Serves a Crowd

Carson's Best Breakfast Saffron Buns

November 28, 2016
0 Ratings
  • Makes 12-16 rolls.
Author Notes

To me, holiday mornings mean the perfumed steam of saffron buns coming out of the oven. This recipe is the result of years of planning, experimentation and breakfast eating by my stepdad and my family. Ever the physicist, my stepdad tracked the results in a little brown notebook. I rolled the dough. After you eat a single batch of these, you will never eat a Cinnabon again. (Of course, my stepdad knows about this contest). —Katherine Walecka

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup warm water, at 110 degrees F
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 76 threads saffron (a large pinch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk (we usually use skim but any dairy milk will do)
  • 4 tablespoons melted but not hot butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (not kosher or coarse)
  • 1/32 teaspoon ground cardamom (or 1/3 of a pod, ground)
  • 4 cups all purpose flour; gold medal is best
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons soft butter (very easily spreadable with fingers)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated if you can
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  1. Mix first three ingredients (water, sugar, yeast) and allow to sit 20 minutes, until thick foam develops.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, grind saffron and sugar into fine orange powder.
  3. Heat milk to 110 degrees F. Mix the saffron/sugar powder into this warm milk.
  4. Add the butter, eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and cardamom to the warm milk. Mix until the eggs are well blended.
  5. Add the foaming yeast mixture to the other liquid ingredients (the egg-milk-saffron mixture).
  6. Mix first flour addition (four cups) into the liquid ingredients just until smooth. Turn dough out onto a surface with the remaining 1/4 flour.
  7. Knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Return dough to a butter-greased bowl. Let the dough rest 20 minutes.
  8. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a rectangle that measures 18"x24".
  9. Spread sheet of dough with 3 TB soft butter
  10. Sprinkle top surface of buttered dough with 3/4 tsp freshly grated cinnamon.
  11. Spread out over buttered, cinnamon-sprinkled dough 3/4 cup brown sugar. Try to get relatively even coverage.
  12. Drizzle over the top of the sugary dough 3 TB of light corn syrup. The purpose of the syrup is to prevent the butterscotch from crystallizing.
  13. Roll the dough up into a roll that is 24" long.
  14. Cut the roll into 12-16 equal segments, using unflavored dental floss. Place rolls, evenly spaced, into two buttered 9" cake pans.
  15. Allow rolls to rest until they double in bulk (about one hour). Preheat oven to 350.
  16. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are dark brown. Invert the pans over a serving plate, and the rolls should release. Do not frost. Enjoy, preferably with hazelnut coffee and a nice dad.

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