Saint Lucy’s Day is celebrated most commonly in Scandinavia, with their long dark winters, where it is a major feast day, and in Italy, with each emphasising a different aspect of the story. In Scandinavia, where Saint Lucy is called Santa Lucia in Norwegian and Sankta Lucia in Swedish, she is represented as a lady in a white dress (a symbol of a Christian’s white baptismal robe) and red sash (symbolizing the blood of her martyrdom) with a crown or wreath of candles on her head.
In Norway, Sweden and Swedish-speaking regions of Finland, as songs are sung, girls dressed as Saint Lucy carry cookies and saffron buns in procession, which “symbolizes bringing the light of Christianity throughout world darkness.
200 g butter
5 dl milk
25 g yeast
A pinch of saffron powder (1 tsp turmeric as an alternative)
1 tsp salt
2 dl sugar
15 - 20 dl wheat flour
1 egg for egg wash
Melt butter and add milk until lukewarm.
Crumble the yeast in a bowl and add the lukewarm milk- stir until the yeast has dissolved.
Add saffron, salt and egg and blend well.
Add a bit of flour at a time and blend well in between.
Work the dought well before you cover it with a cloth to rise until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius and line a baking sheet with paper.
On a floured surface, add the dought and separate into 16 parts.
Form different shapes as pictured above and place on the baking sheet.
Let rise for another 20 minutes.
Beat the egg and add a touch of water before brushing it over the buns.
Decorate with raisins. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden.
Enjoy your Saint Lucy's Day!
Remember that your buns will be less dry if your dough is sticky- so don't use more flour than you have to!