Saffransbullar or lussekatter, literally translated mean saffron buns or lussi cats, are small soft buns made with saffron and raisins. In Sweden we eat them on Saint Lucy's day (December 13) and also for Christmas, and of course anytime before and after that. They're great in the afternoon for coffee/team time, but also for breakfast... and they're especially delicious straight out of the oven !!!
Recipe for 30-40 buns
200 g butter
5 dl milk
1 g saffron pistils
1 pack fresh yeast (40-50 g)
a pinch of salt
1.5 dl sugar
3 tbsp tepid water
16 dl flour
optional: 1.5 dl raisins
a few raisins**
In a sauce pan melt butter, add milk and bring to 37 C (finger temperature).
In a mortar grind the saffron pistils with a cube of sugar. Add this to the butter-milk.
Break down yeast in a big bowl, add salt, sugar, and tepid water. Swirl gently to dissolve the yeast a bit. Add the 37C milk-saffron mix and both eggs, mix with a wooden spoon.
*if you want to add raisins to the dough do it with the flour
Add flour slowly bit by bit while mixing with your wooden spoon (save about 1 dl flour to work the dough later one). The dough should be sticky and start to detach from the bowl wall. Cover the dough with a cloth and let rise for 1.5 hours (I usually place the bowl in the oven to make sure the dough doesn't feel draft or cold).
The dough should have at least doubled in volume (see pictures). Prick it 2-3 times with a wooden fork. Work the dough on a floured surface. Divide it into 2 parts, which you then divide into 4 parts each. Divide each of the 8 parts into 4 small dough bits, that you then roll and form into S shapes (see picture). Decorate each bun with 2 raisins and let them rise again for 10 min under a cloth. Paint each bun with lightly beaten egg. Bake in the oven 7-8 min at 260 C in the middle top area of the oven. Let the buns cool under a piece of cloth so that they don't dry.
**I soak my (very) dry raisins in (elderflower) syrup before using them so they're a bit more moist...