I am in love with these buns!!
For the longest time I have had this family recipe that my grandparents gave me years ago that I had forgotten about. I disregarded the recipe because I never had tasted them and didn’t really know what Saffron was.
Recently, I tasted some Saffron bread my Stepmother made and could not stop eating it! It was just so delicious! Then I remembered I had a Saffron Bun recipe that had been passed down in my family for generations.
Of course that meant I had to make it. And let me tell you, they turned out just as amazing as the Saffron Bread. Plus I love knowing that my great grandmother use to make these at Christmas time.
SO, if you still don’t know what Saffron Buns are… heres the deal.
First off, Saffron comes from the center of the Croucus Sativus flower. It is typically grown in Mediterranean countries like Spain and Greece. It is one of the most expensive spices in the world to buy. It has a very distinct smell and red color (hence why the bread is yellow!) People use it to cook with, and of course for bread. Saffron Buns are common in Scandinavian countries and England. I recall seeing Saffron Buns shaped like this all over Sweden.
Here is an interesting article I found about Saffron:
Now for the family recipe with a couple tweeks. I usually hate making bread because I find yeast to be intimidating. But it all came together and they turned out fabulous! Of course, as I always do, here is a step by step recipe with LOTS of pictures. Have fun with it and don’t let the recipe intimidate you. Just read steps carefully.
- 1 Tbsp. Saffron
- 1/2 Boiling water
- 3/4 C. Milk, scalded and cooled
- 1 package Dry yeast
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- 1/3 C. Water
- 3 C. Flour
- 3/4 C. Sugar
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon extract
- Raisins/ Mixed dried fruit/ Currants
- 1 1/2 C. Flour
- 1/2 Butter
- 1 Egg white
1. Steep Saffron in boiling water overnight. (If you don’t have that amount of time, let sit for an hour minimum.)
2. Once saffron is done steeping, boil milk and let cool.
3. In a separate small bowl, mix next 3 ingredients (yeast, sugar and water.) Make sure water is warmed to the temperature on the packet of yeast. It is very important that the water is the correct temperature to activate the yeast, not too hot and not too cold. If the yeast is not activated your bread will not rise.
4. In a large bowl mix the milk that has cooled, yeast mixture, and flour (3 C.) Add Saffron mixture, and beat until smooth.
6. Remove dough from bowl and place onto a clean counter. Use clean hands to mix in next ingredients on list – sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon extract, melted butter, dried fruit ( I used about 1/4-1/3 C. raisins and dried fruit. You don’t want too many) and rest of flour (1 1/2 C.) Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Once it is all combined, form into a ball and place back into bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until double the size (about an hour.)
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After dough is double size, time to form into buns. Grab a small handful of dough, roll out into a snake and shape into an S. Place a raisin/dried fruit in each end of the S, pressing down slighly.
8. Before cooking, brush with the egg white from one egg. Cover each pan and let rise in a warm place.
9. After buns have risen, bake for 20 -30 minutes, or until just starting to brown. Serve warm with butter.