Combine the hot water and saffron, and let sit for 10 minutes to soften the saffron. In a mixing bowl, beat together the saffron water, milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg, yeast, 2 cups of the flour. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead the dough (for about 15 minutes by hand, 12 minutes in an electric mixer, 90 seconds in a food processor, or in your bread machine using the dough cycle), then set it aside to rise till puffy (but not necessarily doubled in bulk), about 2 hours.
Punch the dough down, and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 16 pieces, and shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls fairly close together (but not touching) in a 12-inch deep -dish pizza pan or 9 x 13-inch pan, cover them, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until they're puffy.
Glaze the buns with the mixture of beaten egg white and water, then sprinkle them heavily with pearl sugar. Bake them in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 20 minutes, or until they're golden brown. ( watch them closely at the end; because of their high sugar content, they tend to brown quickly.) Serve with butter or Devon cream. Yield: 16 buns.
One bun Calories 114.8 Total Fat g 1.4 %cal from fat 10.7% Cholesterol mg 14 Carbs g 21.7 Sodium mg 229 Protein g 3.6
for 1/3 cup sugar.
***Original recipe called for butter.