Saffron Buns

Saffron buns are traditionally baked around Christmastime in Sweden, especially in celebration of St. Lucia Day on December 13th.  Delicately perfumed with saffron, with an adorable “S” shape and a traditional topping of raisins or decorative sugar; these buns certainly have a holiday vibe.  While I am not Swedish, and had actually never tasted a saffron bun until I started testing out this recipe, I hope you enjoy my adaptation of them.  This is also the second in a three part series using one of our favorite flours, King Arthur Flour.  King Arthur All-Purpose Flour helps keep these buns fluffy despite rich ingredients like ricotta and butter.

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Sourdough Starter and Basic Loaf

If you have been interested in making sourdough but have held back because maintaining starters and baking with wild yeast seems complicated, or have just begun to bake with sourdough and would like a straightforward recipe for a basic loaf, this post is for you!  I am excited to share Cultures for Health Sourdough Starter Kits as an easy way to begin your own sourdough starter.  They carry four different kinds: San Francisco Sourdough, Whole Wheat Sourdough, Gluten-Free Sourdough and Rye Sourdough.  I tried out all but the Rye one, and was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I had a starter going, and how precise and helpful their included instructions were.  Within a week, I was baking with their starters and turning out scrumptious sourdough loaves.

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Olive and Thyme Focaccia

From time to time we like to feature products on the blog that we personally enjoy using.  This is the first of three posts for the holidays featuring King Arthur Flour.  My first introduction to this company was in the form of a baking catalogue that arrived in our mailbox when I was a teenager.  You know when you flip through a toy catalogue as a kid and circle things you really want, and then circle AND put a star by the stuff you really, really want?  That was me with this catalogue.  Grocery stores in Buford, GA certainly did not carry these kind of ingredients in the nineties.  I was in mail order heaven!  And while I live on the west coast now, and grocery stores across the USA carry King Arthur Flour today; I still flip through that catalogue every time it comes and might even circle a few things.

Focaccia is a tasty alternative to plain rolls for your Thanksgiving spread.  It also makes fantastic sandwiches with all those turkey leftovers.  I used King Arthur’s all-purpose flour as well as some of their bread flour in this recipe to give it a nice chewy texture.

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