Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Safflower Buns with Prunes

Who would have thought that an exotic spice as saffron would be a staple in a traditional English recipe. The history behind this is an intriguing matter and should you want to know more about it don't hesitate to nip across to My Custard Pie. I love calling in at Sally's site for a regular pie of an extremely good and amusing read.

Saffron buns with raisins were chosen from Sally from My Custard Pie to be this month's Fresh from the Oven challenge. Through the saffron these buns represent the connection between Sally's present home Dubai and her home country England.

It's funny to know that saffron buns are also known as ‘revel buns’, but the more I like how they are called in West Cornwall - ‘tea treat buns’ as (quoting Sally) "they were often baked for events known as Tea Treats, which were organised by Methodist churches and chapels for the local community".

Unfortunately we had no saffron and I don't know why but raisins of a good quality are rare to find this season. This is why we opted for what we had on hand – safflower and the last of our home dried prunes.

We ate the buns with sour cream, sprinkled with flakes of sea salt.

Tea: We would suggest black tea for these buns but currently we are very short of black tea so we had them with Long Zhu - a very pleasant and mild Chinese green tea. Although almost any tea would be fine here.

Go to Purely Food at the end of the month where Claire will post the round-up and you can see how everybody coped with the challenge.

Safflower Buns with Prunes Recipe
Makes 10 buns
  • 300 gr all purpose flour;
  • 4 gr safflower, reduced into a fine powder (a mortar comes in hand here);
  • 5 gr salt;
  • 60 gr butter, melted;
  • 45 gr sugar;
  • 15 gr fresh yeast;
  • 1 medium egg, beaten;
  • 70 ml milk, lukewarm;
  • 50 ml water;
  • 100 gr pitted dried prunes, chopped;
  • 1 egg, beaten – for glazing.
Combine flour, safflower powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.

Dissolve yeast in the water and mix together with the milk, egg and butter in the bowl of your stand mixer equipped with the dough hook. Add in the dry ingredients and let the mixer knead the dough for 15 minutes, then knead in the chopped dried prunes. Cover the bowl and let the dough become double in bulk.

Give the dough a quick knead, divide it into 10 balls, shape them and arrange on a lined with paper baking sheet. Cover the buns with a towel and let them prove. We baked the buns in rectangular silicone muffin cups. The buns were supposed to be rectangular but they expanded way more than expected.

Glaze with egg and bake in a preheated to 190ÂșC oven for about 20 -25 minutes or until golden brown.


  1. I have never baked with safflower - I'm intrigued...it gives a gorgeous colour but what is the taste like? Prunes in buns - inspired. SO glad you joined this one - I love your little yellow mini-loaves. Perfect as always. And thanks so much for the kind words - mutual admiration.

  2. Sally, I've baked with saffron only once but I find that tastewise it is very similar to safflower. Here safflower is sold as saffron, although it is not as expensive as saffron.
    Thank you for the lovely challenge!



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