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Cornish saffron buns

Cornish saffron buns
makes 12
prep 25 mins, plus soaking and rising cook 25–35 mins
freeze for up to 3 months


large pinch of saffron strands
1 tbsp boiling water
600g (1lb 5oz) strong plain flour
½ tsp salt
125g (4 ½ oz) butter
85g (3oz) caster sugar
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
1 egg
150ml (5fl oz) milk
200g (7oz) currants


1 - Place the saffron into a small dish. Pour over 1 tbsp boiling water and allow the saffron to steep until the water has cooled.

2 - Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, yeast, and saffron. Beat together the egg, milk, and 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) water, then stir into the flour and mix to form a soft dough.

3 - Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, then knead in the currants.

4 - Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and flatten slightly. Place the balls on an oiled baking tray, and cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film. Leave the buns in a warm place for 30-40 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.

5 - Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Bake near the top of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the buns are a light golden colour and sound hollow when tapped underneath. Remove the buns from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold.

Good with: Chilled butter or clotted cream.

Leftovers: Can be allowed to go a little stale, then used as a base for a trifle or in place of bread in a stuffing.

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