Since going to New York and starting my new job, I have had NO time to be creative in the kitchen and write about it. But I miss it! And now that I’m getting back into my bread making, I feel like I need to document my trial and errors.
Firstly, saffron buns. I had never known what saffron smelt or tasted like before this as I’d only (supposedly) had it in paella in a restaurant, so it wasn’t distinguishable. As the most expensive commodity by weight, I was curious to experiment with it. It’s difficult to describe saffron – it is very fragrant (almost like a musky perfume), with a slight floral, honey scent and flavour. It tastes bitter when too much is used, which is probably why I did not enjoy my first experience in these buns! I got a little too excited as I wanted to be able to taste the saffron…boy, did I taste it! It wasn’t inedible, but the fragrance overpowers in the mouth!
I used my sourdough, which I refreshed twice the day before, just to ensure that it was active. Even though it takes patience to work with sourdough, I love the naturalness of it – it’s just flour and water…and it’s alive!
Saffron buns (adapted from txfarmer’s recipe)
- starter, 15g
- milk, 25g
- bread flour, 41g
- Mix and let fermentation at room temp (22c) for 12 hours.
- bread flour, 203g
- honey, 55g
- butter, 25g, softened
- egg whites, 60g
- salt, 3g
- milk, 102g
- saffron, half a teaspoon crushed (I used about a teaspoon which was too much!)
- raisins, 60g
- Heat the milk and add the saffron, let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix all ingredients until the windowpane stage.
- Bulk rise at room temp (22c) for 3 hours, the dough would have expanded noticeably, but not too much. Txfarmer’s recipe states to bulk rise in the fridge overnight, but I was too impatient.
- Punch out the dough, add raisins and shape into “S” shaped buns.
- Let them rise at about 7-10c overnight (some people say to leave bread in the fridge to rise, but mine never does – I find that 4c and below is too cold for any yeast to be active!). The buns did not rise much.
- Spray buns with water, and bake in preheated oven at 220c for 18min. Spray the oven with water every minute for the first 4 minutes to create steam for ovenspring!