Saffransbullar (Saffron Buns)

In my family, Christmas morning is not really about breakfast - it’s about presents, coffee and prepping for the rest of the day. But we always make sure to have a little something sweet with our coffee as we exchange gifts, and these Swedish Saffransbullar are perfect for that.

They are 100% best right out of the oven, with a bit of butter or jam on them (though they can be enjoyed later - just pop them in the oven to warm them up!). The light touch of saffron brings an extra festive and floral aroma, but for me, it’s all about the light and fluffy-ness of the bun itself. Just a little something sweet to get your morning going.


⅛ teaspoon saffron
6 tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
1 ¼ cups milk
1 tbsp active dry yeast
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup sugar
3 ¾ cups flour, plus some for rolling out
Currants for decoration
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp non-dairy milk

  1. Crush saffron with a little bit of the sugar.
  2. Melt butter in a small pot and add milk. Heat until warm (you should still be able to stick your finger in).
  3. Measure out yeast in a large bowl and mix in a couple tablespoons of the butter and milk mixture until the yeast dissolves. Mix in the rest of the milk and butter. Add in sugar and salt.
  4. Add in the flour and mix and knead it together for about 5 minutes. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  5. Dust a little flour on top of the dough, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
  6. Knead dough on floured surface.
  7. Cut the dough in half, in half again and continue until you have 16 sections of dough.
  8. Roll into classic saffransbullar “S” shapes. To do this, roll a single piece of the dough into a long rope, about 10-12 inches long. Starting with one end, tuck a few currants into the edge and begin to roll inward, until you reach the middle of the rope. With the other end, tuck currants to the edge and roll inward, in the opposite direction than the other end. See photos to see how these should look.
  9. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover with and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Now is a great time to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  11. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Huffington Post.