Friday, December 14, 2007

Lussekatter for Santa Lucia Day

13th of December is Santa Lucia day. When I was a girl we did not celebrate this day in Norway, but during the past 20 or so years we have adapted the Swedish way of celebrating. We started when the boys were small (they are now 25 and 23), but our celebrations became real traditions when the girls were born and we could start Lucia morning with the youngest girl in the family walking from badroom to bedroom singing the Santa Lucia song, serving lussekatter and hot chocolate. I am dreading the day when Marta says that she has outgrown the dressing up part, and was a little anxious when I asked her this year what she would do. She was quiet for a few seconds, but then proclaimed that she wanted to dres up in her old white Lucia dress, wear the light crown and wake up her siblings. Two of they are at home right now. Ingrid still lives at home, Torgeir are just back home after finishing his studies in Australia and lives at home till he gets a job and his own flat.
Safron is needed to get the right yellow colour of the lussekatter. Usually I buy it at the apotech and it costs a fortune for the half gram I use. But right now I have several grams which my sister in law bought in Greece last summer. I use the same dough as I use for sweet rolls + a little saffron for the yellow colour. The rolls shall be formed in different ways, every form has its own name according to different Lucia attributs.

lussekatter
300g butter
1 liter water
100g fresh yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3dl sugar
1,5kg white flour
1/2 to 1 g saffron

Melt the butter and add water to have a fingerwarm fluid, add the yeast and let it melt.Mix flour sugar, salt and saffron, and add the fluid. Knead well, I use an kitchen aid. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes.

Form the lussekatter or roll them out. Let rise for another 30 minutes.

Bake in 225C for about 12-15 minutes.



4 comments:

fleur said...

Thanks for the recipe!
And for the explanation because now I know why my dad's family (originally from Norway) didn't celebrate Santa Lucia Day. My mom's family was originally from Sweden so when I was little, we did. It's a lovely tradition, I'm glad Norway celebrates it now.

Barbara said...

I wonder whether you really need just 1/2 to 1 gramm saffron for this recipe? It sounds so little in comparison with 1,5 kg flour. Does the "lussekatter" get the smell and the colour of saffron? And how do I form them? Sorry for all these questions, but I'd like to try to bake them (though only half of it!).
Regards, Barbara

Britt-Arnhild said...

Barbara- here are a few links for you:
http://lucullian.blogspot.com/2005/12/lussekatter.html

http://hem.bredband.net/berteg/lusse.htm

http://brittarnhildshouseinthewoods.typepad.com/brittarnhilds_house_in_th/2005/12/december_13th.html

Yes, one gram is enough. Saffron it terrible expensive here in Norway, therefore I sometimes use only 1/2 gram and it seems okay too. This year I used 1g though.

Barbara said...

Thank you for your answer and all the links.I use saffron for my Italian risotto and there I take about 1 g (it is also rather expensive here) in powder. The risotto gets a wonderful yellow colour (and you can also "smell" the saffron!).
Have a nice day Britt-Arnhild!