Swedish saffron buns

Swedish saffron buns

Jane Mason
Lussebullar are a Scandinavian bun prepared and eaten specifically to celebrate St Lucia's day on the 13 December. They are super fun to make and very very yummy. They contain saffron (more expensive than gold by weight) and this proves they are a celebration bun – eaten on special occasions and and shared with special people.
Start a new tradition and invite some people over to share these with you. How hygge.
Prep Time 4 hours
Baking time 15 minutes
Servings 13 buns


  • dough scraper
  • Pastry brush
  • baking trays
  • non stick baking parchment
  • bowls



  • 400 g Plain (all purpose) white wheat flour
  • 250 g Whole milk
  • 2 g Instant yeast OR 4 g dry yeast OR 8 g fresh yeast
  • 8 g Salt
  • 1 pinch Saffron threads Large pinch, crushed
  • 50 g Sugar
  • 50 g Qwark OR plain yoghurt OR plain keffir OR buttermilk
  • 75 g Butter room temperature, cubed


  • Chocolate chips or raisins or currants or cranberries or marashino cherries or mixed peel or nuts or seeds


  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Water
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 pinch Sugar


  • Crush the saffron threads in a mortar and pestle.
  • Heat the milk to just below boiling point and add the crushed saffron. Allow it to cool right down to room temperature. This will take at least 30 minutes.
  • Measure the flour into a bowl and make a well in it. Measure in the yeast.
  • When the milk is cool, measure 225 grams of it on the yeast and then flick some flour on the milk to cover the well. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, salt, and qwark and knead for 10 minutes by hand or machine.
  • Add the butter and knead for a further 10 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl with a cloth and allow the dough to rise for 1-2 hours in order to double in bulk.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl onto a non floury surface. Divide the dough into portions of 60 grams.
  • Shape each portion of dough into a tight ball.
  • Starting with the first tight ball you have shaped, shape the dough into a rope about 20 cm in length
  • Curl one end "under" the rope to the centre.
  • Curl the other end "over" the dough until you have an elaborate S shape.
  • Using a scraper, move the bun to a baking tray that is lined with non stick parchment.
  • Repeat for all the balls and then cover the trays with cloths and let them sit for 40 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 230 degrees C (450 degrees F).
  • While the oven is heating, beat together the ingredients for the glaze and brush it on each bun. Place one of the decoration options in centre of each curl of the S.
  • Pop the buns in the oven and bake them for 12-15 minutes. They will be a wonderful golden colour when they are done.
  • Remove them from the tray and place them on a wire rack to cool.
  • Delicious with coffee, tea or mulled wine!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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