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Glad Lucia!

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It’s Lucia Day in Sweden which means on the other side of the Atlantic it’s time for singing the Lucia song and baking saffron bread. And drinking glögg of course.

Saffransbröd – Saffron Bread adapted from Vår Kokbok

Almond paste

  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Mix almonds and sugar in Cuisinart or blender until a chunky paste forms. Set aside.

Saffransbröd – Saffron Bread

  • 1/2 gram saffron
  • 75 grams butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3 cups flour
  • Currants for decoration

For gluten-free version substitute flour with

  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking flour
  • 1 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free biscuit and baking mix
  • 1 teaspoon xantham gum

Crush saffron in a small bowl with a little bit of sugar. Add a couple tablespoons of the milk and set aside.

Melt butter in a small pot and add milk. Heat until warm (you should still be able to stick your finger in).

Measure out yeast in a small bowl and mix in a little of the butter and milk. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, salt, egg, saffron mixture and rest of milk and butter. Add in yeast mixture.

Let rise for 30 minutes.

Knead on floured surface.

Take a small amount of dough, a few tablespoons, and divide the rest into two evenly sized balls, Work first ball into a circle, about 10″ in diameter and spread with almond paste.

Make a second circle and cover the first, pinching the edges together. With the leftover dough, roll into a long roll and decorate cake as you see fit. Note: most traditional saffran bread incorporates a lot of curlicues.

Cover with cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.

Decorate with currants and glaze with a beaten egg.

Bake at 400 F for 15-20 min.

Glögg – Swedish Mulled Wine

  • peel of 1/2 an orange
  • 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 2 teaspoons whole cardamon
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 cup madeira
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds

Boil water and spices and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 30 minutes. Add almonds.

Add madeira and wine and let simmer. Serve warm.

Written by Anna Brones

December 13, 2011 at 09:30

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