On Dec 13th every year, we celebrate St.Lucia. A school or community might hold an event for it. Usually, a girl is selected to be the Lucia, and she will be trained to carry burning candles on her head. Together with star boys and Lucia maids, they sing the Sankta Lucia song, holding candles, parade through the lanes. Although the original story about Lucia from Italy has a bit gory details, here Lucia symbolizes the light. As we in Nordic have to suffer the long, dark and cold winter for almost half a year (such as watching sunset at noon and sky getting dark after 3pm), the date from which the day time becomes longer has more meaning to us.
Here is a list of Lucia songs you can listen to on Spotify:
Lussekatt, or Lucia cat, is a traditional saffron sweet bread with raisins, eaten around this time. Or if you like, you can start to fill your home with them during the whole month. They come in different shapes, with different names, however, the most popular shape tends to be S-shape, with rolled-up ends and a raisin in the center of each rolled-up ends. It’s also common to make two S-shaped lussekatts, then as a cross or next to each other. Those shapes originates from ancient patterns, some of which traceable all the way back to the Bronze Age, (1700-500 BC). Those were popular patterns for jeweleries as well.
Most lussekatter available in store are not vegan, so I have never tried one until I made those vegan version myself. I was a bit worried without egg they might not be soft, but with some experimentation, I came up with the right recipe which has lovely results. I hope you enjoy this plant-based lussekatt as much as us.
Kitchen Gagets: Oven
Makes 12 rolls
80 g vegan butter
1 cup (250ml) soy milk
½ cup (125ml) sugar
1 packet (0.5 g) saffron powder
1 1/2 tsp (7.5ml) dry yeast
3 cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup raisin
1 to 2 tbsp coconut oil to grease the top, optional
1. Soak the raisins in warm water.
2. Melt butter in the soy milk, add sugar, and mix well.
3. Add saffron powder, stir to mix, cool the mixture to 37 °C (98.6 °F).
4. Add the yeast to the milk and stir to mix well. Pour the mixture into a big mixing bowl.
5. Sift flour and salt into the milk, and mix with a wooden spoon to form a sticky dough.
6. Transfer the dough into a lightly floured surface. Knead with hands until the dough becomes smooth. Put the dough back to the bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rise in the warm place for 30 minutes.
7. Punch the dough, knead it lightly and take it out to a floured surface, get ready to shape them.
8. Divide the dough to 12 pieces. Take 1 piece, roll it to a long stick, then roll from both ends but towards different direction, for instance, from the right side, roll it upwards towards the left, and from the left side, roll it downwards towards the right, until it meets in the middle. Squeeze them a bit to stick the parts firmly. Place a raisin in the center of each round swirl. You can also experiment with other interesting shapes!
9. Preheat the oven at 200 °C (392 °F ).
10. After shaping leaving them in a warm place, covered with a damp cloth, let it rise for another 30 minutes. Brush the top with coconut oil, which can help the bread brown in a nice way and add a bit crispy texture to the crust.
10. Bake for 10 minutes.