St. Lucia Buns

Recipe for St. Lucia Buns
Catherine Boeckmann

Ingredients

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 gram saffron threads, crushed
2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
7-1/2 to 8 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 cup melted butter
Glaze: One egg, lightly beaten

Instructions

Stir salt and saffron into ¼ cup of the warm milk and allow saffron to steep. Dissolve yeast in water. Beat together egg and sugar. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the milk, yeast, and egg mixtures. Slowly beat in 4 cups of the flour and the cardamom (if using), keeping the batter smooth and elastic. Stir in the butter, then add enough flour to form a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning it over to grease the top, cover, and let rise until doubled (about 1-½ hours). Punch down, cover, and let rise again until doubled. To shape buns, roll dough into 8-inch strands the size of a pencil, and form into crosses with curled ends. Imbed a raisin firmly in the center of each curlicue. Place buns on lightly greased baking sheet and let rise 20 minutes until puffy but not doubled. Brush with beaten egg. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.

Yield: 

About 36 buns

Course

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Scandinavian Lucia Predates the Italian Saint

There was Lucia, or Luccia, or Lucy in Nordic countries long before the Sicilian girl who plucked her eyes out to avoid marrying a Muslim. The tradition of the Lussi bringing back the sunlight marked Jul, or Yule, the shortest day of the year. Along with returning the light, the Lussi also prowled the dark, carrying away naughty children who ventured out on Jul night. Children were safe if they went about with torches, though. This lead to the tradition of, “Star Boys,” accompanying Lucia carrying lights or torches. When the Nordic peoples adopted Christianity, the priests overlay the existing practices of the Lussi procession and the return of the light with the similar-sounding Lucia, or Lucy. There was history and religions in the North long before the Christians ventured toward the Norse realms.
As a proud Luccia descended from Norwegians, the full heritage of my namesake matters as does the accurate history of St. Lucia’s Day.

St. Lucia Buns should have

St. Lucia Buns should have six cups of flour not eight....could barely knead it.

Thank you for your feedback

Thank you for your feedback about making St. Lucia Buns. We’ve made this recipe without the same problem, but have altered the directions to reflect that it may not need up to 8 cups of flour to achieve the correct consistency of dough.