‘ For me the Swedish celebration of Santa Lucia symbolizes the arrival of Christmas. Having been an expatriate within very mixed international communities, we always welcomed the arrival of the pretty flaxen haired girls with the candles. Good memories of another lifetime.’
I made Santa Lucia saffron buns this week. The taste is very distinctive and do not overdo it with the saffron. Many substitute the saffron for the more economical turmeric but i much prefer the delicate taste of saffron for these buns.
If you prepare the dough and leave it to prove overnight, it will not be necessary to knead it and if you make them on a Saturday night you can enjoy these delicious saffron buns for breakfast. The buns will not be as smooth on the exterior but the taste and texture is the same.
You will need:
500g plain flour
250ml skimmed milk
1 sachet dry yeast (11g)
a pinch of saffron
50g caster sugar
equivalent of 50g stevia
1 tablespoon honey
35 ml olive oil
pinch of salt
24 golden sultanas for finishing off
an extra egg to glaze the surface
Put the milk in a saucepan to heat and add the saffron. Turn off the heat once it nearly reaches boiling point and allow the milk to infuse with the saffron.
Add the butter and the oil. Stir and leave aside.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, stevia, honey, salt and dry yeast together. Pour in the cooled down milk mixture and the egg. Mix together to form a sticky dough. Put the dough into a bowl and cover with dry tea towel. Set the bowl in a warm place and leave to rise overnight.
Knock back the dough and divide into 12 equal portions.
Roll out each piece into a long strand. Roll up one end into the middle, turn over and roll the other end into the middle, forming the dough into an S shape.
Place the buns on a baking tray and I have started to use baking spray instead of greasing. Leave the buns to prove in a warm place until the size nearly doubles.
Preheat the oven to 200C, brush the buns with beaten egg and press a currant into the centre of each side. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and serve them while they are fresh.
We had ours with orange curd !