Friday, November 9, 2012

Santa Lucia sour cherry and saffron buns

Santa Lucia sour cherry and saffron buns / Pãezinhos de Santa Luzia

Usually it takes me some time to consider a cookbook a top favorite – I love beautiful books and they certainly get my instant attention, but I like to try some of the recipes first to be sure they actually work. However, Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious Baking is so pretty and everything in it sounds so delicious I came to the conclusion that it was the best cookbook I purchased in the last 11 months. Absolutely gorgeous.
Picking the first recipe to try was hard – I actually feel like making all the recipes in this book! – so I settled for one that reminded me of my mom: when I was little, she had a small statue of St. Lucy at home, and I was very intrigued and even a bit scared by the image of a woman holding a tray with two eyes in it. Later on in life, when I was 8 or so, I found out that my dad had had an accident in the late 70s and lost one of his eyes in it – that is why mom had St. Lucy around the house.
I don’t believe in God or in saints but could not resist making these buns just because of my mom.

Santa Lucia sour cherry and saffron buns
from the absolutely beautiful Scandilicious Baking

375ml whole milk
pinch of saffron threads
2¼ teaspoons (7g) dried yeast
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, melted and warm
350g all purpose flour
150g whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 dried cherries (double the amount if they’re too small)
1 egg, extra, lightly beaten with a fork, for brushing the buns

In a small saucepan, heat the milk with the saffron strands until it starts to come to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside until lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast in a large bowl, pour over the milk and mix with a fork. Stir through the melted butter. Add the flours, cardamom, sugar, salt, egg and vanilla to the milk mixture and mix with a spoon until a sticky dough forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough starts to feel smooth and elastic – the dough is quite wet so you may want to use a dough scraper during the early stages of kneading (I used the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook and added 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour to the dough because it was too liquid). Transfer the dough to a lightly buttered large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise. Leave it for about 1-1½ hours until it has doubled in size.
Line a large baking sheet with foil. Punch the dough to remove the excess air then transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Knead it in to a log and then slice into 12 pieces of roughly equal size. Shape these into balls and then splay your hands to roll the bun into a sausage shape, then fold the ends into an S shape and carefully place them onto the prepared sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove and double in size again. This should take 20-30 minutes – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Once the buns have risen, stuff each crevice of the S shaped bun with a dried cherry (two each if they’re too small). Poke them into the dough so they don’t pop up during proving or baking. Lightly glaze each bun with a little beaten egg and bake for 20-30 minutes or until they’re golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Makes 12


Torviewtoronto said...

deliciously done bun
picture looks wonderful

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Gorgeous buns, Patricia! As usual, I'm in love!

Lynna said...

It looks beautiful! Love the shape.

Valentina said...

This book is really dream like. I just thought of you yesterday - beautiful cups just like yours but in all sorts of beautiful colours and patterns. You'd have loved it. Love saffron buns - if I'd bought the cups we could have done a swap

Laura said...

Yum! Pinning now!

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