I found a recipe for saffron bread already translated into English — but the part of drying the saffron in the oven is new to me. I have looked at other recipes, and haven't found anything about drying it — so you can skip that part, unless you want to bake one batch with dried and one without drying it and compare the results! These buns are eaten not only at Lucia — they taste just as much Christmas as Lucia.
SAFFRANSBRÖD — SAFFRON BREAD
Saffron bread is traditional for Swedish Christmas. It is strange that this exotic spice used so much in the rice dishes of the Orient has found its way to this northern country. Here it is put into a sweet dough which is shaped into very artistic looking buns "lussekatter" in Swedish. These buns are served traditionally on the thirteenth of December the day of St. Lucia with the early morning coffee. Saffron gives the breed a lovely yellow colour And a piquant flavor.
½ teaspoon saffron1 cup lukewarm cream or milk1 package fresh yeast (50g)
1/3 cup sugar1/3 teaspoon salt1 egg beaten1 cup butter, melted1 cup raisins4 cups sifted all-purpose flour (about)
Dry saffron a few minutes in a very low oven temperature (otherwise it loses its colour). Crush with mortar and pestle or with a spoon in a bowl until powdery. Spoon one tablespoon of warm cream or milk over saffron and let stand for a few minutes.Dissolve yeast in remaining creem or milk add sug ar salt egg butter raisins dissolved saffron and half of flour. Beat with wooden spoon until well blended then gradually add more flour until dough is smooth and not too firm.Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.Place dough in a buttered bowl turning the dough over so that it will be greased on all sides .Cover with towel and let rise in a warm place (85 F) until double in bulk (about 1 ½ hours). Punch down dough. Knead dough lightly. Flour handsand shape the buns pinch off small pices of dough and roll out on floured surface into 7-inch long strips. Pinch 2 stripes together in the center curl in each end. Stick a raisin in each curl. Place buns on buttered cookie sheet. Cover let rise for about 45 minutes or until impression remains when finger is gently pressed into dough.Brush buns with beaten egg.Bake in hot oven(400 F) 10-15 minutes.Makes about 20 buns.