culinary review

Saffron & Almond Yeast Buns

Last Modified: 12/04/12
First Published: 12/03/12
Views: 764
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Views: 764

These Swedish saffron and almond paste buns are really nice; they're slightly sweet and stay moist and don't become dry like saffron breads sometimes tend to. The secret is using sour cream in the dough, and the almond filling also helps making the buns more flavorful. What's great about these buns is that you can either bake them individually in muffin forms, or you can put a whole bunch of them in a cake pan and bake them all together for a beautiful sweet bread.

In Sweden, most people use almond paste which they buy in the store, but considering that is hard to find here, we find it easier to just make our own version of almond paste using ground almonds, powdered sugar and some water. You can either grind your own almonds if you have an almond grinder, or you can pick up ground almonds at Trader Joe's for instance. Traditionally, you remove the skins of the almonds before making almond paste, however we tend to keep them on, since it really doesn't matter much in the way of flavor.

These saffron breads are wonderful to keep on hand in the freezer and take out during the month of December to enjoy with milk, tea and coffee, or why not a hot cup of glögg!

Makes about 30 servings


  • 6 2/3 cup ap flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsps (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 g saffron
  • 1 egg

  • 350 g ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 16 tbsp butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • almond slices
  • pearl sugar
In a large mixing bowl, mix together ther flour, the yeast and the sugar. Stir well and then add the salt. At this point add the butter, the milk, the sour cream, the saffron and the egg. Mix everything together with a large wooden spoon, and make sure the dough comes together nicely. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, make the almond paste by mixing the ground almonds with the powdered sugar until well combined. Then add the water and work it until you have a nice paste. If it won't come together at all, add a bit more water, however you don't want it to be too wet.

Once the dough has risen, work it together on a floured surface and divide it in two. Cover the one part while working on the other. Roll out the first part of the dough until you have a rectangle, about 1/3 inch thick. Spread 8 tbps (1 stick) of butter on the dough, then sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar and finally divide half of the almond paste all over the dough. Roll it up until you have one, long log.

Cut the dough in about 1 inch pieces, and place each one in a muffin form, alternatively line them up in a buttered pie dish for a whole cake. Cover everything with baking towels, repeat with the second part of the dough and let everything rise for 30 minutes.

Put the oven on 440 degrees, after 30 minutes brush the buns with whipped up egg and sprinkle almond slices and sugar on top. Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until slightly brown on top.

Enjoy warm with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. It's best to freeze whatever buns you won't eat within a day or two, since the saffron tends to dry the dough out quickly.