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Saffron Buns


Recipe 1


  • 1/2 tsp Saffron Threads

  • 1/4 cup Boiling Water

  • 1 tbsps active dry Yeast

  • 1 1/2 tbsps Sugar

  • 1/3 cup War Water

  • 1 1/4 cups Buttermilk

  • 2 tbsps Butter

  • 2 tsp coarse Salt or 1 tsp Table Salt

  • 3 - 3 1/2 cups White Flour, Unbleached

  • Softened Butter


Steep the saffron in the boiling water and set aside to cool. In a medium sized bowl dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water, and let stand until yeast starts to swell.

Warm half of the buttermilk with the butter and salt to dissolve; stir in the remaining buttermilk and the saffron and its marigold-coloured liquid. Combine with yeast, mix well, and beat in 3 cups or more of flour until mixture is hard to stir. Turn out on floured surface and knead, adding a little more flour as necessary, until smooth and resilient.

Clean the mixing bowl and butter it. Put the dough in, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise slowly in a cool place (even the refrigerator) until more than double in bulk - 2 hours or more (4 if refrigerated).

Punch down and form a loaf. Place in a buttered 9-inch loaf pan and let rise, covered loosely, at room temperature until double in volume. Bake in preheated 425F oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350F, and bake 25 minutes more. Remove to a rack, and brush the top with soft butter. 


Recipe 2


  • 3 lbs Flour

  • 1 1/2lbs Lard

  • 3/4lb Butter

  • 1lb Sugar

  • 4 Eggs

  • 1 1/2 - 2lb Dry Fruit

  • 4 packets of Saffron

  • 4oz Yeast

  • Warm Milk



Cut up saffron, soak overnight in boiling water, about 1/4 pt. Rub the butter and lard in the flour, add the sugar, and the currants. Warm a little milk, pour it over the yeast and one teaspoonful of sugar in a basin. When the yeast rises, pour it into a well in the centre of the flour. Cover it with a sprinkling of the flour, and when the yeast rises through this flour and breaks it, mix by hand into a dough, adding milk as needed, and the saffron water. Knead and shape into rolls.

Leave in a warm place to rise for a while.

Bake in med oven till golden brown

(I use this recipe but I use butter instead of lard and have cut the butter down).



"Saffron, the stigma of the crocus flower, has been used for hundreds of years in England's West Country to enhance bread, Some say saffron was brought to Cornwall and Devon by the Phoenicians when they arrived to operate tin mines. Whatever the facts of origin, it takes upwards of 85,000 flowers to make a pound of saffron, and cost is not surprisingly almost as out of sight as that of caviar. Fortunately, it takes only a few of the red gold threads to turn a basic white bread like this one into something that seems exotic. Each loaf you make will be infused with colour and pungent flavour - the tiny red threads at the center of the deep yellow stains in the dough are sure signs of the real thing, not a substitute in powdered form that bears the saffron label."





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