This recipe is adapted from The Great Scandinavian Cookbook, translated and edited by J. Audrey Elllison. This is an awesomely comprehensive cookbook from 1967 that I got for a friend at a used bookstore. It has all kinds of disgusting looking 1960s photos of weird Scandinavian foods, as well as very preachy and dated paragraphs on the importance of healthy eating. I found this recipe a little confusing as written, as the translation is for the UK, and is 40 years old, and I am a little thick about baking, so I have adapted it from my experience of making this, and hopefully it will make more sense to you too.
1 Tablespoon Saffron
2 packages active dry yeast
2 1/4 cup milk
14 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
For Brushing and Decorating
Crushed Rock Sugar
Crush the saffron with a mortar and pestal.
Heat the milk to about 90-100 degrees.
Mix a few tablespoons of warm milk with active yeast and a tablespoon of sugar. Set aside to activate.
Melt the butter. Add warm milk and saffron to melted butter.
Pour the milk, butter, saffron mixture into the yeast mixture.Stir in the salt, sugar about half the flower and most of the chopped almonds. Add the remaining flour gradually and work the dough until cohesive, smooth and shiny. Sprinkle a little flour on top, and cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm place to allow the dough to rise until doubled in size. (About one hour)
Knead the dough in the bowl for a little while, then turn it out onto a lightly flowered surface and knead it until smooth. (I found the dough to be extremely sticky, so I added more flour until it was handleable)
Divide the dough and roll it the pieces between your hands until you get long strips. Then form them into spirals. (These buns are often called, Lussekatter, or Lucia Cats because they resemble a cat curled up and sleeping.)
Preheat the oven to 480 degrees Farenheit.
Put the shaped dough onto a greased baking sheet and allow them to rise again for about 30 minutes. Brush with egg and sprinkle with crushed rock sugar and chopped almonds. Push a raisin into the center and the outer edge.