Sourdough St. Lucia buns aka Swedish Lussekatter Rolls made with naturally leavened sourdough with a dose of saffron and touch of cardamom.
History behind St. Lucia Saffron Buns.
On December 13 of every year, this golden-hued saffron buns bake in ovens across Scandinavia. There is a custom of eating a sweet bread, called, lussebullar or lussekatter in Sweden and Norway, luciabrød, in Denmark, and lucia-pullat in Finland—heralds the celebration of St. Lucia’s Day.
On that day, in Sweden, eldest daughters often serve their parents buns and coffee in the morning while wearing a white gown, red sash, and a candle-lined wreath crown.
The costume pays tribute to St. Lucia, a Christian martyr who died in the fourth century, executed by the authorities for her faith. The red sash represents her murder, while the candle-filled crown honors how.
In legend, she illuminated her journeys through dark Roman catacombs to deliver food to Christians in hiding
Ingredients for the Sourdough St. Lucia Buns.
You need following ingredients to make this Sourdough St. Lucia Bunsrecipe.
Flour : All-purpose flour used in this recipe.
Stiff sourdough starter: I used 45% hydration starter.
It is stiff one. You can make this from your liquid starter.
- Unsalted butter : if you are using salted butter make sure to cut back on salt. You need butter to use butter both in the dough and filling
- Sugar – I used granulated sugar.
- Egg – Eggs act as a binder, adds moisture and richness.
- Salt: I used sea salt; you can use your favorite salt.
- Milk : I used whole milk.
- Sour cream : It adds moisture to the dough.
- Spices: Saffron and cardamom.
- Second egg for egg wash
- Raisins for decoration.
See recipe card for quantities.
Instructions to make sourdough St. Lucia buns?
First make a stiff starter using your liquid starter.
Then make the dough with all ingredients except butter then finally incorporate the butter into the dough.
Set aside for 2-3 hours then refrigerate overnight.
Milk with saffron and sugar
Dough before fermentation
Once the ferementation is complete make balls out of it
Make a rope and then twist the both ends like this
Next morning make divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and make a rope and twist from both into a snake shape.
Set aside for 45- 50 minutes or until it puffs up little bit then do an egg wash and stick raisins on the top
Bake until it become golden brown color.
You can make sourdough St. Lucia Buns without sour cream. But adding sour cream gives more moistness to the buns.
Traditionally saffron is used in the recipe. I have added both saffron and cardamom.
This is slightly yellow color buns, so use saffron, if not use turmeric and saffron extract.
Kitchenaid mixer make it everything easy, you can make it with hand too. However it requires more time kneading the dough.
The Sourdough St. Lucia buns stay fresh for 3 days at room temperature , if you want long time storage you need to freeze the buns.
Tips to make perfect Sourdough St. Lucia Buns?
First fermentation time should be maximum 3- 4 hours, do not give more than that.
While shaping the dough make the rope long and twist the coil tightly so that shape will remains perfect.
If you want, you can any shape other than snail shape.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Sourdough St. Lucia Saffron Buns
- 3 cups /365 g All-purpose flour
- 39 g/1 large egg
- ¾ cup 125g sugar
- 127 g Sourdough starter I used stiff starter
- ¾ cup / 190g milk I used full fat milk
- ½ teaspoon 2 g salt
- 3 tablespoon /47 g butter
- ¼ cup / 57g sour cream
- ½ teaspoon saffron
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- In a bowl mix hot milk and saffron and 1 teaspoon sugar and set aside.
- In a kitchen aid stand mixer add all the ingredients except the butter knead with dough hook to form a cohesive, sticky mass, 2 to 3 minutes on low speed of a stand mixer.
- Gradually add butter and incorporate about 1 minute on low speed. Once all
- the butter is incorporated, turn the mixer up one speed and knead the dough
- until it is smooth and supple though still somewhat soft and tacky, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Cover the dough and let it rest in a warm (75°F) place for 3--4 hours. To develop strength in the dough, stretch and fold it in the bowl three to four times during the rest. This will increase the elasticity of the dough.
- Next morning divide the dough into 8 pieces of 85g.
- Roll it into 12-inch snake and twist both ends.
- After 35-40 minutes brush with egg wash and stick a raisin on both ends.
- Bake it in 375°F for 25- 30 minutes or until golden in color.
- Enjoy, it is excellent breakfast bread on its own.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.