27 November: Lucia cats

Tomorrow is 1:st Advent. It’s a church thing, it’s a count down to Christmas you could say. Traditionally you (of course) go to church, but we don’t so instead we have Glögg and eat Christmasy things like gingerbread cookies and Lucia cats. So today I’ve prepared the pastry’s. I actually cheated with the gingerbread cause I bought pre made dough but I did do my own Lucia bread dough. Which is a normal wheat dough only with a little more margarine and saffron. The Lucia cat originated from Germany and was apparently used to scare off Lucifer. In the 15th century it came to Sweden  and in the 17th century it had spread all over. Now a days it’s made to celebrate and old saint called Lucia. The recipe is totally stolen from an old cookbook but it is so common I don’t think anyone would mind. Unfortunately I haven’t translated the recipe to lbs and cups but just google it and you’ll work it out!

Saffron dough makes about 34 Lucia cats

200 g margarine
5 dl soy milk
50 g yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 dl sugar
1,4-1,5 l flour
1 g saffron

Melt the margarine and take it of the stove, add the saffron and whisk it around so it colours the margarine brightly yellow. Add the milk and let it cool a little ’til it’s about 37 degrees Celsius (99 Fahrenheit or body temperature). Add the yeast and let it dissolve, then add a scoop of the flour and the sugar and salt and let it also dissolve a bit but be careful sugar can actually kill the yeast, so you have to be quick.  Add the rest of the flour and start to kneed the dough. Work in a machine for about 10 min or by hand in 15-20. Let it rest under a towel for 30 min or ’til it has doubled in size.
Now you divide the dough in two and either you only make Lucia cats about 34 or you take half of it and make Saffron buns (not sure how many get). When you make Lucia cats you roll the doe into long cylinders and then take each end and then twirl them to the middle. Let them rest for another 30 and before you bake them you put a raisin in the middle of the twirls and brush them with some soy milk.
If you on the other hand want to make the buns you roll out a rectangle and make it a lot longer than wide. About 20 inch X 9 inch or so. Spread a layer of margarine on it and grate some marzipan over it and if you like drizzle with some raisins. Roll the thing up and cut in inch thick pieces place on a baking cheat and rest for about 30 min then also brush with soy milk and sprinkle with shaved almonds. You bake them and the Lucia cats in 250° C/482° F for about 8 min or golden.

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