...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Food journal number 58: a better recipe for saffron buns

...and an ever better way to present it!

The recipe for saffron buns (Lussekatter / Lussebullar) that I shared last year required quark, which is difficult to find in some countries. Quark is a cheese product, so it makes the buns more protein rich while also making them more fluffy. But looking at it from another angle, quark is also a baking "cheat" since its another purpose is actually to make the dough easier to knead. Baking saffron buns without quark is not only possible – the result is actually more delicious (and traditional!). These are definitely the best saffron buns I've made so far. If, like me, you don't have a kitchen mixer, be prepared to knead for 30 minutes. Some regard it as therapeutic ;-)

Saffron buns without quark (Lussekatter / Lussebullar utan Kasella)

Makes 30 -40 buns. Finished buns can be frozen and then defrosted in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

2 packets saffron (2 x 0.5 g)
1.5 deciliters white sugar
150 g butter
5 dl milk
50 g yeast (jäst för söta degar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 dl flour
1 egg for brushing

1. With a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron finely with 1 tablespoon sugar.

2. Melt the butter on low heat, add the milk and warm to finger temperature (37 degrees C).

3. Crumb the yeast into a mixing bowl, add the saffron and some of the butter-milk mixture and mix until the yeast is dissolved. Then add the rest of the butter-milk mixture, sugar, salt and almost all of the flour (save about a deciliter for kneading / shaping).

4. If you have a kitchen mixer, mix with dough hooks on low speed for 6-8 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and shiny. If kneading by hand, it takes around 30 minutes. The finished dough should feel supple, but not hard, and it should look shiny. If the dough is too soft, add some more flour. You can do a windowpane test – taking a marble-sized piece of dough and stretching it out until you can almost see light through it without the dough breaking apart – to test if it's kneaded long enough.

5. Let the dough rise under cover for 60 minutes in room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

6. When the dough has risen, transfer to a floured board, cut into two pieces, and then into rolls, until you form long logs as thick as your thumb. Form them any way you like. I made some into braids, some as traditional S-shapes ("cats", thus the name Lussekatter), and I shaped the rest of the dough into a long braid that I connected together as a wreath. Decorate with raisins.

7. Preheat the oven to 225 C and let the buns rise for 30 minutes under cover

8. Brush the buns / braids / wreaths carefully with a whisked egg before baking in the middle of the oven for 7-8 minutes.

9. Let cool under a baking cloth. The buns will get a better "bounce" to them when allowed to cool completely for some hours.


Anonymous sapphire said...

hmmm, i had no idea lussekatter called for quark. i remember in the US i made the buns without but i don't remember the recipe now.

guess i will a batch of each sort and see what happens. :)

10:56 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

The secret is kneading these for a loooong time. When I kneaded by hand, they turned out fluffier (luftigare). As in it was really, really nice elastic dough unbaked and really rised when it was baked. A friend tried mixing the dough by machine for 6 minutes. The result is also delicious, but I didn't think that the dough was as fluffy as my hand-kneaded ones. I think the trick is to get as much air in the dough as possible.

7:56 AM


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