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Lussekatter: Swedish Saffron Bread

Updated: Apr 9

Lussekatter or saffron bread is the traditional sweet bread served on Santa Lucia. It's a simple yeast dough with saffron, decorated with either raisins or pearl sugar and sculpted into S shapes or braids. Even though I don't favor baking, this is the one baked good that I make.

When they're no longer soft and fresh, slice into ¼"-½" slices, toast and top with butter. Thank me later.


.5 g saffron (if using threads, grind in mortar with sugar)

200g butter, plus more for filling

1/2 liter milk (5dl) (4.2 cups)

3 7g envelopes yeast

2 dl (.8 cup) sugar plus more for filling

1 teaspoon salt

1 kg (2.2 lbs) flour

1 egg, beaten

pearl sugar

raisins


Melt the butter, add milk. Heat until pinky warm (this is something my mom would always say - (and this is her recipe) - pinky warm is when you stick your pinky into the warm liquid and it's just a tad too hot, just beyond warm. Set aside.


Mix 1/2 the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the warm milk/butter mixture, stir well. Add more flour until you can put in out on the table and knead it, turning it for about 15 minutes.


Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour.


Divide into three parts. Roll each part out flat and spread a layer of butter and sprinkle on some sugar and roll up like a jelly roll. Make braids, twists to make a loaf or cut into smaller pieces and shape into S shapes, suitable for individual servings. Press in a raisin into the ends, brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar.


Bake at 420º F for 10-15 minutes for small "S" shapes and 20 minutes for larger forms or until golden brown.


Makes 4 twists or 30 "S" buns





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