Festive Recipes – Santa Lucia Buns
The feast of St. Lucy (Santa Lucia) is coming up this week, on December 13. One of the most fun things about being Catholic, I think, is that we get so many excuses to celebrate something. And we have lots of great foods to share among our many world cultures.
The following is a recipe I received from my daughter’s Waldorf school class many years ago. Her class made these buns for the rest of the school. Of course, we had to taste them too. They are delicious.
Santa Lucia Buns
2 cups of scalded milk
1 cup of warm water
2 tablespoons (packages) of yeast
8 tablespoons of honey (½ cup)
½ teaspoon of saffron (or 1 teaspoon of cardamom)
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of golden raisins (plus extras for decorating)
8-10 cups of sifted white flour
¼ cup butter (plus extra to grease pan and top of dough)
1 egg (for glazing dough)
Melt butter in milk, cool to lukewarm. Measure honey into warm water; mix until dissolved. Add yeast, let it sit until bubbly. Add raisins, saffron (or cardamom), and salt.
Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until dough is slightly sticky. Knead until smooth and elastic on a floured board. Grease bowl. Form dough into a ball and grease top. Let rise, covered, until double. Shape dough into little “cats” and let rise on greased, covered baking sheet until almost doubled. (They can also be rolled into logs about 7 x ½” in size and shaped into spirals or other shapes.) Glaze with egg.
Bake in preheated 425º oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Do not overbake. Brush with glaze after cool.
Sift ½ cup confectioner’s sugar. Add 2 teaspoons of hot milk and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla. Let dry once brushed onto buns.
Serve warm with coffee, tea, or cocoa. Enjoy!