Saffron gives these fruit buns a light golden color and a subtle spicy flavor. Good with butter.
Yield: Makes 12 buns
Large pinch of saffron threads
1 tbsp boiling water
4 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
9 tbsp cold butter, diced
½ cup sugar
1¼ oz (7g) envelope instant (fast-rising) yeast
2/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups currants, raisins, or golden raisins
1. 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.
2. 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, ½ cup water, egg, and dissolved saffron. Add to the flour mixture and stir to make a soft dough.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8–10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Knead in the currants.
4. 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.
5. 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.
Freezing Information: Freeze for up to 3 months.
Leftovers can be allowed to go a little stale, then be used as a base for a trifle or in place of bread in a stuffing.