- 2 packages dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups lukewarm milk, divided
- 1 teaspoon saffron
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, one slightly beaten, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup melted butter
- 8 cups flour, divided
- 1 cup seedless raisins
Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm milk.
Dry the saffron in a warm oven and pound smooth with small amount of sugar.
Mix the remaining 2 cups milk, the saffron, sugar, egg, salt, butter and a small amount of the flour. Add the dissolved yeast, the remaining flour and the raisins; beat until smooth and firm. Sprinkle with flour, cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Turn the dough out on floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide into portions and make braided loaves or lucia buns (as pictured).
Place on buttered baking sheets; cover and let rise.
Brush with a slightly beaten egg and bake in a moderate oven at 375°F, 15-20 minutes for loaves,10-15 minutes for buns.