Having come across a jar of saffron in the spice cupboard, I decided to have a go at making saffron buns. I remember these from camping trips to Cornwall at Easter as a kid. We used to get up very early in the morning on Good Friday and drive down the M5, stopping at the first bakers we could find in Cornwall.
You need to allow a bit of time for prep for this recipe as you need to infuse the saffron in the milk.
As with the hot cross bun recipe I use a Panasonic bread machine to make the dough and do the first rise. If
you're going to do this by hand, or using a mixer, use easy blend dried yeast,
melted butter & warm milk.
tsp of fast action dried yeast
1lb strong white bread flour
1 teaspoons of mixed spice
2oz caster sugar
5oz mixed fruit
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried saffron threads
Put the milk into a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Take off the heat. Put in the saffron threads and leave for about 30 minutes.
Put the yeast into the bread machine, then the flour, then the rest
of the ingredients except the dried fruit. I have a fruit & nut dispenser on
the bread machine, so put the fruit in there if you have one. Otherwise you add
it in according to the instructions on my machine. I set mine to the raisin
If doing by hand Mix all the dry
ingredients together including the fruit, add the butter, egg & enough milk
to get a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface & knead till dough soft
& elastic. Put in an oiled bowl topped with oiled clingfilm or a clean tea
towel and leave to rise somewhere warm till doubled in size.
the dough and split into 12 equal sized balls. I arrange them on a large oiled
baking sheet. I put them quite close together so you get that lovely batch
baking effect of soft sides when you pull them apart.
If I'm doing these
for breakfast I'll put them in the fridge overnight covered with clingfilm. I
then take them out the fridge in the morning and allow to rise somewhere warm
until doubled in size ( about 30-45 mins )
I cook them for 15-20 minutes
at 180 degrees in the fan oven.
prefer our buns non sticky. The easiest way to get a sticky bun is to melt
some local honey and brush it over the buns when they're just out of the oven.
Or you can use apricot jam, warm it gently & sieve out the bits