Many of you probably know by now, that I'm half Danish. Both of my mother's parents were from Minnesota, and all of my mother's grandparents were Danes. In Denmark, the rest of Scandinavia, and in other countries like Italy, St. Lucia is celebrated on December 13th. Young girls dress in white gowns with a red ribbon tied around their waist, and a wreath of candles crowns the head. The song of Santa Lucia is sung by candlelight in churches and in homes. In Scandinavia, children bake Lucia Saffron Buns to give to the elderly.
I wanted to revive these traditions with our girls, so I had to create a gluten-free saffron bun. However, the challenge didn't stop there =) Since so many of you and your children are allergic to gluten-free grains and eggs, I wanted to make these buns free of these ingredients too. After a couple tries, and with some suggestions from you, my readers, I am so excited to share this recipe with you!
These buns are phenomenal. We've had them three times now, and every time we are all literally giggling with delight. The recipe evolved from my braided bread, so the first time we made it we used rosemary and garlic. I have to say, we all actually thought the grain-free, egg-free variation was even better than the first braided bread.
Next, we made the recipe into Lucia Buns with saffron, cinnamon and cloves... Oh, my goodness! Guys—Please try one of these recipes! I'm am so over the moon about them! The texture is like a bagel or a bun—It may be the best recipe I've ever created. Seriously. So, please, please, please give it a whirl, and let us know if you agree.
Happy Santa Lucia Day! Love, Kelly
Lucia Saffron Buns
(gluten-free, egg-free, casein-free, grain-free)
Add to mixing bowl:
3 tbsp golden flaxmeal OR 1.5 tbsp Chia Seed meal (you can buy meal or grind the seeds yourself—I use my coffee grinder)
3 tbsp applesauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup cashew milk (or coconut milk, or almond milk, etc)
Beat with electric mixer.
Add, preferably in this order:
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup ghee (which is casein-free) or coconut oil, soft or liquified
1/8 tsp ground saffron (I used a mortar and pestle to grind it)
5 ground cloves (I used the mortar and pestle to grind the cloves too)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp raisins
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder (Grain-free Baking Powder Recipe)
Beat again until a ball begins to form.
Note: Due to climate you may need to add a little more flour or milk, depending on how dry or humid it is where you live.
Form the dough into a ball with your hands.
Divide the ball in half.
Break each half in two, so that there are four balls.
Roll each ball in your hands, then lay it down and roll it into a coil about 7 inches long. (I did this on lightly greased unbleached parchment paper)
Shape the coils into an S shape.
Push a raisin into the two crevasses of each S shape.
Bake on unbleached parchment paper at 350 degrees for about 24 minutes.
Update: Please check out the great feedback in the comments section to see what to expect and get some great input on this recipe.