"The beginning of the Christmas season in Sweden is named after a martyr who became the emblem of charity and kindness for the nation. Her name was Lucia, she is claimed to cross icy lakes to brng food and beverage to the poor and bedridden. To this day, on Dec.13 a woman of each household continues the honor of taking these buns to family members in memory of Lucia's benevolence.(Quoted from "A Kitchen Witches Cookbook")"
Soak the saffron in the hot water for 1 1/2 hours. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1/4 tsp sugar in the warm water. Mix the scalded milk, remaining sugar,butter,and salt; let cool. Add the egg,milk mixture and saffron to the yeast;beat until smooth. Sprinkle the dried fruit/nuts with 2 tsp flour to coat and set aside. Now mix the rest of the flour with the yeast mixture and fold in the fruit/nuts. Turn out onto a well floured surface;kneed until smooth(about 12 min.) Place in greased bowl,turning dough to coat. Let rise in warm place until double(45min-1hour)Preheat oven to 400F. Knead dough twice and divide into 24 peices(balls/buns)Place on greased cookie sheet. Cover let rise until double,(20-30min)Bake for 10 minutes then lower oven to 350F bake to min more. Brush the top of buns with melted butter and bake additional 5 minutes.