Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saffron buns

I have been asked to share my recipe for traditional Swedish saffron buns. These are a must at every Swedish Christmas dessert table but also with the four Sundays of advent and our Saint Lucia celebration ofcourse, which is December 13th. They are often served with gingerbread cookies. I prefer those undecorated with a slice of Brie cheese on top. Try it if you haven't! Blue cheese works well, too. I drifted off topic... Here's my saffron buns recipe - not be served with Brie!

For Swedish readers, I use this recipe: (click on picture)

For the rest of you here it is:

  • 50 g fresh yeast
  • 150 g butter
  • 1 g saffron
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups milk (pref. high fat)
  • 250 g  1%fat quark (read about it here)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • approx. 7 cups of flour
For baking:
  • 1 egg
  • raisins
Comments on ingredients: I'm sure you can use dry yeast too, but I haven't tried it. Just read the package for amounts and instructions. Quark is a type of smooth, unsalted soft cheese. I'm sure you can find something to use instead, if you can't find it. Maybe sour cream? The amount should be about 3/4 of a cup. Read the link above and see what you can make of it. About the raisins, they are supposed to be used for decoration. Noone in my family likes raisins so we just leave them out.

  1. Crumble the yeast into a large bowl. . Melt the butter. Add the saffron to the melted butter. Add the milk and heat until body temperature. (That's 37 C or 98,6 F)
  2. Add a bit of the fluid to the yeast and stir until dissolved. Add the rest of the fluid, sugar, quark and salt. Add most of the flour a little bit at a time until it seems managable. You'll have to judge this for yourself! Add more flour if needed, but as little as possible. The less flour you use the better the buns will turn out.  Run it in you kitchen aid for 5 minutes OR if you don't have one call in help. I hold the bowl down and my husband beats the dough like a madman until all energy runs out. That works just as well! Sprinkle some flour on the dough and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in the bowl in a warm place until it's doubled in size. That takes about 45-60 minutes. 
  3. Sprinkle some flour on your baking table and work the dough some more. Divide into equal parts (makes about 30 buns). To make the traditional Swedish saffron buns you roll the piece of dough into a sausage shape maybe 8 " long. Then roll each end inwards anti-clockwise to make a curled up reversed S-shape. (Look at the top left of the picture above) Put baking sheets on your tins and let the buns rise under a kitchen towel for another 30 mins. Heat up your oven. The recipe calls for 225 C but I only heat it to 200 C. You know your own oven best!
  4. Beat an egg with a fork in a drinking glass and brush allover the buns. (If you want raisins add them in the middle of the curls before brushing with the egg.)
  5. Bake in oven for about 8 minutes. They should be lightly brown on the surface, look at the picture above. Let cool on a metal grid between kitchen towels. 
If you ever try this recipe I'd love to know how it went! Share on Insta perhaps?



  1. OOh they sound so yummy! I have just dicovered I am allergic to lactose so I cannot make them. I bet they smell amazing as they bake.

  2. These look fabulous!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. Sounds great! Will have to try these!

  4. These look amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. Thanks for sharing - I love blue cheese - I bet it would be fabulous on that bun!

  6. yummy! these look incredible! need to find some saffron and get baking! :)

  7. They sound yummy. This is a perfect holiday post.