A Swedish saffron bun (lusebulle) is a sweet yeast leavened bun, flavored with saffron and decorated with raisins. It is a traditional Christmas bread eaten on St. Lucia’s Day (13th of December). The buns are baked into many traditional shapes, the most common one being an S-shape (or a reversed S-shape).
It is preferred to accompany them with freshly brewed coffee, tea or glögg.
Makes around 15
1 tbsp dry active yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 g saffron threads
1 cup almond milk (non GMO)
2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
2 1/2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp almond butter
5 tbsp greek yogurt
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white wheat flour
1 egg yolk, beaten (for brushing)
Stir dry yeast, salt and saffron in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a medium size sauce pan, then add milk, maple syrup, honey and almond butter and heat until 100F (40°C). Whisk vigorously to dissolve the almond butter. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl with yeast. Add yogurt and stir around until dissolved. Add 2/3 of the flour. Stir around with a wooden spoon until it is thick enough to knead with your hands. Add more flour until the dough is easy to work with and has formed into a round ball that doesn’t stick to your hands. Cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until double in size and full of air pockets.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute, form it into the shape of a baguette. Divide it into 15 equal pieces and, using your hands, roll each piece into a long 1/2-inch ( about 1 cm) thick string. Then roll both ends tight in opposite direction into an S-shaped bun. Place buns, well spaced apart, on 2 baking sheets, cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm spot to rise for about 30 mins. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Brush the buns with an egg yolk or water and then place one raisin in each circle. Bake the buns until golden brown on top, about 7-9 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool slightly.
Store buns in an airtight container for up to a week, but of course they taste best fresh from the oven.