I don’t need much of an excuse to bake. Give me some flour, water and a small window period, and the likely hood of knocking something up to whack into the oven is quite high.
Given that I still have an enduring love for all things Scandinavian, sourdough and (as mentioned, baking.) With the traditional day to bake St Lucia Buns (or Lussekatter) drawing near, it seemed as good as an excuse as any to preheat the oven.
My baking is fairly fluid and using what’s on hand, I’m not particular keen on excessive faffing or having ingredients I don’t often use. Saffron unfortunately sits as one of those ingredients. Traditionally used in the baking of St Lucia Buns, these Scandinavian bread treats really should be a little yellow in colour. I can happily report back however, that after eating two tray loads, the missing saffron threads were not missed.
St Lucia Buns (Lussekatter)
250g refreshed sourdough starter
1 tsp dried yeast
200g softened butter
675g of bread flour
1 tsp salt
In a mixer*, add starter, dried yeast, flour, milk and water. Mix well for approximately 5 minutes, and leave for 10 minutes. Then add in your sugar and softened butter, salt and mix again for a good 15 minutes.
Dough should be well incorporated and feeling silky smooth.
Pop the dough back into the mixing bowl if mixing by hand and leave to prove for a couple of hours, with a fold in between until doubled in size (or cover and leave over night.)
On a lightly floured bench, shape your dough in a figure of eight, placing a raisin into the circle you’ve just created. (Brush with a little beaten egg, adding decorative rock sugar if you want, as you can see I didn’t.) Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until a light golden colour at 200C
*You do all of this by hand, I use an Assistent Original for all bread making on a larger scale.