Lucia Buns


cup slivered almonds
teaspoon cardamom seed
teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
cup butter or margarine - (⅙ lb) melted, cooled
2 lrgs egg yolks
5 cups all-purpose flour - (to 5 ¼)
1 lrg egg
cup raisins - (about)


In a blender or food processor, whirl 1/3 cup slivered almonds until finely ground.
In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) water. Let stand until yeast is soft, about 5 minutes. Crush cardamom seed on a hard surface with a flat-bottom glass. Add cardamom to bowl along with salt, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, ground almonds, milk, 1/3 cup melted butter, and egg yolks; mix to blend. Add 5 cups flour and stir until moistened.
To knead with a dough hook, beat on medium speed until dough no longer feels sticky and pulls cleanly from bowl, 8 to 10 minutes. If dough is still sticky, beat in more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
To knead by hand, scrape dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, 10 to 15 minutes; add flour as required to prevent sticking. Return dough to bowl.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until at least doubled in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Mix with dough hook or knead briefly on a lightly floured board to expel air.
Divide dough into 20 equal pieces (about 1/4-cup size) and shape each into a smooth ball. On an unfloured board, roll 1 ball at a time under your palms to make a 16-inch rope. Cut the rope in half crosswise. On a buttered 14- by 17-inch baking sheet (you'll need 2), lay 1 cut rope across the other to form an X. Roll each cut end to the center, forming a bun composed of 4 coils. Repeat to shape other buns, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Firmly press 1 raisin deep into the center of each coil (you'll need 4 raisins for each bun, about 1/4 cup total).
Cover buns loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until slightly puffy, 20 to 25 minutes; the first pan will be ready to bake before the second. In a small bowl, beat 1 large egg to blend. Uncover buns and brush lightly with the egg; save extra for other uses or discard.
Bake in a 350 degree oven (325 degrees in a convection oven) until buns are medium golden brown, about 15 minutes. If using 1 oven, switch pan positions when the first buns have baked 7 or 8 minutes. With a wide spatula, transfer buns to a rack. Serve hot, warm, or cool.
This recipe yields 20 buns.
Comments: Though the Scandinavian tradition is to serve these buns on St. Lucia Day, December 13, the Fowler family of Olympia, Washington, also presents them at their holiday buffet. The girl in the family who has most recently turned 12 or 13 years old, wearing a white dress and a crown with candles, offers the buns to guests. The buns are also fine at breakfast with raspberry jam. If making buns up to 1 day ahead, cool, wrap airtight, and store at room temperature; freeze to store longer. Reheat, sealed in foil and thawed, in a 350 degree oven until warm, about 10 minutes.




1.0 servings


Friday, February 12, 2010 - 6:36pm



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