healthy eating my way (allergy friendly)

Saint Lucia Buns-Saffron buns-Lusse katter-Scandinavian 13.December traditions

Today kids in school, pre-school and kindergarden will dress up in white gowns. It is St.Lucia’s day and also a day for light, on of the biggest  days in Advent ( the count down to Christmas).  This is celebrated  in all of Scandinavia   ( Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland).

Saint Lucia was a young girl that in 304 AD was killed for her faith.  She was a Italian martyr. Her name means  “light”. She used to secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, they were all hiding in the catacombs under the city. And that is also why the always wore candles on her head so that she would have both hands free.

When Christianity came to Norway, this day got turned into a holiday, it mixed elements of the chatolic church, but also of ancient traditions.

In the old days, long before my grandmother time, which I used to say “was” the old days when I was a kid. Lussier Long Night was the longest and most dangerous nights of them all, this day is the day that the trolls and other superstitions.People would rather stay indoors, burning candles and looking into the night.

To read more about this see here:

Lussier Long Night

St.Lucia and Advent

So my mum and me, decided to bake the traditional buns that goes to this day yesterday.  The warm place to let the dough sit and rest was next to the crackling wood oven in the living room. As it was pouring down frozen rain last night, it was the perfect time to stay inside.

Makes 25-28 buns

150 g butter

1.5 kg spelt flour

2 tsp yeast

5 dl milk

1 dl palm sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp turmeric (gurkemeie) or use 1gr. saffron

1 tsp cardamom

1 dl raisins ( for topping)

1 egg


1.Blend all the dry ingredients (minus raisins)

2. Heat up the milk until it is luke warm, and add it to the mix

3. Let the dough raise for 1 hr on a warm place

4. Roll out the dough, and put it in the different shapes. There are a lot to choose from. But the buns on a tray, and add on the raisins. If you wonder how to do this, here is a link to how to do it on youtube. (could not find one in English, so it is in Swedish).

All of these have different names:  Christmas pig (julegris), golden wagon (gullvogn) to mention some.

5. Let raise again for about 30 minutes. While you do that, preheat oven to 225 C

6.Whisk the egg, and “paint” the buns with it, before putting them in the oven.

7. Bake for about 10 minutes.


9 comments on “Saint Lucia Buns-Saffron buns-Lusse katter-Scandinavian 13.December traditions

  1. Heather
    December 13, 2011


  2. Kristina
    December 13, 2011

    I’ve heard about St Lucia’s day, but thank you for telling a story in more detail! It became a nice and beautiful tradition 🙂 And your buns look mouth watering… I would so love to have one now even though I had my breakfast already 🙂

    • alternative eating
      December 13, 2011

      I had a couple for lunch:) 🙂 There is many ways of telling the story, but I tried to make it as short as possible:) 🙂 🙂

  3. Jenn Jennings
    December 13, 2011

    I had to share this – the tradition is gorgeous!

    • alternative eating
      December 13, 2011

      Sharing is a good thing:) 🙂 Yes, I’ve always looked forward to this day, kid or not….In school, junior high, we made these our selfs, but in pre-school, and kindergarden it was always the teachers, but we got to sing, and eat these buns:) 🙂

  4. Sara
    December 15, 2011

    How fun to read this–I made st. Lucia buns too, I used the 100% whole wheat recipe in Peter Reinhart’s whole grain baking book. So fun to form them into little s-shapes!

    • alternative eating
      December 15, 2011

      Yes, they are always fun to make:) 🙂 I look forward to the time comes around to make these:) 🙂

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