10 December 2018

The Winning Lussekatt Recipe

When I started this blog back in 2006, one of the earliest experiments I did was to try my hand at Swedish gingersnaps. Sadly I didn't put any reference in that blog post to where I found it, but it turned out to be a winner and I've never strayed from it since.

Lussekatt recipes, however, are another matter entirely, year after year I try and I've not been happy with them. Until this year. And it's actually a recipe I've made before, but this time without the filling and with a new tip from my Mum's weekly magazine. And Lundulph will not stop eating these, I swear his stomach is taking the shape of a giant lussekatt.

Ingredients

Makes about 75 small ones

1 large egg
1 pinch salt
1 g saffron, ground if available
½ dl granulated sugar
3 tbsp white rum or other pale spirit
1.5 dl raisins or sultanas
2 dl dark rum
150 g unsalted butter at room temperature
1.5 dl light or golden syrup
5 dl semi-skimmed milk
50 g fresh yeast
1 large egg
14 dl strong white flour

Method

  1. Break the first egg into a cup, add the pinch of salt and whisk to make the egg wash. Let stand on the side until required.
  2. If the saffron is not ground, place it together with the granulated sugar in a pestle and mortar and grind together as finely as possible.
  3. Transfer the saffron and sugar to a glass and add the white rum, stir together and let stand - this draws out more colour and flavour from the saffron.
  4. Pour the dark rum over the raisins/sultanas and leave them to soak. Cover the dish with a lid or cling film, to stop the kitchen smelling like a distillery.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the soft butter and syrup as fluffy as possible - this is a small amount, so would be difficult, but make sure they combine well.
  6. Warm up the milk to about 40 °C in a saucepan.
  7. In the bowl of your mixer, crumble up the fresh yeast, then pour the warm milk over and stir until the yeast has dissolved fully.
  8. Add the second egg, the saffron mixture and a couple of tablespoons of the butter syrup mixture, followed by 11 dl of the flour.
  9. Let the mixer work the mixture into a very soft dough (almost like a thick batter). Cover with a towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes.
  10. Prepare a couple of baking sheets with baking paper and have a couple of further baking papers ready. Also have a cooling rack ready so you can swap the baking sheets quickly.
  11. Now start the mixer again and add the remaining 3 dl of the flour, one at a time to bring the dough together and make it non-sticky, but still very soft.
  12. Pre-heat the oven to 225 °C (top/bottom heat, 205 °C if fan assisted).
  13. Divide the dough in 2 parts, leave one in the bowl covered and roll out the other one to about 1 cm thickness.
  14. Cut into strips of 1.5 cm thickness and about 15 cm length, then roll each strip and shape into an "S" and place on the prepared baking sheets.
  15. Once the sheet is filled, drain the raisins from the rum (do not throw it away!) and push a raisin into the middle of each swirl of the "S" shapes, then brush with the egg wash.
  16. Continue with the remaining dough.
  17. Let the lussekatter proof for about 30 minutes before baking for 8 - 9 minutes.
  18. After baking, transfer to the cooling rack and let cool down completely, before storing in an air tight container or food bag.
  19. The buns are best served on the day of baking. To bring back the fluffiness in the following couple of days, whizz for a few seconds in the microwave before eating. Otherwise, freeze immediately once they've cooled down.

Use the left-over dark rum from the raisins to enhance your mulled wine.

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