I don’t know about where you are but where I am it’s dark really early. Before 6 in the evening the sun is long gone and it’s gotten to dark. Our Kitchen of the Month, Judy, has picked a wonderful roll/bun to light up the short early dark days of December! Saffron is the spice to provide the light. These are a traditional Christmas celebration bread in Italy and Scandinavia.
I found this a wonderfully silky dough to work even using a lot of white whole wheat flour. I always try to bake with some whole grain flour.
Why did I feel compelled to convert this to a sourdough? I think just because I’ve recently gotten a sourdough going again and so I’m trying hard to keep it going. The way I did the sourdough does add considerable time to the process and I’m sure if you follow Judy’s yeasted recipe you’ll have these little bun coming out of your oven much sooner. Still I really enjoyed the longer time and am totally delighted with the end product.
My only regret is when I got to the shaping and my hands were deep into this I’d forgotten the simple shaping of making these into cats. I really want to do that next time. I think Elizabeth will be doing cats but won’t be posting yet for several days. Maybe one/some of the other Babes will be doing the cat shape but I’m sure one/some will have some variety so check them out.
St. Lucia Saffron Buns, Lussekatter
Yield: 18 rolls
60 g starter
70 g water
60 g white whole wheat
All of the above leaven
105 g water
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
3 tablespoons King Arthur dry milk powder
220 g white whole wheat
120 g bread flour
110 g AP flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
56 g unsalted butter, softened
60 g of sour cream
30 g wildflower honey
2 large eggs
Raisins, currants, dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries
1 egg, beaten
The night before mix together the leaven. Cover and leave at room temperature for 10 to 14 hours until bubbly.
Warm water and saffron in microwave about 20 seconds. (I held the butter for the second fold, next time I may try adding it when I’ve finished kneading it the first time and before starting the folding). Stir in the honey, sour cream and eggs until blended. Let cool until about 80-90°F, or warm to the touch.
Whisk flours, dry milk powder and cardamom: I held out the salt until after the first folding.
Make a well in the center of the flour and add the saffron-water mixture, the eggs, and the sour cream. Mix the ingredients until well incorporated.
Knead the dough: Knead to incorporate. Do this until the dough is still a little sticky to the touch, but does not completely stick to your hands when you handle it.
Let dough rise: Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover.
Butter and salt: I added these at the second fold. The dough really came apart. Next time I will add Butter and Salt earlier: after kneading let rest 20 minutes then add butter & salt.
Let sit in a warm place for 2-3 hours, Do at least 2 fold about 45 minutes apart then let the dough rest until about doubled. This dough became silky smooth, lovely to work.
Form dough into shapes: When the dough has doubled in size, gently press it down and knead it a couple of times. I weighed the dough and divided by 18 which required each roll to weight about 60 grams. Break off a piece and form it into a ball about 2 inches wide. Roll the ball out into a snake, about 14 inches long.
Then Curl the ends in opposite directions, forming an “S” with spirals at each end. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough. There are a number of shapes commonly accepted for these rolls.
Let sit for final rise: Cover and place in a warm spot until the dough shapes double in size, mine took an hour.
Brush with egg wash, place raisins in buns: Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Using a pastry brush, brush some beaten egg over the tops and sides of the uncooked buns. Place raisins, cranberries or cherries by really poking them in deeply otherwise they may well jump ship.
Bake: Place in the oven and bake at 400°F (205°C) for about 18 to 20 minutes (turning halfway through cooking to ensure even browning), until the buns are golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before eating.
Would I do these again? In a heart beat. The shapes can be varied easily and are all interesting. The sparkling sugar gives the buns just the perfect crunch and sweetness along with the honey. I would try a little more saffron next time as I really didn’t taste or even see much of it in the bun. These are just beauties.
If you wish to bake with us as a Buddy, please submit your post and photos by December 29th to be included in the roundup and earn your baking badge. Send to jahunt22 at gmail.com.
Visit the other Babes to check out their versions of Lussekatter.