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This recipe employs the technique of steeping saffron in hot liquid to release its color and aroma, which adds a wonderful, mellow flavor to this bread. Saffron breads are a tradition in southwestern England and throughout many Nordic countries, especially Sweden and Finland. Serve toasted or plain with honey for a special holiday breakfast or brunch.

Recipe by Cooking Light December 2003

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Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro

Recipe Summary

Yield:
2 loaves, 20 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine milk and saffron; let stand 10 minutes.

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  • Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir in milk mixture. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 5 cups flour, raisins, 1/4 cup sugar, butter, and salt to milk mixture, stirring to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).

  • Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide in half. Shape each portion into a 5-inch round loaf. Place loaves, seam sides down, 3 inches apart, on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Make 2 diagonal cuts 1/4-inch-deep across top of each loaf using a sharp knife. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

  • Preheat oven to 375º.

  • Uncover dough. Bake at 375º for 30 minutes or until loaves are browned on bottom and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on wire racks.

Nutrition Facts

199 calories; calories from fat 11%; fat 2.4g; saturated fat 1.2g; mono fat 0.6g; poly fat 0.3g; protein 5.4g; carbohydrates 39.5g; fiber 1.4g; cholesterol 5mg; iron 1.9mg; sodium 145mg; calcium 33mg.
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