The best thing about Christmas is caramels with sea salt and of course saffron buns! I used to make normal Swedish saffron buns (lussekatter), before I realised that they become much moister and more flavourful if I fill them with white chocolate. So I started to make filled saffron buns but nowadays I use the same recipe but shape the buns as a big Christmas Star. Easy to make one big instead of many small, and so beautiful to look at! Video with instructions are avaibale on Instagram reels, click here to watch! Make any shape you prefer! Why not like a cinnamon roll?
I usually double the recipe and make two Christmas Stars. This is the perfect thing to have in the freezer when you get saffron cravings! The recipe is inspired from this recipe in Swedish, but I have changed a few things. I hope you like it!
Don’t like white chocolate? Don’t worry, the white chocolate just gives it some moisture and sweetness, so give it a try!
You can use ground saffron if you want, but I prefer to use saffron threads and use a mortar to grind it together with a teaspoon of sugar. And then I let it rest in a tablespoon of orange juice overnight!
Recipe for saffron Christmas Star with white chocolate or Swedish saffron buns. (Saffranskrans eller lussebullar med vit choklad)
- 100 g salted butter, room temperature (don't melt!)
- 25 g fresh yeast
- 2.5 dl milk
- 0.5 g saffron
- 0.25 tsp salt
- 1 dl sugar
- 6-7 dl flour
- 40 g salted butter, room temperature
- 100 g white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 egg and pearl sugar for topping (optional)
Crumble the yeast in a bowl. Heat milk together with the saffron until it is 37 degrees C. Pour the milk and saffron mixture over the yeast and dissolve the yeast. Add the butter (soft but not melted).
Then stir in sugar and salt and add as much flour as needed to get a nice dough. Be careful not to pour everything at once. When the dough releases the edges, you don’t need to add more flour. Too much flour means dry buns. Work the dough for at least 10 minutes until you have a smooth and fine dough. Let it rise under a baking towel for 30 minutes.
Shaping of the Christmas Star:
Line a tray with parchment paper. Shape the dough as desired. Watch my video on Instagram (click here) to see how to make the Christmas Star shape. You need to divide the dough in three pieces. Then roll out every piece round and flat around 25 cm diameter. Place the first one on the parchment paper. Spread half of the butter on the dough and sprinkle half of the chocolate on top of it. Cover with the second layer of dough and spread rest of the butter and rest of the chocolate on top of it. Cover with the last layer of dough.
Place a 7-8 cm bowl in the middle and cut 16 slices towards this bowl. Twist two of these cut outs two times outwards and press together the ends. Cover the ends under the bread. Do the same thing with rest of the 14 cut outs, and you will have a nice star! Cover with a baking towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Mix an egg with a teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt (easier application) and brush the star with it. If you are using pearl sugar, sprinkle some on top of the Christmas Star. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the middle of the oven, until golden brown. Eat and enjoy!
Use your favourite filling. Or just make standard Swedish buns with the dough and add some raisins. You will get the Swedish “lussekatter”.