Saffron gives these fruit buns a light golden color and a subtle spicy flavor.
Recipe courtesy of "The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.
|large pinch of saffron threads||1/2 cups sugar|
|1 tbsp boiling water||1 1/4 oz (7 g) envelope instant (fast-rising) yeast|
|4 cups bread flour||2/3 cup whole milk|
|1 tsp salt||1 large egg|
|9 tbsp cold butter, diced||1 1/3 cups currants, raisins, or golden raisins|
Preheat the oven to 275°F (140°C). Place the saffron in a small baking dish. Bake for 10–15 minutes to toast the saffron. Let cool, then crumble to a fine powder. Stir into the boiling water and let stand about 1 hour, or overnight.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar and yeast. Beat together the milk, 1/2 cup water, egg, and dissolved saffron. Add to the flour mixture and stir to make a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8–10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Knead in the currants.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and flatten slightly. Place the balls on an oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place for 30–40 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Bake in the upper third of the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until the buns are light gold and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Serve warm or cold.
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