Saturday, 13 December 2008

Saturday Photo: Icy Branches and St. Lucia Day

The full moon was setting when I went for my walk this morning, the perfect complement to the rising moon I saw last evening as I walked home through a couple of parks. The snow stopped about noon yesterday, so it was still breath-taking. Ice from Tuesday's storm clung to the trees, too: this week has been tough but truly beautiful.

Right now I have the dough for Safronsbrod rising in the kitchen. This is St. Lucia's Day, the shortest day of the year in Scandanavia before the adoption of our current calendar, and the sweet, saffron-laced buns are traditional there, it seems, as well as at our house. You'll find below good recipe. I discovered it the year Lee and I were married in a pamphlet put out by Fleischman yeast. His mother never made them, so it's not an old Soderstrom heirloom, but we've been enjoying them long enough that it's fair to say they're a Soderstrom tradition.

Safransbrod, Lucia buns, Nisse buns, Luciakitti

3 tsp. dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
good pinch saffron
1/4 cup butter
l tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
4-5 cups flour
l/3 cup mixed, diced candied fruit
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped almonds

Put yeast in warm water to dissolve. Heat milk with saffron and butter. Let cool after butter melts. Mix with yeast, sugar, salt, eggs and lemon rind. Add about half of flour and mix until stiff dough is formed add fruit, raisins and nuts. Turn out on floured surface and knead, adding flour as necessary until a smooth, elastic dough is formed (about 10 minutes.) Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk. Punch down, then divide into l6 equal pieces. Roll each out until long and skinny, Form an S bun. Let rise until double again (about an hour.) Bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Note: The photo was taken on Thursday, on a day of brilliant sunshine. My skill as a photographer was not enough to capture the sparkle of the ice, unfortunately.


patàmodeler said...

The link doesn't work! (et moi je salive)

Mary Soderstrom said...

I added the recipe. Bon appetit.


lagatta said...

Those look lovely, and the saffron would bring some Mediterranean (or Persian) sunshine into the very long nights of Swedish winters. We are on about the same level as Lyon, France - imagine how long the nights and short the days are in Scandinavia! About the same as Nunavik, in Québec terms, I think.

And saffron would have been an expensive, once-a-year indulgence.

Very nice to see that the bread isn't too sweet.

I hate winter, but concede that the ice on the trees and sides of buildings is very beautiful.

On an unrelated topic, pertaining to your books on urban matters, have you read the Devoir article on the unfortunate 1960s "urban renewal" (social cleansing) of the old Faubourg de la Mélasse for la Maison Radio-Canada and especially its vast parking lots?

Hope they don't mess up the reconstruction of a neighbourhood and make it accessible to different ages, household/family types and income levels, and consider the architectural context of the surviving neighbourhood: