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Web's Best Recipe Saffron Bread

Every Christmas, my mother made recipe saffron bread using saffron mailed to us from our cousins in Cornwall, England. At that time, saffron wasn't available in our community.

Saffron bread is a UK delicacy served at Christmas and other holiday occasions. Perhaps other cultures serve it as well, but I don't know about that. It's a yeast bread, bright yellow in color, sometimes containing raisins, and flavored with saffron. I confess as a child, I wasn't keen on the taste, but that changed as I got older. Saffron bread is, perhaps, an "acquired taste."

Trivia: Saffron is the world's most expensive spice. It is obtained from the dried stigmas of the crocus flower, and must be harvested by hand. Saffron is most typically used in Spanish dishes like paella and saffron rice. SPANISH SAFFRON, 1 GRAM JAR is a good, economical choice, or for larger quantities, try the IRANIAN SAFFRON, 1 OUNCE TIN.

Tip #1: Although saffron is costly, it is extremely potent. A small amount goes a very long way.

Tip #2:Washed and sorted dried raisins or currants can be added to any recipe saffron bread. We didn't use dried fruits in my family, but many do.

Tip #3: For best results, add a Bread Dough Enhancer. Use per manufacturer's instructions.

Recipe Saffron Bread #1 -- Bread Machine

Tip #4:The Panasonic® Automatic Bread Maker with YeastPro Model SD-YD250 is the cadillac of bread makers.

3/4 cup water
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon SPANISH SAFFRON, 1 GRAM JAR
2 teaspoons yeast

If using saffron thread, grind to a coarse powder-like consistancy using a mortar and pestle. Bake on regular cycle.

Recipe Saffron Bread #2 -- Low Fat, Low Cholesterol

3/4 cup water
2 cup bread flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg beaters
1 1/2 tbsp applesauce
1/4 tsp SPANISH SAFFRON, 1 GRAM JAR
2 tsp active dry yeast

Add to bread machine in order suggested by manufacturer. Bake on regular cycle.

Recipe Saffron Bread #3 -- Manual

1/2 tsp SPANISH SAFFRON
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp lemon rind, grated
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 1/2 - 3 cups flour
1 cup raisins or currants (optional)

First, steep the saffron in the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Combine milk and butter in a saucepan, and heat until the butter melts. Cool.

Add the lemon rind. Sprinkle the yeast into the milk mixture when lukewarm. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Add the sugar, nutmeg, 2 cups of the flour and the saffron mixture. Beat until smooth. Stir in the currants or raisins if using, and another 1/2 cup of the flour. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Punch down and knead on a lightly-floured board until smooth.

Shape into a loaf and place in an oiled 4- by 9-inch bread pan. Let rise until doubled. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out on a wire rack. Slice recipe saffron bread after it has cooled.


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