Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saffron bread with almond filling - Lussebullar med mandel massa

Its 13 December today and its Santa Lucia day here in Sweden. The swedes take this day quite seriously and there's always a choir on TV singing the hauntingly lovely song to get everyone in the mood. They also have saffron bread, which normally starts on 4 Sundays before Christmas, they call it 'advent' here. Today is the third advent and they will lit up 3 candles at one time, with the fourth being lit up altogether on the fourth advent day. If you are ever in Sweden during this time, you will also see many stars and electric candles being displayed and lit up in the windows. I love it, and especially with the short days, it just makes the long nights a little magical with Christmas coming up soon!

It snowed today! Well, just a little bit, we are hoping it will keep up and we may have a white Christmas. We made some Christmas candies at my parents-in-graces place last week, I especially like one call 'Knäck', will try it out and post up the recipe soon, its very easy!

I tried out saffron bread yesterday, after craving it for so long and I think my mother-in-grace makes the best and this year was especially good! However, all the recipes was in her head so she wrote down the bare basics and I tried to figure out the rest of the steps from Anne's blog on pistachio buns and saffron buns.

This is very delicious and freezes well too, just let it cool down before you freeze, and before serving, just microwave it to heat it up and it will be perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

With almond paste filling

Ingredients - This makes 2 large loaves

500 ml milk, finger warm
100g butter, melted
25g fresh yeast, or equivalent of dried yeast
150ml kesella (or quark) or cooking cheese
1 whole egg
0.5grams of saffron (this is very expensive!Here, they come ready in packets of 0.5grams)
1 teaspoon of cardamon powder
1-1.5kg of plain flour (You really have to vary this depending on the absorption of the flour)
150g butter and 400g almond paste
Almond slices and pearl sugar for decoration
Egg wash with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of water

  1. Warm up the milk, and using about 100ml of it, dissolve it with the fresh yeast. Remember to have it fingerwarm otherwise you might 'kill' the yeast. Add it to about 1kg flour, kesalla, egg and cardamon powder mixture.
  2. Pour in the melted butter with the rest of the milk. Add it gradually to form a very soft dough, add in the saffron and gradually add the rest of the flour until you get a nice and soft dough.
  3. Cover with a towel and let it proof for about 30 minutes in a large mixing bowl.

    Proofed and ready saffron dough

  4.  Divide the dough into halves, take each half and roll it out with your hand until it forms a large rectangle. Make sure your surface is well floured to prevent it from sticking.
  5. Using a cheese slicer or butter knife, slice and lay out the almond paste and butter evenly on the rectangular dough.
  6. With the length of the dough facing you, fold a third of the dough inwards from left to center, and the remaining third of the dough from right to overlap the center portion.
  7. Using a baking sheet that covers the length of the dough, flip it over gently so the folded sides should be at the bottom, resting on the baking sheet.
  8. Take a pair of scissors and cut along the surface of the dough to make a pattern. Decorate with almond slices and pearl sugar, and brush a layer of egg wash over. Let it rest for another 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Celsius, and bake it for about 10-15 minutes or until the surface is golden brown. Keep a watch on it after 10 minutes.
  10. Let it cool before slicing, or freezing. Enjoy!
Saffron bread with almond filling

Mandel Massa mellan

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sasa
    I have been once in Sweden at the time of Sant Lucia and it was magical ! Today it has snowed a lot in Paris so we have more than you in Sweden that's incredible !! thanks for your sharing on this saffron bread!!!
    I am Pierre Based in Paris France I have created my food blog dedicated to creative French food so feel free to have a visit you are very welcome !
    cheers from Paris