Sticky Saffron Buns with Vanilla Beans

Slofoodgroup Team January 27, 2019

Warm up on a chilly winter day with these Sticky Saffron Buns, made with vanilla beans and maple syrup! 

Comfort food for me comes in the form of flour, sugar, and vanilla. If a recipe asks for a combination of those three things, you can bet the outcome will be delicious. This recipe takes a little time and patience. It requires you to work the flour with your hands and wait for it to rise. There is something so satisfying watching dough rise and then watching it turn from a gooey ball into a delicious golden bun. The saffron is what catches your eye with this recipe, but in my opinion, it is the vanilla that brings everything together to make this an irresistible treat. Melting butter, maple syrup, and a vanilla bean over some heat, your home will smell delicious and I am sure a small gathering will appear as you present these yummy sticky buns. You can enjoy them as is, or slice them open and add butter. With sticky fingers and a big smile, you’ll wonder if you’ll have time to make another batch later in the day.
 

Sticky Saffron buns with vanilla beans and maple syrup makes 8 buns

 Ingredients

 For the dough
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 tbsp. granulated or superfine sugar
  • a pinch of crushed saffron strands
  • 5 tsp fast acting yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
 
For the syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 vanilla bean (pod)
 

Directions

  1. In a small pot, add milk, butter, sugar, and 1/3 cup water over medium heat for about 1 minute until butter is melted and the mixture is lukewarm.
  2. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add saffron and yeast, whisk to combine. Set aside until mixture is yellow and slightly frothy, about 15-30 minutes. (make sure mixture from step 1 is not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
  3. Using either a stand mixer or a hand mixture with dough hooks, combine both flours, salt, and the mixture from step 2. Knead for about 3 minutes on low speed, slowly increasing it to medium. If the flour is being difficult, add 1-2 tsp of water. 
  4. Move dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Grease a cake pan. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball. Place 1 dough ball in the center of the pan and arrange the other pieces in a circle around it, leaving a little space on all sides of each ball if possible. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 1.5 hours, allowing it to double in size.*
  6. When the 1.5 hours of rising is almost up, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the risen buns for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Insert a skewer or toothpick in the middle and make sure it comes out clean. 
 
*if the air isn’t warm enough, or the dough needs more time, you can let it rise overnight.
 
While buns are baking, make the syrup.
 
  1. Crush the cardamom seeds and remove the outer pods. Lightly crush the seeds. With a knife, slit the vanilla bean lengthwise and with the tip of the knife, scrape out the seeds. 
  2. In a small pot, add the maple syrup, butter, cardamom and vanilla seeds over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally, until butter has melted and syrup has thickened. Reduce the heat to avoid scorching it. Set aside and keep warm. 
  3. Once the buns are baked, use a pastry brush to coat them evenly with the syrup. Let them cook for 10 minutes before serving. 

 
The buns are best eaten fresh or within a day or two!

 

 

 

 

 





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