St. Lucia buns are saffron laced and are traditionally made in Sweden for St. Lucia day, a winter solstice celebration.
For Day 2 of this week’s Scandinavian recipes, I made these aromatic saffron laced St. Lucia buns. These buns are traditionally made in Sweden for St. Lucia day on December 13, also known as the Festival of Light, celebrated in the spirit of Advent and Christmas.Two of my brothers-in-law live in Sweden, so I feel like I have a connection with the country even though we have only been there once. I don’t remember eating any traditional Swedish dishes while we were there, but there are some dishes that I really want to try. Like these Swedish cinnamon rolls – I have been planning to make these for a very long time, hopefully I’ll get to try them soon.I saw these St. Lucia buns for the first time on Gayathri’s blog and thought they were super cute. So when I realized that these are from Sweden, I knew it was perfect for today. This recipe is from King Arthur flour site.These buns use an enriched dough with butter and eggs. I subbed them with vegan butter and egg replacer powder to make them vegan. I also added some wholewheat pastry flour to add some fiber to the buns. These St. Lucia buns are soft, slightly sweet, fragrant and have a beautiful crumb.
In a small saucepan, combine milk, saffron and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Add the butter and set aside to melt and cool down to lukewarm temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Whisk well.
Add the lukewarm milk-butter mixture along with egg replacer mixture and vanilla extract to the flour. Mix and knead until a soft, pliable dough forms, about 10 minutes by hand.
Place in a lightly greased bowl; cover and set aside for 1 hour or until the dough is puffy and almost doubled in volume.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Form into rough logs, cover and set aside for 10 minutes for the dough to relax.
Roll each log into 8"~10" long rope and shape them into 'S' shape. Place a raisin on each coil of the 'S'.
Place the buns on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Leave about an 1" between the buns. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes for the buns to rise or until the buns are noticeably puffed, but not nearly doubled.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Combine almond milk and agave nectar in a small bowl. Brush the buns with the almond milk mixture and sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if using.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12~15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool them on a wire rack. Enjoy these warm!! Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for longer storage.