Wishing you a very Merry Christmas
Saffronsbrod, also known as saffron buns, is made to mark the beginning of Christmas celebrations and feasting.
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads*
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dry yeast
3 to 3-1/4 cups flour
Glaze: 1 egg white, beaten lightly with 1 teaspoon water; sugar
Soften the saffron in the hot water (about 10 minutes).
In a mixing bowl, blend the saffron water, milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg, and yeast. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well, then add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead the dough (15 minutes by hand, 12 minutes in an electric mixer), then set it aside to rise until light and puffy (about 2 hours).
Punch the dough down, and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Divide into 16 pieces: divide into fourths, divide each fourth into fourths. Shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls fairly close together (but not touching) in a 9" x 13"-inch pan, cover them, and let rise for 1-1/2 hours, or until they're puffy.
Glaze the buns with the mixture of beaten egg white and water, then sprinkle them heavily with sugar. Bake them in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
If saffron threads are difficult to find, or you find them too costly, check out our suggestions for Saffron Substitutes.
Yield: 16 buns.
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St. Lucia, whose name means "light," is honored at the darkest time of the year. Throughout northern Europe, this special day marks the beginning of Christmas celebrations and feasting. Traditionally, the oldest daughter of the family wears a coronet of pine sprigs decorated with five lighted candles and awakens her parents with a breakfast of saffron buns (Saffronsbrod) and coffee. The golden saffron was symbolic of sunshine and light.