Tomorrow is Saint Lucy’s Day, 13 December, and in Sweden (where I’m originally from) that is a day which is widely celebrated with songs and processions, as well as with mulled wine, gingerbread and saffron buns. So this evening we’ve baked some of the latter, as our advent activity of the day. [EDIT: You can now read more about our ‘Lucia’/St Lucy’s Day celebrations here!]
This recipe made us 16 buns:
- 100 grams margarine for baking (we used Stork, but butter or other baking fat should work just as well)
- 0.5 grams of saffron stems (which is such an expensive ingredient, cost £2.50!)
- 275 ml milk
- 1 pkt (7g) dried yeast
- 500 grams plain white flour
- c 90 grams granulated sugar (or use caster sugar if you prefer)
- a few sultanas, raisins or currants
- egg for brushing the buns with
Melt the butter/margarine and add the saffron stems. Gently stir in the milk, keeping your pan over a low heat. Make sure the liquid is warm enough for the yeast your using (usually about 40 C), but not too hot.
Pour the yeast in a large bowl, add the flour and sugar, give it a stir. Then add the wet ingredients (fat, milk and saffron) and mix it all together. Kneed the dough for a couple of minutes, then let it rise for about 45-60 mins.
Kneed the dough a little bit more after it’s risen, then split it into 16 pieces and make each into a swirly inverted S-shape, like Penguin does here:
Then add raisins/sultanas/currants (see pics). Some like to mix raisins in with the dough as well, and if you like raisins a lot, go ahead and do that!
Place the buns on a baking tray (allowing room for them to expand) and brush them with egg before baking them in the centre of the oven on gas mark 6 (200 C/400 F). Actually, you’re supposed to let them rise again for 30-45 mins before baking them, but we were to impatient for that…
After about 8-10 mins in the oven, these golden beauties were done. And we had to try a couple while they were still warm. Yum-yum!
Baking together is generally enjoyable, if a little chaotic. Today Penguin wasn’t super excited about making the dough but enjoyed shaping the buns, adding sultanas, and placing them on the tray. I rolled out lines of dough for him to make the S-shapes from, and he did the rest (with a few directions and slight prompting along the way). And I’m happy to say that we really enjoyed the final result!
Do you bake with your kids? Anything you particularly like to bake for Christmas time? Maybe you make saffron buns, too? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!