Cornish Saffron Buns

These gorgeous rich fruity buns, available in local bakeries all over Cornwall and subtly flavoured with Cornwall’s favourite saffron, are just the business.

Sometimes called ‘tea-treat buns’ they were a popular fixture of Church and Chapel outings: a bun was allocated to each child as a special treat.

Good enough to eat just as they are or spread with butter they are absolutely fabulous with jam and clotted cream.

Makes 12

  • 250ml milk
  • 60g butter, diced
  • Generous pinch of saffron threads
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon crushed sea salt
  • 125g mixed dried fruit and peel
  • 1 teaspoon crushed sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons golden caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ‘easy-bake’ dried yeast
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Plus:
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
  • You will need a large greased baking tray
  • Warm milk. Add butter and saffron. Steep for 20 minutes.
Combine flour, salt, fruit, sugar and yeast and make central well. Whisk egg into saffron milk and gradually incorporate into dry mix.

Knead together and transfer to sparingly floured board. Knead until the dough feels silky-smooth and elastic: this should take about ten minutes or more.

Prove for 1-2 hours or until virtually doubled in size.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls between your hands. Spread out on tray. Prove for another hour or until virtually doubled.

Bake in a preheated oven 180C (fan oven) gas mark 6 or equivalent for 20 minutes or until risen and golden brown.

Heat sugar and water in a small heavy bottomed pan until bubbling and brush over buns.

Allow the glaze to cool and set before eating.