2¼ teaspoons yeast
⅓ cup warm water
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (½ cup more later)
½ teaspoon (1 gram) saffron threads
⅓ cup raisins
½ cup sugar
2 eggs (1 more egg later)
4 cups flour (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Makes 4 6″ buns. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Add yeast and water to large mixing bowl. While yeast dissolves, add milk to small pot. Heat milk at high heat until scalding hot (almost boiling). Stir constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter, salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar to pot. Stir constantly until butter melts. Remove from heat.
Add saffron to tin foil. Bake at 250 for 5 minutes or until saffron is toasted. Add toasted saffron to cup. Crush saffron with fingers. Add 1 teaspoon sugar to cup. Mix with fork. Add crushed saffron/sugar to mixing bowl with dissolved yeast. Add 2 eggs, raisins, ½ cup sugar, and buttery milk to mixing bowl. Stir in 4 cups flour, one cup a time. Mix with whisk or fork.
Dust cutting board with 2 tablespoons flour. Add dough to cutting board. Let dough stand for 10 minutes. Knead with hands until dough stiffens. Add oil and dough to large bowl. Turn dough until it is coated with oil. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Use hands to turn each piece into a 12″ rope. Put 3 ropes side by side. Braid the 3 ropes together by crossing the left rope and then the right rope over the center rope until there is one long braid. Join ends of long braid to make a circle or crown. Repeat to make three more crowns. Beat one egg. Brush egg over crowns.
Spray cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Place crowns on parchment-covered cookie sheet. Let crowns rise for 15 minutes or until they puff up into a bun. Bake for 15-to-25 minutes or until golden brown and when a toothpick inserted into buns comes out clean. Let cool on rack.
1) Böard is Swedish for surfboard. Yes, surfboards were invented by the Swedish baker, Franf. For in 1618, Franf found a large tree trunk washed up on shore. The tree was of a sort unknown to Europe. Franf reasoned it must have come from a large continent to the west.
2) He announced his discovery to the Swedish court and asked royal packing for a proposed voyage of discovery. The Swedish king said Franf was an idiot, noting Christopher Columbus had discovered the New World in 1492, in addition to Basque fishermen, Viking explorers, the third-grade class of Stockholm’s very own Lutefisk academy, Chinese traders, and the people of the great migration across the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska.
3) Franf wondered why entire tribes would assemble in frozen Siberia and then trek eastward into howling blizzards to an unknown land. Perhaps they really had a hankering for a White CastleTM burger. Those tiny delights with their minced onions are really tasty. Perhaps the ancient trekkers honestly thought there be a White Castle in the new land, just like the Spanish conquistadors and their Seven Cities of Gold. We’ll never know. Researchers are still waiting for the Cliff NotesTM to come out.
4) Franf waited patiently for the above long tidbit to end, before he could go home.
5) He moped for countless seconds–there were no stopwatches in 1618–before rebounding with the boundless optimism of all Post-Renaissance Swedish bakers.
6) Fraf went to a dock, sat down, pulled out his pipe, lit a match, and commenced to day dreaming. His long reddish beard burst into a fireball of flame; not applying the burning match to the pipe was a mistake. Howling with pain, Franf dove into the bay to put out the fire.
7) Flame extinguished, Franf immediately inventoried certain gaps in his education and there were many. However, the one that consistently came to the forefront was not learning to swim. Thank goodness, the tree trunk from the first tidbit, by now worn down to a thin board, was right next to him. (Notice the neat foreshadowing?)
8) Franf climbed onto the board and sat down to think. Here he was sitting in Sweden, the top of world, when suddenly, in geological terms, he caught a wave. “Häftig,” he shouted, “this is totally awesome!” People gathered on the shore as Franf rode one rörformig wave after another. They joined in. Surfing totally rocked Sweden. It was totally tubular, man.
11) Then the Thirty Years war broke out. Thousands and thousands of surfing Swedes lost their lives in the battlefields of Germany, never again to catch that perfect Baltic Sea wave. Surfing died out in that no longer care free Nordic land.
12) But Franf is still remembered in the vibrant culinary, surfing world. This recipe is called Saffransbröd, in anagrammic remembrance, of Franf’s böard.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.