St Lucia Buns
Makes 19 buns
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon saffron, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) vodka
  • ⅔ cup (160 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  • 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • Garnish: Swedish pearl sugar*
  1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind together 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar and saffron. Place in a small bowl, and add vodka. Let stand for at least 20 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat ⅔ cup (160 grams) milk and remaining ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture registers 110°F (43°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat. Whisk in yeast; let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in sour cream and 1 egg (50 grams); whisk in saffron mixture.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place yeast mixture. With mixer on low speed, gradually add half of flour mixture, beating until incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next, about 5 minutes total, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add remaining flour mixture, beating until incorporated. Continue beating until dough is smooth and elastic, about 16 minutes.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Shape dough into a smooth round, and place in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch down dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 19 (50-gram) pieces. (Keep dough covered while shaping so it does not dry out.) Roll each portion into a 12- to 13-inch rope, letting ends taper. Roll each end into a tight spiral in opposite directions, meeting in the middle to create an S shape. Place at least 3 inches apart on prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg (50 grams) and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) milk. Brush top and sides of each bun with egg wash. Top with pearl sugar, if desired.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cool on a wire rack. Buns will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.
*We used Lars Own Swedish Pearl Sugar.
Recipe by Bake from Scratch at