Lussekatter ( St. Lucia Buns)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1-1/3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads, chopped fine and soaked in a few drops of water
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, divided use
- 4 cups unbleached flour + flour for kneading
- Raisins for garnish
- Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat.
- Add milk and saffron and heat until just until warm.
- Pour into bowl of an electric stand mixer.
- Sprinkle yeast over milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Add sugar, salt, 1 egg and 2 cups flour.
- Beat with paddle attachment until smooth and well combine, about 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Add final 2 cups of flour.
- Using dough hook, beat until mixture is smooth and begins to climb beater.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until perfectly smooth.
- This dough has a wonderful velvety texture to it.
- Place in a greased bowl, turn once to coat all surfaces, and let rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Punch dough down, roll into a cylinder 36 inches long.
- Cut 18 2-inch pieces from cylinder.
- Roll each piece into a 10-inch rope.
- Form each piece into an S, spiraling ends to form a figure eight.
- Transfer pieces to to prepared baking sheet.
- Let rise, covered, until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Brush buns with reserved egg.
- Tuck raisins into spirals at each end of figure eight.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Yield: 18 buns.