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Swedish St. Lucia Buns

Cuisine: Swedish
Courses: Breads
Serves: 24 people

Recipe Ingredients

1 cup 237mlMilk
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlPowdered saffron or saffron threads
3/4 cup 148g / 5.2ozSugar
1 teaspoon 5mlSalt
1/2 cup 99g / 3.5ozButter - softened
2   Active dry yeast
3/4 cup 177mlWarm water
6 cups 375g / 13ozFlour - (to 7 cups)
2   Eggs
1/2 cup 80g / 2.8ozGolden raisins - scalded, drained,
  And dried
1/2 cup 46g / 1.6ozGround blanched almonds
1   Egg - beaten with
1 tablespoon 15mlWater - for an egg wash
48   Golden raisins - for decorating

Recipe Instructions

In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it is just scalded. Remove it from the heat and add the saffron, sugar, salt, and butter, blending well. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water, stirring until the yeast is dissolved. Blend in the milk mixture. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, the 1/2 cup raisins, and the almonds. Gradually add sufficient flour to make a soft, workable dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cover it, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a clean, oiled bowl; turn the dough over to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until it is doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Grease two baking sheets. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Divide one piece of the dough into 6 pieces. Cur each in half; you will have 12 pieces in all.

Using your hands, roll each piece into a rope 10 to 12 inches long. Cross 2 ropes on a baking sheet and roll each end into a snail or curl. Press a large raisin in the center of each curl and brush the bun with the egg glaze. Repeat the procedure with the remaining portions of the dough. Cover the buns and let them rise until light and puffy, about 50 minutes.

About 10 minutes before the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the buns until golden, about 10 minutes. Let the buns cool on wire racks.

This recipe yields 24 buns.

TIME-LIFE OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS COOKBOOK by Time-Life Books (c) 1996 - Time-Life Books, Richmond, VA - 223 pages - $24.95 - As reprinted in the Nov/Dec, 1997 issue of Cookbook Digest


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