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Delicious festive snack at Christmas

Swedish Christmastime favorite, saffron-infused S shaped sweet rolls, for St. Lucia Day on 13th December, which is a festival of light in the long, dark Scandinavian winter.

Celebrations are held across Sweden with candles, music, mulled wine, gingerbread cookies and these special Lucia buns - lovely, glazed, yeasty saffron buns decorated with raisins.


50 g fresh yeast

 1 g saffron threads

 400 ml of milk

 100 ml thickened cream

 1 egg lightly beaten

 1/2 cup sugar

 1/2 tsp salt

 200 g butter

 6 cups plain flour

 1 cup plain flour *extra


-  1 egg

 3 tbs milk

 1 cup raisins *to decorate



1.          Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat then add milk and cream and heat until lukewarm.

2.          Meanwhile, crumble yeast into a bowl. Pour over the heated butter and milk mixture.

3.          Add salt, saffron, egg and sugar and then slowly add most of the flour, stirring all of the time to create a soft, smooth and silky dough that is still a little sticky.

4.          Cover and leave the dough in a warm place for at least 30 minutes or until it doubles in size.

5.          Punch down and then form into the buns by dividing the dough into 5 pieces and then divide each piece again into 8 pieces.

6.          Make a rope of dough approximately 20 cm long and then form it into an S shape, tucking in the ends.

7.          Lay dough on a lined baking tray and press raisins into the curls of the S.

8.          Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise again until double in size, about 30 minutes.

9.          Preheat the oven to 225C.

10.       Glaze: Beat egg with milk.

11.       Brush the tops of the buns with glaze just prior to baking.

12.       Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

13.       Cool on a rack under a clean cloth.


 1 saucepan

 1 bowl

 1 baking tray

 1 pastry brush

 1 wire rack


Saffron buns may dry out quite easily and they are best eaten on the day they are made, so you may not need to add all of the flour.

Alternatively, while they are still warm you can freeze them and take out what you need.

This makes a lot of buns, so feel free to halve the recipe if you just want a few.


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