Monday, June 22, 2015
Saffron and Cardamom Sweet Buns (SRC)
It's Secret Recipe Club time! We are now officially halfway through the year, can you believe it??
This month for SRC I was assigned the fabulous Lavender and Lovage by Karen. Karen is truly living the dream, dividing her time between the UK and the South West of France where she runs her own cookery school! I've long had a love-affair with France, learning the language in high school and enjoying a 3 month homestay with a family in Brittany when I was 17. So as you can imagine I had a great time on Karen's blog this month, reveling in some truly delicious food and stunning photography.
Being the middle of Winter here I was drawn to some hearty and traditional dishes like her Provence Beef Casserole and Chicken, Sausage and Vegetable Hotpot, and I have bookmarked her Victorian Epiphany Tart with 9 different types of jams and preserves to make at Christmas time. I was also really tempted by her Cauliflower Pizza Crust as it is the nicest looking version that I've seen.
In the end though I simply couldn't go past her Saffron and Cardamom sweet buns, which are baked in Sweden (and Scandinavia) to celebrate St Lucy's day and the Winter Solstice on the 13th December. Now before you wonder why I would choose to make this recipe when it is nowhere near December, it actually makes perfect sense: here in Australia our Winter Solstice is in June and this year it coincidentally falls today on reveal day (at 2.39am to be exact!).
Clearly it was meant to be!
I baked these just yesterday and it was a perfect Winter weekend baking project as they take a few hours to make. If you've made any sort of bread you would have no problems making these. And just look at that gorgeous sunny colour! The saffron was a real splurge - my tiny 1 gram container cost $11!! but I didn't use all of it and now need to think of something suitably special to make with what's left.
And the verdict? We LOVED these! So delicious, not too sweet and with that beautiful fragrance from the saffron and cardamom. My 6yo declared that I was 'a chef and should work in a bakery.' High praise indeed. In all seriousness these were sensational and I will definitely be baking them again, although perhaps saving them for the festive season as they are a bit of a luxury.
Lussakatter - St Lucia Saffron and Cardamom Sweet Buns
Recipe from Lavender and Lovage
300mls milk (I used rice milk)
1 ts saffron threads
500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
100g golden caster sugar
10 cardamom pods (seeds removed and crushed in a mortar and pestle)
75g butter, melted
1 large free-range egg
1 small free-range egg (extra, for the glaze)
Grease 2 large baking sheets and set aside. Place the saffron threads and the milk in a small pot and warm gently over low heat. Remove from the heat and cool to tepid.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and cardamom seeds. Make a well in the middle and add the saffron milk, beaten egg and melted butter.
Stir together before turning it out onto a floured surface and kneading for 10 to 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Grease the bowl you already used before returning the dough, covering it with a clean tea towel and leaving it to prove in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Knock the dough back and turn out onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Take each piece in turn and roll it out into a long sausage shape before twisting it tightly into an ‘S’ shape.
Place the shaped dough onto the prepared trays, cover with a tea towel and leave them to prove in a warm place for approximately 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F during this time.
Once risen, brush the tops with the extra beaten egg and then push a raisin into the middle of the scroll on each end – 2 raisins per bun (see photos).
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until dark golden brown and sound hollow when tapped from underneath.
Cool on a wire rack before serving. Best eaten the same day.
Makes 12 buns.
Thank you Karen for a truly special recipe and a wonderful month!