My boyfriend had been raving about these saffron buns that he had tried at work recently so we decided to try and make them. They're a Swedish specialty called Lussebulle that are usually made on the 13th December which is St. Lucia day. They are similar to brioche but not as sweet, and are bright yellow because of the saffron. They were quite simple to make so I thought I would share how we did it. We used this recipe but tweaked it a bit and didn't add raisins because my boyfriend hates them. We made some into the original S shapes but also decided to make plaits and boxemännecher, which are little man shaped brioche buns and are really popular here in Luxembourg.
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
50 g white granulated sugar
1 sachet active dry yeast (ours were 7g each)
490 all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
56g unsalted butter, softened
56g sour cream
2 large eggs
1 egg, beaten to brush over the buns
Heat the milk, saffron and teaspoon of sugar together in a small pan. Once the milk is steaming, remove from heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Then let the milk cool until it is no longer hot, but warm. Pour in the yeast and leave it for 5-10 minutes until it starts to foam.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the milk mixture, eggs, butter and sour cream. Mix all of this together until it's all combined. Knead the dough and add extra flour if it is too sticky to handle. The dough should still be a bit sticky but good enough to handle.
Shape it into a ball, put it in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place to prove for 1-2 hours. Once it is double the size, press it down and knead a few times. We then chopped it into equal sized balls, each weighing 100g. If you want to make the traditional buns, then roll the ball into a snake and form an S, with each end curled into a spiral. But really, you can make whatever you want. Place them onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to prove again for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Once they are done, preheat the oven to 205°C and brush each bun with beaten egg. We then sprinkled some sugar on top but you can also add raisins if you want. Bake for 10 minutes until the buns are golden brown, then let them cool for a few minutes before eating. They are delicious especially when served with a nice hot chocolate so that you can dunk pieces in.