Prep 1 min
Cook 2 mins
On the morning of Dec. 13, Swedish families recall St. Lucia with saffron buns served by a girl wearing a crown of candles. During the rest of the holiday season, saffron bread is braided into a wreath or simply baked in a pan so it can be easily sliced.
- 1 teaspoon saffron thread
- 1⁄2 cup golden raisin
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
egg wash made from
- 1 egg, beaten with
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- Set the oven at 250°F.
- Put the saffron in a cup and put it in the oven.
- After 5 minutes, pour 1/4 cup of very hot water over it.
- Let it steep for 20 minutes while you get on with the rest of the preparation.
- Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water.
- Set aside.
- Mix the yeast with the milk and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and leave for 10 to 15 minutes in a warm but not hot spot.
- Combine the flour, remaining sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the yeast mixture and then the butter.
- When everything is thoroughly combined, add the saffron mixture.
- Drain the raisins and add them.
- Mix and knead thoroughly until the dough is soft but not sticky.
- Roll it into a ball and put it in a greased bowl.
- Cover with a plastic bag and let it rise in a draft-free spot until it has doubled in bulk. This takes about 2 hours.
- Knock the dough down by thumping it firmly several times.
- Knead it for 2 or 3 minutes.
- To make a wreath shape, divide the dough into 3 pieces and roll each into a rope about 18 inches long.
- Braid the 3 ropes together and twist into a circle. (Or make hollows in the wreath so that you can stick candles in them after baking.).
- Tuck the ends underneath.
- Place on a greased baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let rise in a draft-free spot for about an hour or until doubled in bulk.
- During the last 10 minutes of rising time, set the oven at 400°F
- Brush the bread with the egg wash.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the wreath is golden brown and sounds hollow when rapped on the bottom.