Swedish Christmas Saffron Buns

Wednesday, December 27, 2023
9 Minutes - 8 Servings - 0 Calories


300g white bread flour (I used All Purpose, it worked fine!)
170g (6oz) milk
60g softened butter
60g sugar
0.5g saffron, or a bit more
4g instant dry yeast or 4.8g (0.16oz) active dry yeast or 12g (0.42oz) fresh yeast
5g salt
1g ground cardamom (optional)
1 egg for glazing


  • Prep: 5 Hours
  • Cook: 9 Minutes
  1. Heat up milk in microwave for about 45 seconds, until it's just over 100 degrees. If using Active Dry yeast, add to milk and let sit.
  2. Add sugar and saffron threads to a scale to weigh it then break down with mortar and pestle. Add to large mixing bowel.
  3. Add the milk and yeast, salt, and cardamom. Mix well to dissolve the salt completely. Add the butter and flour. Mix to a dough. It will be sticky.
  4. * Tip the dough out on the table and knead using the slap & fold kneading method for 10 minutes (at least). *Desired dough temperature 25C – 26C (77F – 79F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
  5. Proof for 1 hour.
  6. Flatten and fold back into ball.
  7. Proof for 1 hour.
  8. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll into balls. Let rest for 20 mins.
  9. Shape into 8 buns, let rest for 1-2 hours. 
  10. Turn on oven to preheat 200C (392F) fan off.
  11. Mix egg, and apply egg wash to each bun.
  12. Bake for 8-10 mins.
  13. Remove and cool on rack.

Nutrition Info


From the original recipe, I updated:

- Added step to microwave and add yeast, because Active Dry Yeast is the most common, so better to heat up the milk and let yeast ferment in it a bit while you work on the sugar and saffron.

- Sugar from 50g to 60gs. 

- The last proof is for up to 2 hours, but if the milk has been warmed and kitchen is warmed it could take as little as 1 hour. It usually takes 1.5 hours.

I would like to test how long I can leave it in the mixer to eliminate or help more with the kneeding, because even when letting the recipe mix for 10 mins, it's still 10 - 20 mins kneeding. 


Add the sugar to the scale, keep there and add saffron. (It's such a small amount, there's no way to measure the saffron without having the sugar in there.)


* The dough is naturally VERY sticky, don't be tempted to add flour, just kneed more. Eventually (and it'll take a while) it will stop being so sticky and will eventually get the nice shiny look. once it stops sticking to your fingers and most of the dough that was originally sticking to the table has been removed though kneeding, it's ready for proofing. 



Super helpful video:


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