Two reasons why we are excited about this post.
Reason number one. The recipe. These traditional Swedish Christmas buns have a wonderful warm saffron flavor and additions of sweet raisins. They are easy to make and fun to shape. This spelt version is slightly more wholesome than the original recipe, but still very moist, indulgent and rich. We usually eat them for St. Lucia’s Day (December 13) and Christmas. But if you ask us, any day in December is a good saffron bun day.
Reason number two. This video.
A few days ago we had some friends over to help us shoot this. We wanted to simply give you a feeling of our Saturday morning bun baking. Hopefully it inspires you to try these buns at home. You will find the recipe at the bottom of this post. Let us know if you like the video and we’ll try to do it again sometime.
Swedish Lucia Saffron Buns “Lussebullar”
Makes around 15 buns (can easily be doubled)
During the weekend we have also been experimenting with a vegan version, and it came out really delicious too. Just replace the butter with coconut oil and turkish yogurt with soy yogurt (non GMO). Add a little more almond butter for extra yum.
1 tbsp dry active yeast (or 25 g fresh active yeast)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 g (2 sachets) saffron powder
60 g organic butter
1 cup soy milk (non GMO)
5 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp almond butter (optional)
5 tbsp turkish yogurt or quark cheese
4 cups / 1 liter (450 g) spelt flour (we use half whole and half light)
1 egg yolk, beaten (for brushing)
Stir dry yeast, salt and saffron in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a medium size sauce pan, then add milk, maple syrup and almond butter and heat until 100F (40°C). Whisk vigorously to dissolve the almond butter. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl with yeast. Add yogurt and stir around until dissolved. Add 2/3 of the spelt flour. Stir around with a wooden spoon until it is thick enough to knead with your hands. Add more flour until the dough is easy to work with and has formed into a round ball that doesn’t stick to your hands. Cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until double in size and full of air pockets.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute, form it into the shape of a baguette. Divide it into 15 equal pieces and, using your hands, roll each piece into a long 1/2-inch ( about 1 cm) thick string. Then roll both ends tight in opposite direction into an S-shaped bun. Place buns, well spaced apart, on 2 baking sheets, cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm spot to rise for about 30 mins. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Brush the buns with an egg yolk or water and then place one raisin in each circle. Bake the buns until golden brown on top, about 7-9 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool slightly. Serve. Preferably with freshly brewed coffee, tea or glögg.
Store buns in an airtight container for up to a week, but of course they taste best fresh from the oven.