St Lucy’s Day, A Special Birthday and Saffron Cakes ~ Lussekatter

St Lucy’s Day, 

A Special Birthday 

and 

~ Saffron Cakes ~ 

Lussekatter

13th December

2011

Window number 13 is

Advent Candles

Advent Candles

Advent Candles

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Hannah!

Saint Lucy's Day or Santa Lucia.

Today is my daughter Hannah’s birthday ~ she is 24 years old, and, it is also Saint Lucy’s Day or Santa Lucia. Although the day is celebrated in Catholic countries throughout Europe, I am instinctively drawn to how the festival is celebrated in Sweden and Scandinavia; the oldest daughter of the family rises just before dawn and dresses in a white gown with a red sash, which symbolises Lucia’s purity and her martyrdom. On her head she places a crown of lingonberry twigs and leaves in which candles are set, in memory of the candles Lucia wore when she visited the prisoners. She is now the “Lucia bride” or the “Queen of lights”.  

She then prepares fresh coffee, ginger biscuits, and Lussekatter, (meaning “cat” buns or cakes”), which she takes to her parents in bed. (No one seems to know how the cat buns/cakes got their name. They are saffron-flavoured, yeast-raised sweet buns formed in the shape of an “S” or a cross.)

It is these little saffron buns that I would like to share with you today, as a special birthday breakfast for Hannah; and as I cannot be with her today she will have to share a “virtual” birthday breakfast with me here!

Saint Lucy's Day or Santa Lucia.

Have a happy Saint Lucy’s Day and I will be back with a longer post tomorrow, along with a classic comfort food recipe too……

Karen

Lussekatter

Saffron Buns ~ Cakes

Saffron Lucia Rolls

BBC Food ~ Swedish Lucia rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp saffron threads

  • 250ml/9fl oz tepid milk

  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour

  • 7g/¼oz sachet of fast-action dried yeast

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 50g/1¾oz golden caster sugar

  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter, melted

  • 100g/3½oz Quark cheese

  • 1 free-range egg yolk

  • handful of raisins

METHOD:

  1. Grease a baking tray. Soak the saffron in the milk for 5-10 minutes.

  2. Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Stir the melted butter into the milk and saffron mixture and pour into the well. Add the Quark cheese.

  3. Stir together briefly, then bring together as a dough. Knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes, or until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 1½-2 hours until well risen.

  4. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.  

  5. Knock back the dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each into a rectangle about 20cm/8in long. Twist each into an ‘S’ shape, as tight as possible. Place on the prepared baking sheet and cover loosely. Leave for 30-45 minutes or until puffed up.

  6. Brush the rolls with the egg yolk, then place one raisin in the centre of each circle (two raisins per roll).

  7. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.


    (Recipe courtesy of BBC Food)

Saint Lucy's Day or Santa Lucia.

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Comments

  1. Baking Addict says

    Happy birthday to Hannah! That's a lovely photo of her. Thanks for the history behind st Lucy's day – I didn't even know it existed. These buns look amazing and I love the shape of them.

  2. Heather says

    Yay, the first St. Lucia day post in my reader! Its still the 12th here :) A very happy birthday to your daughter! She is beautiful, hope she has a wonderful day. I keep wanting to make these buns but I dont have saffron….not sure where it is in the store. Spices, I would guess?

  3. A Trifle Rushed says

    Happy Birthday to Hannah, I hope she has time to see this lovely post before she goes to work, and is spoilt by her friends this evening. Jude x

  4. Neesie Natters says

    Happy Hannah Day and St Lucia of course! What beautiful photos Karen. She's very pretty.

    In case you haven't heard and there's no reason why you should ~ although I have been shouting it from the rooftops ~ my daughter arrives here in 7 sleeps time.
    I haven't seen her since last January (a long story) but these buns are perfect for our first breakfast together.
    I even have saffron in my store cupboard already. She arrives in from Scotland in the very early hours so they'll be perfect.

    {Heather, I found my saffron in the baking section of my supermarket}

    Thanks again Karen for a lovely post…enjoy your daughter's birthday ;D

  5. Neesie Natters says

    Happy Hannah Day and St Lucia of course! What beautiful photos Karen. She's very pretty.

    In case you haven't heard and there's no reason why you should ~ although I have been shouting it from the rooftops ~ my daughter arrives here in 7 sleeps time.
    I haven't seen her since last January (a long story) but these buns are perfect for our first breakfast together.
    I even have saffron in my store cupboard already. She arrives in from Scotland in the very early hours so they'll be perfect.

    {Heather, I found my saffron in the baking section of my supermarket}

    Thanks again Karen for a lovely post…enjoy your daughter's birthday ;D

  6. Dom at Belleau Kitchen says

    Ahh. Happy birthday Hannah!! I love those twisty buns they look lovely. I saw them in a shop window the other day and wondered what they are and now I know. Thanks for another Christmassy recipe xx

  7. Marie says

    Happy Birthday to Hannah! What a beauty she is! Love your buns too. How perfectly delicious! Happy Santa Lucia day to you! xxoo

  8. Lauren says

    In elementary school, one of my friends was obsessed with the Kirsten American Girl doll and books. (http://americangirl.wikia.com/wiki/Kirsten_Larson) There's a book where Kirsten plans a St. Lucia celebration for her family, so my friend had to do it, as well! That's the only time I've had a Lucia bun. I think the recipe even came from the Kirsten cook book.

    I was going to say "your buns look tasty," but I think I'll rephrase it as "your Lussekatter look tasty." :-)

    P.S. Hannah looks like she'd be a perfect St. Lucia. Happy Birthday to her!

  9. millefeuilles says

    Happy, happy birthday to that STUNNING daughter of your's! My goodness she is beautiful.

    I have always had a thing about Saint Lucy with her candles and light… and often associate her in my muddled mind with Christina of Sweden with all her culture and erudite mind.

    Happy thoughts and nice to be back.

    Stephanie

  10. Janice says

    Happy Birthday to Hannah and Happy Santa Lucia Day. Lovely saffron cakes, I've had saffron cake in Cornwall, but I'm sure they didn't use real saffron to colour and flavour it!

  11. Laura@ howtocookgoodfood says

    Happy birthday to Hannah! Think she has a bit of the Sienna Miller look, so pretty. I do like a bun and saffron buns are wonderful, thanks! X

  12. Anonymous says

    Thanks Mum, you'll just need to make these again when I'm back for Christmas… Isn't it concerning that I seem to have a drink in my hand in all photos of me?!xx

  13. Maya Russell says

    Fabulous post – so interesting. I’d love to make the buns. (Not sure what quark cheese is!) Also shared with G+.

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