A Lussestjärna to Lucia day in Sweden 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016
It occurred to me that I was much more enthusiastic last year about lussekatter and had by end of November 2015, already baked a batch in their traditional shapes. This year, I am rather, on the day itself for baking Lucia saffron buns, though keeping my sight pegged a little farther ahead in the week. In seven days on 21 December at 10:44 UTC, the winter solstice will be here and so the globe turns. It’s something I’m looking forward to, and thought to celebrate the day of St. Lucia in Sweden, with a traditional saffron bun, baked in the shape of a star.
While I do have a favourite recipe for a saffron bun that doesn’t dry out too soon over the counter, this time around, I followed a recipe from a cookbook that called for adding the butter and saffron mixture after the dough had risen once over. It was labelled ‘grandmother’s lussekatter recipe’, I trusted it. The striations are done by first placing four pieces of thinly rolled dough in disk shape over each other, where the layers (stacked like pancakes) are buttered and dusted over with cocoa power in between. Nutella will work beautifully here too. These are then cut, twisted and pinched at the ends to form the star shape. The bun is then baked at 180 deg C for about fifteen to eighteen minutes, or until baked through.
At about 4 deg C outdoors and fairly clear skies in Gothenburg, the best Tuesday evening’s activity would be to spend time indulging a little with this Lussestjärna warm from the oven, with some pieces of gingerbread hearts, and coffee.