Saffron buns

These Swedish buns, known as lussebullar, are eaten around Christmas time – particularly on 13 December. This is one Swedish tradition we should be quite happy to adopt.

Saffron buns


  • 25g instant yeast
  • 400ml whole milk
  • 1g saffron powder*
  • 150g sugar
  • 200g plain skyr or Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 175g butter, melted
  • 800g strong bread flour
  • Handful raisins
  • 1 egg, for egg wash

*If using saffron strands, grind in a pestle and mortar to as fine a powder as you can possibly get. You will need more than 1g of strands as some of it will get left behind in the pestle and mortar.


  1. Heat the milk till it is lukewarm and add the yeast.
  2. Leave in a warm place for 15 mins until the yeast is activated and the milk is frothy.
  3. Add the saffron powder and allow to stand.
  4. Pour into a stand mixer and add the sugar and mix together.
  5. Add the skyr or Greek yoghurt along with the salt and egg and mix well.
  6. Add the butter while the mixer is running.
  7. Gradually add the flour, adding more than the 800g if the dough is too sticky (too much flour will make the buns dry so be careful with how much you add). The dough should be sticky but doesn’t stick too much to your finger when you touch it.
  8. Knead for 10 mins by hand or for 5 mins in a mixer with a dough hook attached.
  9. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for approx. 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  10. On a lightly floured surface, punch out the air and knead for a few mins.
  11. Cut the dough into approx. 30 pieces.
  12. Roll out each piece into a tube and roll each end into the centre forming an S shape and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  13. Place a raisin into the centre of the S shape at each end.
  14. Cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm place to rise for another 30 mins.
  15. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  16. Gently brush each bun with beaten egg and cook for 10 – 12 mins until golden on the top.
  17. Allow to cool completely and store in an air-tight container.

These buns are best eaten the day they are made but work well toasted with a little bit of butter the next day.

More in Food