Today's festival is a Swedish tradition celebrated on December 13th. St. Lucia's Day comes from stories told by the Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden. More of the traditions of this holiday come from the story, rather than food (but there is a good recipe I'll share with you!)
The story goes like this:
Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred in 304 AD. She would secretly bring food to persecuted Christians in Rome. In order to keep her hands free to carry things, she would wear candles on her head.
In today's world, Lucia is celebrated by a girl wearing a white dress with a red sash around her waist and a crown of candles on her head. The crown is made of lingonberry branches to symbolize new life in winter.
A popular dish eaten are Lussekatts, which are St. Lucia's Day buns flavored with saffron and dotted with raisins and to be eaten at breakfast.
|Recipe and Picture Link|
- 150g dairy free butter
- 500ml dairy free milk
- 50g dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1g saffron powder
- 1.3L plain flour
- raisins or sultanas
- Preheat your oven to 250C/ 480 degrees F
- Melt the butter and add the milk to it. Heat until warm with the saffron (37C / 98F)
- Dissolve the yeast with the milk/butter liquid in a big bowl. Add salt, sugar and around 2/3 of the plain flour.
- Work the dough until shiny and add more of the flour as needed; saving 1-2dl (½-3/4cup) for the rolling of the dough later on.
- Sprinkle with flour and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Leave to rise in room temperature with out a drag until the dough has doubled in size. (approx. 45-60min)
- Once your dough has risen, put it on a floured work bench and cut into 30-40 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a sausage shape as thick as a finger and shape into the classic lussekatt-shape. (or shape of your choice, but remember that size will effect how long it has to be baked.)
- Place evenly on oven trays with baking paper and leave to rise until they almost double in size.
- Brush with dairy free milk and gently push a raisin/sultana in each swirl on the buns.
- Bake each tray in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes. Until just golden.
- Enjoy your Swedish Saffron Buns.