Saffransbullar Swedish Saffron Christmas Bread

Saffran rolls

 Just a Twist of the Dough

December 13, St. Lucia Day,  marks the official start of the Christmas season in Sweden. The aroma of Lussekatter, fragrant saffron buns studded with raisins permeates the air. Throughout Sweden people meet for breakfast, brunches and holiday get-togethers.

It’s much the same in the US – lots of parties, workplace brunches, coffees and visiting with friends and family. Much of the time everybody contributes to the food buffet and it’s an opportunity to showcase baking skills with fancy tarts, cakes and breads.

Today Oli shows you how to turn those exotic tasting Lussekatter buns into a lovely bread with just a twist of the dough. Served with a cup of steaming coffee or the traditional Swedish Glögg these treats are intoxicatingly delicious.


PS: People will think you are a master artist when along with the rolls you share two lovely, complicated looking loaves of saffron bread.   In reality it’s one recipe and simply a twist of the dough.



Makes 32 saffron rolls
22 saffron rolls and 2 breads

Note:  The rolls are baked at 475 F  the bread is baked at 400 F, so don’t forget to change the oven temperature.

Make Lussekatter dough through step #5 then come back here and follow the rest of the recipe.

8 tablespoons room temperature butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups dark raisins

Egg wash
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon milk

     Preheat oven to 475 F
1.  When the lussekatter dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a rectangle then roll  out each one into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle with the long side near you.
2.  Evenly spread 4 tablespoons of butter over each rectangle of dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch border along the top edge.


3.  Sprinkle each piece of dough with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 3/4 cup of raisins.
4.  Starting with the long side nearest to you, roll the dough into a log. It will look like a jelly roll. Press the seam to seal the log and roll it so the seam side is down.

3 4. If you are only making rolls, cut each log into 16 even pieces.
5.  Place the rolls on a non stick baking sheet.  With your fingers, gently press down on each roll so they are half their current height.


  1. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and leave in a warm, draft free place.
    When they have doubled in size, brush each roll with the egg wash.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.

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To make 2 loaves and 22 rolls

Cut 11 rolls from each log and refer to the above recipe for baking.
Now you will be left with two 8-inch logs.

     Preheat oven to 400 F.
1.  With kitchen scissors or a very sharp knife, make cuts 1/2-inch apart down the length of the log. Take a look at the picture – do not cut all the way through the dough.
Fan each slice to the sides in a zig-zag fashion, until your loaf is formed.
Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let double in size.


 3.  Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until thoroughly baked and golden colored. Baking time depends on the thickness of the roll.

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Saffran bullar

Posted in Baking, Breads and Rolls, Swedish Classic | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

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