meatless monday: happy sankta lucia day!

December 13th is St. Lucy’s Day, one of the few saint days observed in Scandinavia. In the Swedish tradition, St. Lucia represents light and sweets (and given it’s also the season of Advent, what could be better than light and sweets?). Lucia is draped in white robes with a red sash, wearing a crown of candles and leading a procession of other young girls, singing the “Sankta Lucia Song.” She is also the bringer of coffee and Lussekatter, or Lucia buns.

Lussekatter buns are traditionally made with saffron and raisins, but other spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, and dried cranberries or currants, can be swapped out. You’ll notice the recipe calls for measurements in grams, how very European! Have fun converting, Americans.


Lussekatter (Saint Lucia Saffron Buns)

  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 1 g saffron threads
  • 50 g baker’s yeast
  • 150 g granulated sugar
  • 125 g butter
  • 700 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • salt
  • raisins
  1. Melt butter in a pan and add the milk and the saffron.
  2. Warm the mixture to 100F (use a thermometer; the correct temperature is important!).
  3. Pour the mixture over the yeast in a large bowl; add the remaining ingredients (except for the egg and raisins).
  4. Mix into a smooth dough.
  5. Cover the dough with a piece of cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes.
  6. Knead the dough, divide it into 25-30 pieces and form each piece into a round bun.
  7. Let the buns rest for a few minutes, covered by a piece of cloth.
  8. Form each bun into a string, 6-8 inches long, then arrange the string in an S or double S shape. Regardless of the shape, the ends of the string should meet.
  9. Press a few raisins into the dough.
  10. Cover the”Lucia cats” with a piece of cloth and let them rise for 40 more minutes.
  11. Whip the egg together with a few grains of salt, and paint the”Lucia cats” with the mixture.
  12. Bake them for 5-10 minutes in the oven at 475 F until golden brown.


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One response to “meatless monday: happy sankta lucia day!

  1. Mmmmmmmmm.

    SAFFRON, the World’s most expensive spice (crazy talk):

    http://www.amazon.com/SAFFRON-POWDER-1-lb-tin/dp/B000RHUZ3S

    ~$1280/lb.

    Of course, who really needs a pound of saffron?

    -Tom

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