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Swedish Christmas Saffron Buns

With this recipe, Anna Belfrage wrote, "I have baked my first batch of saffron buns for the season, decorated the house with...taa-daa...candles, and am presently waiting for the kettle to boil. Tea in candlelight with warm, golden saffron buns - a perfect start to the upcoming Christmas season."  The aroma while baking the saffronsbullar filled the kitchen and the taste! These sweet yeast buns melt in your mouth.

Yields 3 dozen


3 1/2 teaspoons yeast

2/3 cup of butter

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon saffron

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3/4 cup plus 1T of sugar

1 egg - whisked.

1/4 cup raisins

4 to 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour 

1 egg with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash


  1. Melt the butter, add the milk and heat carefully until it's "fingerwarm" or warm on your wrist.

  2. Crumble or spoon the yeast into a bowl, add some of the milk/butter, dissolve the yeast before adding the rest of the liquid.

  3. Mix sugar, salt and ground saffron. Mixing the saffron with the sugar prior to adding to the mix increases its aromatic properties.

  4. Add sugar, salt, saffron to the liquid. Add a whisked egg. Add raisins and about half the flour. Mix thoroughly. Add the rest of the flour bit by bit, kneading the dough until it no longer sticks to the bowl but still is slightly sticky.

  5. Powder some flour on top, set to rise under a towel for 45 minutes. 

  6. Divide up the dough in 36 pieces. Roll each piece into 6-8” in length and about the thickness of your thumb/index finger (depending on how thick your fingers are), which you then curl into an 8 (curl one end clockwise, the other anti-clockwise).

  7. Place each bun on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

  8. Decorate the centre of each curl with a raisin - like an "eye". Leave to rise another 20 minutes on the baking tin under a towel.

  9. Wash with whisked egg and bake at 425 F for 7-10 minutes until slightly golden.

Saffron buns 2.JPG
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