The saffron dinger is back in production after forgotten recipe found

Matt Ellis from Bushells bakery, Lowestoft has started baking the historic easter cakes 'Saffron Din

Matt Ellis from Bushells bakery, Lowestoft has started baking the historic easter cakes 'Saffron Dingers' PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Nothing says Easter like a saffron dinger - at least that was the case some 50 years ago.

For while most of us associate hot cross buns with the seasonal festival, for our east coast ancestors it had to be a spicy bun.

Now the forgotten recipe has been rediscovered in a family cookbook, the dinger is back.

The first batch came out of the oven at Bushells Bakery in Lowestoft this week bringing a vintage flavour to this year's celebrations.

Company director Matt Ellis said it had all come about following an appeal from Norfolk saffron grower Sally Francis.


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He said: 'After a bit of research we located an old Lowestoft original hand written recipe in none other that the Bushells Bakery managing director's aunt's cookbook. The trial batch has been made - and tested -and we have the saffron dingers back in production.

'This has been an exciting product to work on.

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'I had never tried saffron before and it seems it may be a bit of a Marmite love-it-or-hate it kind of flavour, personally I love it. People will just have to try them and let us know what they think.'

Sally Francis said it was 'very exciting' the dinger was back in commercial production after 50 years.

She had come to know about the cakes, which are specific to Lowestoft and Yarmouth, at various food fayres and was intrigued to find out more.

An appeal for information resulted in three original recipes from Lowestoft, she said, adding: 'I'd still love to learn more about Yarmouth's recipes though – I don't think they called the cakes dingers there – so Yarmouth people please get in touch.

'Matt Ellis at the bakery was really enthusiastic about this idea, so I visited the bakery and together we made some prototypes using Bushell's own recipe.

'The dingers are delicious – baking with saffron is my favourite way of using the spice. It's lovely to be re-introducing a traditional food made with locally produced ingredients.'

To celebrate a Dinger Day is being held at Lowestoft Museum on Sunday April 2, 11.30-4pm, for people to share their memories of the cakes and original recipes. Saffron flour will also be on sale.

The buns, said to be a bit like rock cakes, are available to buy priced £2.40 for two from branches of Bushells Bakery and the East of England Co-op.

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