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Lucia Buns

 

These buns are shaped from a yeast dough made with saffron. The Swedish-speaking population of Finland claims the saffron Christmas breads for its very own. The breads first appeared on St. Lucia's Day, December 12, a day of special celebration when "little Lucia" - each classroom dubs one of its girls "Lucia"- presents her teacher with these special buns.

 

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup warm milk (105° to 115°F) 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
Santa Lucia Crown

 

Preparation

Combine warm milk, sugar, salt and margarine. Meanwhile, soak saffron in boiling water; let stand. Measure warm water into large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add milk mixture, egg, saffron and saffron water and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down ; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 18 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a strip 12-inches long. Cut in half. Coil both ends of each strip into center of strip. To form each bun, place two coiled strips back-to-back on greased baking sheets.

Cover; let rise in warm place; free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.

Press a raisin deep into the center of each coil, bake at 350°F about 15 minutes, or until done. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.

Makes 1-1/2 dozen buns.

Source: Fleischmann's "Bake-It-Easy Yeast Book"

 

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