Swedish vegan saffron buns
Winter is coming! And so is that time of the year! Where you devour way too many saffron buns, I mean.
Everyone who knows me well knows I love saffron buns. At least Swedes, anyway. You see, the saffron bun (lussebulle in Swedish) is a pastry deeply rooted in Swedish tradition. You eat them for Christmas and you eat lots of them! And since I won’t be in Sweden in December, I’ve decided to let Christmas come early this year. First up were these delicious saffron buns!
Since I only cook and bake with vegan ingredients, I’ve made these milk and egg free. Most people look at me in disbelief when they hear I’ve managed to bake without eggs. “Is that even possible?!” Of course it is. If you ask me, most baked goods can be made entirely without eggs and still turn out really well.
Anyway. There are plenty of great recipes for vegan saffron buns out there. But I’m the kind of person who almost never uses a recipe. I skim through them quickly and then use my creativity to estimate measurements and amounts. Most of the time it works out well! But for your sake, I thought I’d try to jot the recipe down anyway. Because it would truly be a shame if I kept this recipe to ultimate happiness for myself.
For these saffron buns, I used the ingredients listed in this recipe at ICA, but changed the way I prepare them. If you ask me, the way I do it makes the buns a lot juicier and delicious-er. Ready, set, go!
VEGAN SAFFRON BUNS
Preparation time: ~ 2 - 2.5 hours
For app. 30 buns:
➡ 50 g fresh yeast
➡ 175 g milk-free margarine or butter (room temperature!)
➡ 1 g saffron
➡ 2 dl (200 ml) white sugar
➡ 5 dl cold plant-based milk + a little bit extra for later
➡ 1/2 tsp salt
➡ app. 12-15 dl white flour (I use Manitoba Cream)
Put the yeast - cut into small pieces - in a big bowl or baking machine. Pour over the milk and stir the mixture until the yeast has been dissolved. In a separate small bowl, grind the saffron carefully with a little bit of the sugar. Then add the saffron/sugar mix to the liquid. Add the rest of the sugar and the salt and stir thoroughly.
Cut the butter into small pieces, add to the liquid mixture. Start adding small amounts of the flour while stirring (don’t worry, at some point the butter will merge with the dough). If you’re working by hand, eventually you will need to start kneading the dough by hand.
The dough is ready when it’s moist, but not sticky. Too much flour will make it feel dry, and too little will make the dough stick on your hands when you’re working with it. Another great way of knowing if it’s ready is to gently push your fist into the dough, and if you hear a little puffing sound, it’s a good sign.
When the dough is ready, turn it over on a clean surface covered with a little bit of flour. Cut the dough into two smaller doughs - it’s a lot easier to work with one smaller dough at a time.
For each dough: Cut it into app. 15 pieces of similar size. Roll each piece into a stick-like (?!) shape and then turn each end in the opposite direction towards each other… That makes no sense. So for your convenience, I’ve done my best to illustrate the process:
Quite simple eh? :-) Now put the buns on a baking sheet. Cover the buns with plastic film (in contrast with using a towel as cover, the plastic film doesn’t soak up moisture from the buns) and let them rise for 1.5 hours. Turn the oven on 225 degrees C when a little bit of time is left.
After 1.5 hours, remove the plastic film and brush the top of the buns with a little bit of milk (for a glossy finish) and put one raisin in the middle of each “circle” (see photo above).
Bake the buns in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until they are brown-ish on top.
VOILÀ! Time to enjoy these golden goodies ♡