Saffron equals Christmas season. I blame lussekatter for it - a sweet yeast bun which is traditionally eaten on December 13 in Sweden [my recipe is here].
I make lussekatter every year but this year I became a little bit adventurous. Or maybe I was seduced by the heavenly smell of saffron which might be a little bit dangerous because it is the most expensive spice in the world. Every time I use up a little sachet of saffron I sniff on the empty sachet and I can never get enough of this smell.
Oh and the shining yellow color of saffron! Nature has so many beautiful colors to offer. Sometimes I
look star at a beautiful apple or a pomegranate I am unable to bring myself to eat the fruit because it looks too pretty to eat.
Wait a second, I think I got sidetracked again: lets talk about saffron and baking. The last couple of days I was in the kitchen and making saffron bread buns, Swedish snurror with an orange vanilla filling and this morning I made saffron brioches and I want to share my recipe with you. I love brioches [I make them often on weekend mornings]and this morning I decided to make the brioche with a touch of Christmas and added saffron and raisins. Fresh out of the oven with a little bit of butter, this was today's Sunday breakfast. So scrumptious!
Maybe I should not mention that I have yet to make lussekatter for Santa Lucia which is next Friday. You will find me in the kitchen at 5 am and baking countless of fresh lussekatter which I will give away. I know, I know I am crazy but I am really looking forward to it: getting up early in the morning while it is still dark, quiet in the house, sneaking off to the kitchen and surrounded by the smell of saffron. This is what makes me smile.
PS: Have a look at the last picture of this post. This is a birthday card that my very sweet friend Shangching made for me. It is such a special card and I think she knows me too well that I like brioche. Shangching also has a blog about ink, stationary and you can admire her beautiful handwriting. Read her blog here.
Makes 8 to 9 Brioches
- 375 g all-purpose flour
- 20 g fresh yeast
- 50 g confectioners’ sugar
- 50 ml whole milk [lukewarm]
- 85 g unsalted butter
- 0.1 g saffron [ground]
- 2 eggs
- 2 pinch of salt
- 75 g raisins
- 1 egg yolk
- Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
- Crumble the yeast into the well. Add 1 teaspoon of the confectioners’ sugar and two tablespoons of lukewarm milk. Stir until the yeast dissolved. Dust the sponge with flour and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the sponge rest for 15 minutes.
- I wrote a little advice post about yeast dough which you can read here.
- Melt the butter and it cool down. Add rest of the milk and saffron and stir until the saffron is dissolved.
- Add the saffron mixture, the rest of the confectioners’ sugar, eggs, salt and raisins to the sponge. Mix all ingredients well; then knead the dough on a well-floured surface until the dough is smooth. If the dough is very sticky, add mire flour to it.
- Place the dough back to the bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm and draft-free place for 45 minutes or until the dough is doubled in size.
- Grease and flour brioche moulds or a muffin pan.
- Knead the dough again and divide the dough into 8 to 9 pieces.
- Divide each piece again into a big and a small piece [1/4 of the piece]. Form each piece into balls. Place the bigger ball into the brioche mould or muffin pan. Make a little well into the ball and place the smaller ball into the well.
- Place the brioche mould on a baking sheet.
- Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon lukewarm water. Brush the brioches with the egg yolk. Cover the brioches with a kitchen towel and let them rise for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220 °C.
- Bake the brioches for 8 to 9 minutes. After 3 to 4 minutes in the oven, cover the brioches with aluminum foil [because the brioches color quickly], continue to bake.