Saffron Bread Wreath

There’s nothing more festive than a slightly-sweet saffron bread wreath!

I was inspired by traditional Swedish saffron buns and also the Santa Lucia tradition of a wreath with candles!  I like to make TWO of these wreathes at a time, one to eat and one to use as a centerpiece after I stud it with taper candles!

You will need:

1 cup melted butter
1⁄2 teaspoon saffron
1 cup milk
3⁄4 cup sugar
4 teaspoon dry active yeast
61⁄2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 egg white, beaten
1/2 cup sultanas or golden raisins plus more for decorating

  1. Stir the saffron into the butter, and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the milk and add the butter and sugar.
  3. Pour into a baking bowl and when its finger warm you stir in the yeast.
  4. Leave to proof a bit for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Add flour, eggs, and raisins or sultanas and mix until smooth.
  6. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  7. On a floured surface, work the dough a bit and roll it and tuck it to form it into a tubular ring.
  8. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  9. Brush with egg white and decorate with sultanas. Snip around the ring with scissors to make a pretty pattern of slits that will make your baked loaf look as if it has been braided without all the work!
  10. Preheat oven for at least 20 minutes to 375F. Allow dough to proof more while you’re waiting for the oven to get hot.
  11. Bake at 375°F until golden, about 25-30 minutes.
  12. Cool on a wire rack.
  13. Serve warm with tons of butter!

Photography by Paul “Sweet Paul” Lowe