RECIPES

St Lucia buns

St Lucia buns

These saffron-infused, raisin-studded buns actually hail from Sweden and make a delicious festive snack at Christmas.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over a low heat until gently steaming. Remove the pan from the heat, add the saffron threads and butter and set aside for 10 minutes, or until the saffron has infused the milk and the milk has cooled slightly.

  2. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl, then add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the sugar.

  3. Strain the saffron-infused milk over the bowl of flour, then add the quark. Stir the mixture using your fingers until it comes together as a soft dough and the sides of the bowl are clean.

  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-6 minutes, or until the dough is no longer sticky and has a smooth, silky exterior. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1½-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

  5. Brush two baking sheets with vegetable oil or dust with flour.

  6. When the dough has proved, knock it back, then divide into 12 equally-sized pieces. Roll the pieces of dough into 30cm/12in-long sausage shapes.

  7. Bend four of the pieces of dough into S-shapes, coiling each end of the S-shape tightly like a scroll. Place onto one of the prepared baking trays.

  8. Shape another four pieces of dough into S-shapes, but this time just tuck the ends of the S-shapes back on themselves rather than coiling them tightly. Place two of the S-shapes on one of the prepared baking trays, and place the other two on top of them to create cross shapes.

  9. The remaining pieces of dough can be shaped into traditional animal shapes including oxen, cats and birds - alternatively, bend them into S-shapes as before.

  10. Cover the dough shapes loosely with cling film and set aside to prove again for 30-45 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.

  11. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

  12. Brush the dough shapes all over with a little of the beaten egg yolk, then garnish each shape with two raisins (for the S-shaped buns, place the raisins in the centre of each coil of dough).

  13. Bake the buns in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown and cooked through. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

How-to videos