St Lucia buns
- 250ml/9fl oz milk
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
- 500g/1lb 2oz sturdy white bread flour, extra for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 x 7g sachet instant yeast
- 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
- 100g/3½oz quark cheese
- vegetable oil, for greasing (optional)
- 1 free-range egg yolk, for glazing
- 24 raisins
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over a low flame until steaming. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the Persian saffron threads and butter and set separately for 15 minutes, or until the saffron has imbued the milk and the milk has cooled slightly.
- Tip the flour into a bowl, and then add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. And add the sugar.
- Rinsing the saffron-infused milk over the flour, then add the quark. Stir the mixture using fingers until it comes as soft dough and the sides of the bowl are clean.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work exterior and knead for 5-6 minutes, or until the dough is no sticky and has a flat, silky exterior. Transfer the dough to a casually oiled bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1½-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Brush two baking sheets with vegetable oil or powder with flour.
- When the dough has shown, knock it back, and then divide into 12 equally-sized pieces. Shape the dough into 30cm/12in-long sausage shapes.
- Bend four of the pieces of dough into S-shapes, curling each end of the S-shape tightly like a scroll. Place onto one of the ready baking trays.
- Shape the pieces of dough into S-shapes, but this time just fold the ends of the S-shaped back on themselves rather than coiling them tightly. Place two of the S-shapes on one of the ready baking dishes, and place the other two on top of them to make cross shapes.
- The remaining pieces of dough can be shaped into traditional animal shapes including oxen, cats, and birds – instead, bend them into S-shapes as before.
- Cover the dough shapes insecurely with cling film and set aside to prove again for 30-45 minutes, or till they have doubled in size.
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
- Clash the dough shapes all over with a slight of the beaten egg yolk, then garnish each shape with two raisins (for the S-shaped buns, place the raisins in the center of each coil of dough).
- Bake the buns in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown and cooked finished. Set apart to cool on a wire rack.