(Swedish Saffron Christmas Bread)
Adapted from here
Yields one 11-inch loaf
1/2 cup (125 ml) warm water (110° to 115°F)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup (125g) warm milk (110° to 115°F) weigh and amend
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar – I only use 40g
1/4 cup (57g) butter, softened
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon saffron threads crushed in between your fingers (kept mine in fridge so it’s really dry and easy to crush)
4- 5 cups all-purpose flour (550g)
Egg wash (1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water beaten together) (omitted)
- In your stand mixer, place 1/4 of lukewarm water and sprinkle yeast on it. Add sugar, milk, saffron and eggs, stir to combine before adding 500g flour. Start kneading until a soft dough forms. If the dough is too wet add a tablespoon of the reserved 50g flour as needed. Knead until smooth before adding the butter. Continue to knead until elastic and pliable. Dough should be smooth and tacky but not sticking to finger.
- Remove and place on a floured bowl, covered with a plastic and allow to proof until doubled or tripled in size.
- Punch down and divide the dough and shape as desired. I divide mine into 3 pieces and made into a loaf and 3 St Lucia buns.
- Leave to proof again until doubled before baking in preheated oven at 180C for 35-40 minutes or until golden and cooked. Watch it at the last few minutes, if bread turns too dark, cover with a foil.
- Once cooked, remove and place on cooling rack to cool before slicing.