Saffron loaf
  • Serves icon Serves 10
  • Time icon Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 45 min, plus 4 hours proving

delicious. editor Karen Barnes’ stunning saffron loaf is buttercup yellow and makes a gorgeous weekend breakfast treat, served with a hot cup of coffee.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
343kcals
Fat
6.8g (3.5g saturated)
Protein
8.9g
Carbohydrates
60.8g (23.1g sugars)
Fibre
1.7g
Salt
0.6g
Calories
343kcals
Fat
6.8g (3.5g saturated)
Protein
8.9g
Carbohydrates
60.8g (23.1g sugars)
Fibre
1.7g
Salt
0.6g

Ingredients

  • ½ x 0.4g pack saffron threads
  • Grated zest 1 orange,  juice ½
  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground mixed spice
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 25g fresh yeast (or 7g sachet dried yeast)
  • 180ml whole milk, gently warmed
  • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten, plus 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • Sunflower oil for greasing
  • 150g icing sugar

You’ll also need…

  • 3lb (1.3kg) loaf tin, lightly oiled

Method

  1. Mix the saffron and orange zest with 40ml boiling water in a small heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Sift the flour, salt, mixed spice and sugar in a large bowl. In a jug, blend the yeast with the milk until smooth.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the saffron and orange water, yeast/milk, 2 beaten eggs and the softened butter. Mix lightly with your fingers until everything comes together to form a slightly sticky (but not wet) dough. Mix in a tablespoon of warm water if the mixture is a bit dry.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until silky smooth. Lift the dough up high and slap it back down onto the surface to develop the gluten. You are after a stretchy dough that’s firmer than when you started. Put the kneaded dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm (a kitchen cupboard is ideal) to rise for 1½-2 hours until doubled in size (rich doughs like this take longer to rise than regular bread doughs).
  5. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a couple of times to release any large air bubbles. Return the dough to the oiled bowl, re-cover and leave to rise for 1 hour more or until doubled in
    size.
  6. Shape the dough into a smooth lozenge shape the length of your
    tin, then carefully put it in the tin. Brush the bread generously with
    the beaten egg. Loosely cover with oiled cling film and leave the loaf
    to prove for about 1 hour until risen to almost the height of the tin (or higher if your tin is shallow).
  7. Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes until risen and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. In a small bowl combine the icing sugar and orange juice to make a smooth, thick but drizzleable icing. Drizzle it over the bread and leave to set. Serve sliced as it is or lightly toasted under the grill.

delicious. tips

  1. The dough can have its second rise in the fridge overnight (step 5), but you will need to bring it back to room temperature before shaping.

    Leave the dough to prove (step 6) in the tin as in the recipe.

    The baked loaf will keep for 48 hours in a sealed container. Freeze, sliced and well wrapped in cling film and foil, for up to 1 month.

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