St. Lucia Buns

I was looking for recipes that are appropriate for Imbolc and came across these adorable little buns! They are suitable because they contain quite a bit of dairy products (it's well known that Imbolc is the time of lambing as well as the lactation of ewes and people used to celebrate this by preparing food and drinks made of milk) and the addition of saffron makes them particularly special.

Unfortunately, everyone ate them in a very short time. I say "unfortunately" because that means I wasn't able to take a photo of them while they were still fresh or while there were any at all. So the bun you see on the second photograph is the last bun that was left (but I added another photo that I found on the internet so you can see how beautiful they actually looked even though the bun on my photo isn't really representative). But, you can choose to see this as a sing of their deliciousness. :)

In order to make them, 

You Will Need:

For the dough:

  • 2 packets dry yeast
  • cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 125g unsalted melted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 all-purpose flour

For the glaze:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • sugar
  • 1/2 

How To Prepare:

  1. Add water and yeast in a bowl and mix with a fork. Add 1 spoon of sugar and continue mixing. Leave the mixture to stand until it starts foaming (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the rest of the sugar, butter, heavy cream, milk, saffron, salt and eggs and mix using an electric mixer.
  3. Add cup by cup of the flour and mix using a wooden spoon until the dough becomes soft and compact (but expect that it will still be sticky).
  4. Cover the bowl with the dough with cling film and leave it in the refrigerator at least 2 hours (preferably overnight).
  5. Get the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut into smaller pieces (I got 32 altogether).
  6. Cover your baking tray with baking paper and heat the oven up to 175°C.
  7. Roll each piece of dough into a rope. Form the buns by rolling the ends of the rope in opposite directions to form a reverse S shape.
  8. Prepare the glaze by mixing the egg and milk.
  9. Glaze the buns (preferably using a brush) and sprinkle with sugar.
  10. Leave them to rise in a warm place an additional 30-45 minutes.
  11. Bake for about 15 minutes (let the buns turn golden-brown but not too dark on the bottom) and leave them out to cool down.

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