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Gorgeous seahorse buns |

Sweet, swirly and saffrony. These San Lucia buns are the perfect Christmas Day breakfast, we followed the BBC good food recipe

Prep time: 3 hours

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Makes: 12 buns


300ml whole milk

0.5g pack of saffron (or a large pinch)

75g butter

500g strong white bread flour

100g caster sugar

7g dried yeast

1 egg (plus another for egg wash)

24 raisins

1. You had me at yellow

Warm your 300ml milk (gently, Bentley) in a saucepan. Once it's starting to steam, but not boiling, add your 75g cubed butter and pinch of saffron strands. Stir off the heat until the butter has melted and the milk is shining brighter than five gold rings.

Weigh out your dry ingredients (500g flour,100g caster sugar,7g dried yeast) and add to a bowl along with one egg. Pour the saffron milk overtop and mix first with a spoon and then your hands until you get a dough.

2. Knead 'em and weep

Once your mixture has come together as a dough, knead it on a floured surface for ten minutes. It may be a bit sticky but persevere, whip out your doughscraper if you're feeling profesh.

Tuck the dough into his greased bowl bed with a piece of oiled clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to rise for an hour, then waken him by cooing 'rise and shine resplendent golden bébé'.

3. Get in shape

Divide your dough into 12 equal pieces under the watchful eye of the Christmas Queen; Delia. (You'd better watch out...She sees you while you're sleeping and awake at Christmas)

Roll each section into a sausage and then twist the end up half way, flip over and twist the other end toward the centre; you should be left with an S-shape. Place them on a baking tray coated with baking paper, build your army of seahorse YOU ARE POSEIDEN GOD OF THE SEA!! PUNY LAND MORTALS WILL BOW DOWN TO YOU!! YOU.. oh ..wait..ahem.. You are a mere pesky Dan preparing some delicious saffron buns..

Time to leave your little fries for their second rise to grow into magnificent seahorses. Cover with oiled clingfilm. We left ours in the fridge overnight, but if you're keen to eat them up pop them in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.

3. Bake it 'til you make it

Once you have awoken from your Christmas-eve slumber (or while you're waiting for your seahorses to mature) preheat your oven to 200°C. Brush with a beaten egg and place a raisin in each swirl. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, they should be golden and beautiful.

Leave to cool (if you can wait that long).

Have a god jul-d dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "My favourite thing about Christmas is that it can really open your eyes to other cultures and customs and how holidays are celebrated around the world; these buns are eaten in Sweden to celebrate St Lucia’s day and the light in dark times - and they definitely brightened up my day. Actually, Kate and I made them for Christmas morning, leaving them in the fridge overnight to prove so they were no faff when there was so many other things (*cough* presents) to think of. They were super easy and super fun to make but went stale faster than an overtold joke from a christmas cracker. 9/10"

Kate says: "Saffron is a spice I have lurking in my cupboard but I’m never quite sure what to do with it. That is, until now. Although these are strictly a Christmas bun, I’d be happy to have them for breakfast any time of year. The saffron flavour is really lovely and we had these almost fresh out the oven for breakfast with butter and some jam. I left them to rise in the fridge overnight, but I think next time I would just do the second rise straight before cooking because they were a little tough. 8/10"

8.5/10 Gasps


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