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Whole Wheat St. Lucia Saffron Buns

Whole Wheat St Lucia Saffron Buns
These soft saffron buns are 100% whole grain and are traditionally eaten in Sweden on St. Lucia Day and throughout December.
Yield 24 buns



  • 3 to 3 3/4 cups (375-469g) white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (40g) potato flour
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 (0.25oz each) packages (14g) or 4 1/2 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 2/3 cup (158ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 3/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter (or room temperature coconut oil, see note)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water (whisked together)
  • 48 raisins


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups white whole wheat flour, potato flour, vital wheat gluten, sugar, ground cardamom, salt and yeast. Set aside.
  • Mix together the milk, water and saffron threads in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot and steamy, but not yet simmering. The mixture should turn quite orange-yellow. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Stir until completely melted. Let cool to between 120-130°F (49-54°C) and then add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, along with the eggs. Use a silicone spatula to stir until well combined. It may be quite dry and crumbly at the beginning but should eventually become wet and smooth.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add 1 cup of the remaining white whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup at a time, while mixing at the lowest speed. Fully incorporate the flour before adding more. The dough should still be quite sticky and won't pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Knead on low for 5 minutes. The dough will still be a little sticky and won't completely pull away from the sides of the bowl. When you touch it, it should stick to your finger just a little bit. If it's still very sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until no longer very sticky. If adding more flour, knead for another 2 minutes on low.
  • Using a silicone spatula, scoop the dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
  • Punch the dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Prepare 2 baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  • Divide the dough into 24 pieces (40g each) and roll each piece into a 7-inch rope. Form an S-shape and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving about 3 inches between each bun as they spread quite a bit.
  • Cover the baking sheet with lightly oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for 30 – 45 minutes or until doubled.
  • Once they’ve almost doubled, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Brush the egg wash over the buns and place one raisin on each end of the buns.
  • Bake the buns for 8-11 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
  • Serve immediately, or cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Can be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave at 50% power for 10-20 seconds or until soft and warm.


*Refined coconut oil was used, which has no coconut taste. If you use unrefined coconut oil, these are likely to have a coconut taste to them.
Recipe by Texan Erin.

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