I made this for Christmas brunch. It was a solid hit. After the first rise (the night before) I placed it in the fridge and the following morning I let it warm to room temperture and then followed the braiding instructions. It took closer to 30 minutes to bake.
Swedish Saffron Bread
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.
Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 164
- Calories from fat: 19%
- Fat: 3.4g
- Saturated fat: 1.8g
- Monounsaturated fat: 0.9g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
- Protein: 4.4g
- Carbohydrate: 29.3g
- Fiber: 1.2g
- Cholesterol: 33mg
- Iron: 1.6mg
- Sodium: 180mg
- Calcium: 32mg
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- 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.
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