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    by Brontë Aurell

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes + resting, proving and cooling
    • Cooking time: 10 minutes to 12 minutes
    • Total time: 30-32 minutes + resting, proving and cooling

    Makes: 12


    0.4g jar saffron
    225ml whole milk
    2 x 7g sachets active dried yeast
    75g caster sugar
    Approximately 400-500g strong bread flour, plus extra for kneading
    100ml natural Greek yogurt
    ½ tsp salt
    1 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Egg, beaten
    100g butter, softened
    About 24 plump raisins  


    1. Finely grind the saffron in a pestle and mortar, then cover with 50ml milk and set aside to soak. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 175ml milk until lukewarm, approximately 35-37°C. Add the yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Cover and wait for 15 minutes until the mixture starts to bubble. Put the yeast mixture and remaining sugar in a freestanding mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the sugar dissolves, then add the saffron mixture.

    2. Keep the freestanding mixer running as you start adding the flour, little by little, until you have added around 400g. Then mix in the yogurt, salt, and half the egg. Mix in the butter and begin to add more of the remaining flour. The exact amount depends on how the dough feels – keep adding it and mixing until you have a dough that is still shiny, but doesn’t stick when you poke it. Too much flour is really drying – you can always add more flour after proving. Knead for about 5 minutes in a mixer or 10 minutes by hand. Cover the bowl and leave to rise for about 30-40 minutes or until doubled in size.

    3. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead briefly, dusting with flour if needed. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece in your hand into a long cylinder, then transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking trays and make into an ‘S’ shape. Leave to rise again for 25 minutes.

    4. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Add a single raisin to the centre of where the ‘S’ shape curves (two raisins for each bun), then brush gently with the remaining egg. Bake for around 10-12 minutes. The buns should have a slight tinge of brown on top, but not too much. You may need to turn the heat down if they brown too quickly as you want the saffron yellow colour to shine through. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, cover with a clean, damp tea towel – this prevents the buns from going dry and forming a crust as they cool.  

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