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St. Lucia Rolls Recipe

December 13 is the feast day of St. Lucy (or St. Lucia). In Sweden, her feast day is marked with celebrations. Young girls dress up as St. Lucy and these traditional St. Lucia rolls are made. So here is the recipe.

These are traditionally made with saffron, but If you don't have any, you can use cardamom in a pinch.

The dough can also be made in an automatic bread machine. Follow the instructions for your ABM and use the dough cycle. Continue with the shaping and baking of the rolls as indicated below starting with step 8.

St. Lucia Rolls



  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads or cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 40 raisins


  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, 1 tsp sugar and saffron until the milk is bright yellow. Cool to 115 degrees if necessary.
  2. Add the yeast to the milk and let sit for 5 minutes, until foamy. Transfer to mixer.
  3. Add the 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, salt, butter, and eggs to the milk mixture. Blend until moistened.
  4. Add the sour cream and mix in.
  5. Add an additional 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Knead on a floured board until smooth and elastic.
  7. Cover and let rise for 2 hours.
  8. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  9. Punch dough down.
  10. Divide dough into 20 equal pieces.
  11. Roll each piece into a 10 inch rope and shape into an S.
  12. Place on cookie sheets.
  13. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  14. Heat oven to 375.
  15. Press a raisin into the center of each end of the S.
  16. Beat the egg with the water to create the glaze. Brush rolls with glaze.
  17. Bake at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden.
  18. Cool on racks.

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