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Festive Citrus Buns

Soft pillowy buns with a hint of citrus 


Can someone tell me why do citrus fruits belong to winter? For me, coming from a Russian background, mandarins and clementines have always been a part of the New Year celebration table. Now, I find myself wondering, why could that be the case, why do we always have these fruits available during winter months? And why do they taste the best exactly then?

Enough of the questions, lets move on to the fun part, the baking :) Since those beautiful citrus fruits are available at their best exactly during winter time, I want to use them as much as I can in my baking. 

This recipe is for a brioche like buns or rolls, whichever way you would like to call them. They have a beautiful yellow color and a delicious citrusy scent to them. You can enjoy the flavourful buns as they are with some cold milk or some tea, or you can spread some butter and jam over the top and enjoy them like that. Which ever way you fancy the most.

With this recipe, as with any yeast recipe, please be sure to allow the dough to raise the suggested time. That is how you ensure the best results.

Happy Baking lovelies!


Step by Step Video


Festive Citrus Buns

Soft pillowy buns with a hint of citrus


  • one organic orange

  • one organic lemon

  • two organic mandarins

  • 250ml luke warm milk

  • some saffron to give the milk a nice color

  • 1/4tsp of turmeric

  • 5tbsp quark (or yogurt)

  • 450g flour

  • 50g sugar

  • 25g fresh yeast

  • 75g butter at room temperature

  • pinch of salt

  • 2-3 handfuls of dried cranberries

  • 1 egg + 1tbsp milk(for egg wash)

  • 2tbsp of honey

  • 1tbsp mandarin juice


  1. Wash the citrus fruits with hot soapy water, rinse well. Then peel the skin and slice into very small pieces.

  2. Warm the milk so that it is warm to touch and add saffron. If the milk doesn´t change the color to nice yellow shade (see video) you can also add the turmeric. Don´t worry, you are adding such a small amount of turmeric you will barely be able to taste it.

  3. Then add the peel of the citrus fruits, the quark and mix well.

  4. In a standing mixer add three tablespoons from the flour, all of the sugar and crumble the yeast on top of the sugar. Pour over the warm milk mix. (If the milk has cooled, make sure to re-heat it before adding it to the bowl.)

  5. Cover with a kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes.

  6. Then add the rest of the flour, the pinch of salt, the softened butter and start mixing with a dough hook first on a low setting and then on high. Mix the dough for about 10 minutes.

  7. Add cranberries and mix for another couple of minutes.

  8. Cover the dough again with a kitchen towel and allow to raise for one hour in a warm place. TIP. If it is very cold in your house, turn your oven to the minimum temperature it has and once it has reached it turn it off. Then you can place your dough to raise there. Make sure you use an oven proof bowl (I used glass bowl), even if the temperature is low it can still damage the bowl.

  9. Transfer the dough into a dusted kitchen surface, add a little flour to the dough if needed and knead it shortly with your hands. Then roll out the dough into a long roll and cut into nine equal pieces.

  10. Butter a square baking tin, roll the dough pieces into even round balls and arrange the rolls into the tin. Then cover again with a kitchen towel and leave to raise for another hour in a warm place.

  11. Prepare the egg wash by whisking one egg with a tablespoon of milk and then brush the buns carefully with the egg wash.

  12. Bake in 175°C bottom top heat in the middle shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes.

  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then remove from the baking tin.

  14. Mix the honey with the mandarin juice and brush the still warm buns with the citrus-honey glaze both from the top and from the sides.

  15. Serve cooled.

TIP. If you have some leftover bun, cover it completely into a clean kitchen towel to keep fresh for longer.

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