The 13th of December is the St Lucy’s day (Lucia) which is celebrated in Sweden and in other Scandinavian countries. Celebrating Lucia is always accompanied with eating delicious Swedish saffron buns called Lussekatter or Lussebullar, or even Saffransbullar. It almost always goes together with some hot mulled wine (called glögg, see our traditional recipe here) and gingerbread (pepparkakor).
Even though lussekatt is strongly related to the celebration of Lucia it is fairly common to eat it other days in December as well.
One of the challenges with baking lussekatt is to avoid making it too dry. There are plenty of recipes that claims to produce juicy saffron buns, many say that it is the use of quark that is the secret but it is not true. It is just clever marketing from the dominating brand for quark (Kesella) in Sweden who created this belief. There are a number of things you can do to make your Swedish saffron buns more juicy:
Make your Swedish saffron buns more juicy
- Don’t use too much flour (just enough to make the dough easy to work with, without beeing a sticky mess)
- Don’t use too much saffron since it dries out the dough, instead you can use less saffron but gain more taste by letting it soak in cognac for a few days (2 tbsp cognac to 1 g saffron). Another trick is to use whole saffron and grind it yourself.
- Take them out of the oven before they get brown as in the picture
- Place them close enough so they grow together in the oven (~1 cm space between)
- Let the raisins soak in rum or some other liquid of your choice
- Cover the buns immediately after it comes out of the oven
- Another way is to add a filling, like almond paste, vanilla, etc