Swedish Lucia bread

Swedish Lucia bread

By
From
The Scandinavian Cookbook
Makes
22
Photographer
Lars Ranek

Legend has it that on 13 December 1764 a gentleman in Sweden was roused in the middle of the night by a beautiful voice. He saw a young woman in white moving through his room singing. She had wings and was carrying a candle. That was Lucia the Saint. She brought light, food and wine as comfort on what was, in the Gregorian calendar, the longest night of the year. We celebrate that on 13th December. Children will walk with lit candles singing the beautiful Lucia carol and bringing the Lucia bread.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
40g yeast
500ml milk, lukewarm
5g saffron
200g butter, melted
1kg plain wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
100g caster sugar
50g raisins

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
44 raisins
1 egg, beaten

Method

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a mixing bowl, then add the saffron and keep stirring until the mixture turns yellow. Add the melted butter. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then stir in the sugar and raisins.
  2. Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes cleanly from the edge of the bowl. Knead the dough on a floured work surface for 10 minutes, until it is shiny but not sticky. Put the dough back in the bowl and leave to rise for 1 1⁄2 hours at room temperature.
  3. Lightly knead the dough again on a floured work surface. Divide it into 22 equal pieces. Roll them into sausages then curl the ends so that each piece is shaped like the number 8. Put one raisin in the middle of each circle. Place the breads on baking trays lined with baking paper, cover with tea towels and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the risen breads with beaten egg and bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden brown all over, then remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Eat them as they are, or spread with cold butter.
Tags:
Scandinavian
Trine Hahnemann
seasonal
healthy
Danish
Swedish
Norwegian
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