Hello guys! It’s not a secret that I love to bake! And I have to say even more – I’m addicted to pies! 😀 Every time when I stumble upon a new and interesting pie or cake recipe I’m anxious to prepare it! What does attract you in a recipe? An ingredient, a photo or may be a story behind it? For me an every part is captivating and intriguing! As I’ve already said I love to bake whatever it is, whether it’s a vegetarian or sweet thing, like comforting cabbage bake with farmer cheese or beautiful apple pie with semolina. A long time ago I was browsing the Internet and found one lovely recipe of saffron buns, but time has passed anf it got out of my mind until I bought saffron last week. I was glad to discover the story about these buns, because the story is truly magical and wintry.
Every year on the 13th of December people of Scandinavia countries (Norway, Denmark and Sweden) are celebrating the Day of St.Lucia. It’s believed she brings the light into the longest night of the year. Celebration include a procession of young girls in white dresses and red sashes carrying candles. One girl represented as Lucia – she wear a crown of candles on her head. Girls sing traditional and Christmas songs.
By another Sweden custom at home the eldest daughter arising early in the morning, wearing the Lucia’s costume, awaking the family and serving them coffee and saffron buns.*
After reading about Scandinavian traditions and stories I decided to make those delicious buns! and by coincidence I baked them exactly on the 13th. I made some research and finally created my own recipe. Buns turned out very fluffy, nicely buttery, with amazing aroma of saffron and not very sweet.
120ml full-fat milk
1/2-1/3 tsp saffron threads
45-50g butter, room temperature
250-300g plain flour
4g instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 cardamom pods, ground, optional
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, optional
1 large egg
60ml sour cream
- Heat milk with saffron (don’t boil) in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. The temperature of milk should be not over 40C/104F or should be able to easily hold a finger in it. Add butter, stir to combine.
- In a mixing bowl sift the flour (250g, then add more if needed), add yeast, salt, sugar and spices if using. Mix.
- Add lukewarm milk mixture to the flour. Stir to combine.
- Add egg and sour cream. Mix ingredients until well incorporated.
- Now on a flat surface knead the dough by hand (or use a hook of your standing mixer) for 10 minutes, until smooth and a little sticky to the touch.
- Cover the dough and leave it to rise for 1 hour at room temperature or until it’s puffy. You can make the dough the day before, in which case after rising gently deflate the dough, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. Take out an hour or two before shaping, let it gets warm and rise again.
- Gently deflate the dough, and divide into 8 equal sizes; each piece weight about 70g.
- Roll each piece of dough at a time into a 38-40cm rope, then shape each rope into S-shape.
- Place buns on the lined baking tray. Tuck in raisins. Cover with a towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
- Brush with egg wash and in preheated 190C/375F for 15-20 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
- Take buns from oven and let cool for 4-5 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm with a glass of milk or tea.
Enjoy the winter season!