Fruit + Saffron Buns


 Prep Time : 20 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Moderate

Hello my lovelies! Another day of homemade sunshine! This time in bread form. And ya’ll know how I love breads. I also love the amazing traditional breads of different cultures. I have a haul of saffron (3 grams is a haul where saffron is concerned) from the PledgeMe campaign I supported recently to set up saffron processing facilities in Afghanistan. Saffron in bread is big in Scandinavia. Today we are applying it to a simple milk dough enriched with a little butter. Adding some citrus and raisins. Fluffy golden bread studded with fruits. Let’s get started on our golden adventure!

In a small saucepan heat the milk, honey and saffron. You don’t want it to boil, just get a little foamy at the edges. Turn the heat off and let the milk cool and the saffron give up it’s golden glory.

Measure out the flour and salt into a large bowl.

When the milk is lukewarm sprinkle the yeast over it. The milk will be super golden yellow by now.

When the yeast mixture is frothy add the melted butter and vanilla and stir together then add the liquids to the flour.

Bring everything together into a shaggy dough. It’s easiest with your hands.

Leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes. This will give the flour time to absorb liquid and gluten will start to form. It makes the dough a lot less sticky and easier to handle. It will also reduce the time you need to spend kneading. Tip the dough out onto the bench and knead until smooth and elastic. There will be little gold and red streaks from the saffron.

Press the dough out into a circle and sprinkle the citrus peel and raisins and candied peel on top. Use whatever raisins you like or have on hand. I used regular raisins because I like the contrast with the dough. Do what feels right.

Press the fruit down into the dough to help it stick. Roll the dough up into a sausage with the fruit inside. Fold it up in the opposite direction as well. Now give it a brief knead to finish distributing the fruit.

Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm spot until doubled in size. Tip the dough out and bring it back into a ball. Divide the dough into 8 even pieces. We’re making a simple bun today.

Form each piece into a round and place them onto a baking tray. If there are any exposed raisins pick them off. They will burn in the oven if you leave them on the outside.

Cover with a tea towel or plastic bag and leave to rise until doubled in size. While the bread is rising heat the oven to 200C (395F). Brush the buns with beaten egg.

You can sprinkle with a little sugar to add some crunch if you like. Bake for 15 minutes until the buns are dark golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Transfer the rolls to a wire rack to cool. If you want to get excited you can also make a light glaze from a few tablespoons of icing sugar and a little lemon juice to drizzle over. It’s not necessary though.

Enjoy these soft fluffy buns in their simple glory.

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Fruit + Saffron Buns


Prep Time : 20 + 10 mins | Cook Time : 15 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Moderate | Makes : 8 buns

Golden sunny enriched bread flavoured with heady saffron and studded with citrus peel and raisins.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (200 mls) full fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • large pinch saffron threads
  • 300 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon active dried yeast
  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon candied peel, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (55 grams) raisins
  • 1 beaten egg, for finishing

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Measuring scale
  • Large bowl
  • 9 by 5 inch, deep loaf pan

Directions:

In a small saucepan heat the milk, honey and saffron. You don’t want it to boil, just get a little foamy at the edges. Turn the heat off and let the milk cool and the saffron give up it’s golden glory.

Measure out the flour and salt into a large bowl.

When the milk is lukewarm sprinkle the yeast over it. The milk will be super golden yellow by now. When the yeast mixture is frothy add the melted butter and vanilla and stir together.

Add the liquids to the flour and bring together to a shaggy dough. Leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes. This will give the flour time to absorb liquid and gluten will start to form. It makes the dough a lot less sticky and easier to handle. It will also reduce the time you need to spend kneading.

Tip the dough out onto the bench and knead until smooth and elastic. There will be little gold and red streaks from the saffron.

Press the dough out into a circle and sprinkle the citrus peel and raisins and candied peel on top. Use whatever raisins you like or have on hand. I used regular raisins because I like the contrast with the dough. Do what feels right.

Press the fruit down into the dough to help it stick. Roll the dough up into a sausage with the fruit inside.

Fold it up in the opposite direction as well. Now give it a brief knead to finish distributing the fruit.

Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm spot until doubled in size.

Tip the dough out and bring it back into a ball. Divide the dough into 8 even pieces. We’re making a simple bun today.

Form each piece into a round and place them onto a baking tray. If there are any exposed raisins pick them off. They will burn in the oven if you leave them on the outside.

Cover with a tea towel or plastic bag and leave to rise until doubled in size. While the bread is rising heat the oven to 200C (395F). Brush the buns with beaten egg. You can sprinkle with a little sugar to add some crunch if you like. Bake for 15 minutes until the buns are dark golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Transfer the rolls to a wire rack to cool. If you want to get excited you can also make a light glaze from a few tablespoons of icing sugar and a little lemon juice to drizzle over. It’s not necessary though. Enjoy these soft fluffy buns in their simple glory.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Be patient as with all breads, make sure you let the dough double in size.
  • If your kitchen is a little cold (like mine is) use a wheat pack to keep your dough warm – heat it in the microwave and slip it under the bowl during rising times.
  • Let the saffron bloom until the milk is very yellow – it will extract the most flavour and colour.
  • To bake this as a loaf instead of dividing the dough into 8, divide into three. Roll each piece into a ball and place the three balls into a small-ish loaf pan. After rising bake for 30 minutes.

 – These buns are best the day of baking. To enjoy the next day, warm slightly before eating. For longer keeping freeze in a zip lock bag and thaw when needed – 

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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