adding butter, it stayed on top and didn't infuse well with the milk. So my buns didn't have that deep saffron orange-ish color. So, first add saffron threads and then add butter.
  • I used my food processor to knead my dough, you can also hand knead the dough. Take the  flour, yeast, salt, sugar, cardamom powder in to the processor bowl and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix well. Now slowly add the warm milk to the flour-mix and start kneading a soft dough. 
  • Add the hung curd and lemon juice to the dough mix and knead until you get a smooth and soft dough. The dough will be little soft, little sticky to touch, but will come easily off the bowl. If hand kneading knead the dough for around 7-8 minutes until u get a soft dough. If hand kneading start with 3.5 cups of flour and add the rest of the 1/2 cup flour slowly, while kneading to soft dough.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 60-90 minutes, or until it is doubled in size. The dough can be refrigerated overnight also. 
  • Once doubled, punch down the dough, and knead a couple of times. Divide the dough, into 10 portions. I have tried to make 3 different shapes using the dough, you can either bake the usual 'S' shaped bread or try the other shapes too. Roll the ball out into a snake, about 14 inches long. Then Curl the ends in opposite directions, forming an "S" with spirals at each end.  Check the video here for shaping the buns
  • Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough shapes double in size, 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F/200C. Using a pastry brush, brush milk + oil mixover the tops and sides of the  buns. Place raisins in the centers of the "S" spirals. Place in the oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes, until the buns are golden brown.  Remove from oven and transfer it to a wire rack let cool for 5 minutes, before serving.
  • They taste delicious when served straight out of the oven, any remaining buns can be kept on the counter for a day, if storing more than a day, i would recommend refrigerating it. If cold, reheat them for 20 seconds in a Microwave and serve warm. 

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  1. Wow.. love the shapes. very nice. You have lot of patience.

  2. Bookmarks are never ending!!!! This one looks stunning...

  3. Lovely buns patiently you have crafted them! Kudos.

  4. Bookmarks only keep growing longer and longer... with no end at sight! These buns look so cute... the flavors sound really nice...

  5. This St Lucia buns are in my to do list, now u r tempting me to make soon..Well done Priya, they looks stunning.

  6. Nice story behind the buns and not to mention how yum those look!

  7. Cute looking buns,loved the different shapes...Its in my to do list.

  8. The majority of the bookmarks in all browsers in our home computer would be related to food much to my husband's annoyance. :)
    Those buns look cute.

  9. Finally published , these buns have a nice story and they look fantastic.

  10. These buns look cute and I am sure addictive as well.

  11. I have these bookmarked too but have not tried them yet. Your have turned out perfect, just like in the pictures.

  12. Buns look perfect. They are too yummy.,

  13. Nice to know the story behind the buns Priya. You have made them so well !!!

  14. Very cute looking buns. Interesting story behind them too.

  15. Buns looks so beautiful and must have been flavorful with saffron.


Thanks a Lot for taking your time out and Visiting my Kitchen!!!!! Your Valuable Comments keep me going!!! Feel free to ask your doubts , i will definitely try reply you back. Good Day!!!