St Lucy’s Day,
A Special Birthday
~ Saffron Cakes ~
Window number 13 is
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!
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……
Saffron Buns ~ Cakes
|BBC Food ~ Swedish Lucia rolls
Grease a baking tray. Soak the saffron in the milk for 5-10 minutes.
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.
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.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
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.
Brush the rolls with the egg yolk, then place one raisin in the centre of each circle (two raisins per roll).
Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.