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Swedish Saffron Bread

Randy Mayor
Yield 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
Traditionally served in Sweden on December 13 to commemorate St. Lucia, Swedish saffron bread is great anytime and makes a fitting accompaniment for breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup warm 2% reduced-fat milk (100° to 110°)
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided (about 15 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • Cooking spray

Nutrition Information

  • calories 164
  • caloriesfromfat 19 %
  • fat 3.4 g
  • satfat 1.8 g
  • monofat 0.9 g
  • polyfat 0.3 g
  • protein 4.4 g
  • carbohydrate 29.3 g
  • fiber 1.2 g
  • cholesterol 33 mg
  • iron 1.6 mg
  • sodium 180 mg
  • calcium 32 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine 1 cup hot water, raisins, and currants in a bowl. Cover and let stand 10 minutes or until raisins and currants plump. Drain and set aside.

  2. Dissolve 1 tablespoon sugar, saffron, and yeast in warm milk in a small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 3 cups flour, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add raisins, currants, yeast mixture, butter, and 1 egg to flour mixture; stir until dough forms.

  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.

  4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 times.

  5. Divide dough into 3 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 16-inch rope. Place ropes lengthwise on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (do not stretch); pinch ends together at one end to seal. Braid ropes; pinch loose ends to seal. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  6. Preheat oven to 375°.

  7. Lightly beat remaining egg in a small bowl. Gently brush dough with egg. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.