Friday, December 05, 2008

Almond-filled Saffron Buns

saffransbulle 08

Saffron buns is absolutely essential to Swedish christmas - or really, to the entire month of December. Swedes really enjoy the four weeks of Advent, taking care to decorate their homes and even workplaces, and definitely having a lot of opportunities to eat gingerbread, saffron buns and drink lots of "glögg" which is our version of warm, spiced wine.

Saffron buns can easily dry out, but these ones won't since they have such a nice and moist filling. Freeze them right after baking, and defrost as you need them. They go very well with a glass of milk, or a mug of warm chocolate. For more traditional saffron buns, I have this recipe.

Almond-filled Saffron Buns
24 large buns

100 g butter
500 ml milk (full-fat)
100 ml sugar (about 95 g)
1 tsp salt
1/2 g saffron
50 g fresh yeast
7-800 g all-purpose flour

Almond filling:
100 g butter, softened
250 g almond paste (with at least 50% almonds), grated
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 g saffron
1 tbsp white syrup (golden syrup or even corn syrup is ok, as is liquid glucose)

To decorate:
chopped almonds
pearl sugar

saffransbullar 08

Melt the butter for the dough, and mix with the milk and the saffron. Heat until it's about 37°C (feels just warm to the touch). Crumble the yeast in a bowl and pour the liquid over it. Stir until the yeast has dissolved. Add salt, sugar and flour, and work into a smooth and supple dough. It should release easily from the sides of the bowl, but it might still feel a little tacky to the touch.

Cover the bowl and leave to rise for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix all the ingredients for the filling with hand-held electric beaters (or by hand, if you're vigorous) until it's smooth and even.

Roll the dough into a large rectangle, and spread the filling on top. Roll from the long side, making sure you get it nice and tight. Cut into slices, about 1,5 cm thick.

Place the buns on a lined baking sheet and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and pearl sugar, and bake at 250°C for 7-8 minutes.

Recipe in Swedish:
Saffransbullar med mandelmassa


Happy cook said...

Never had these buns, they looks so delicous

Marjoke said...


what a color and I think they taste even better than they look.

glamah16 said...

A Swedish treat I must try.

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

They look yummy!

Chris said...

Åhhh så himmelskt gott
Hoppas allt är bra med dig

Katie said...

These look so good. I love their golden colour and the almond filling sounds wonderful

Jennie said...

Yummi! They look so delicious!
I definitely got to try these someday!

Beeb said...

Yum, these look delicious!

Jennie said...

Hmm, I wonder: how much is half a gram of saffron? I have my buns in the oven, and my kitchen weight couldn't measure half a gram, so i just used a good pinch. Didn't get the pretty color, though they smell divine. I added cardamom to mine for an extra spicy punch.

Anne said...

Jennie, half a gram is a pretty small amount. It's how saffron generally comes packaged here :) Saffron really differs in quality though, so it's hard to get consistent results.

Jessica said...

I am a Swede living in London where I can't find ready made almond paste. I made some myself by using 200 grams of ground almonds, 100 ml of icing sugar and 100 ml of sugar. It was much nicer than shop bought! Then I just added the other filling ingredients in and made the filling.

I also used dried yeast as fresh is not readily available.

The buns turned out great!