The exotic scents of saffron and lemon will fill your kitchen when you bake this beautiful braided bread.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
1 hr 30 mins
cook:
1 min
additional:
59 mins
total:
2 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
15
Yield:
1 loaf
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Ingredients

15
Original recipe yields 15 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat; add butter, sugar and stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, soak the saffron in the hot water, let cool until lukewarm, drain and reserve the liquid.

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  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk mixture with the reserved saffron water and eggs. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Add the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon zest and 4 cups of the flour; mix well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

  • Lightly oil a large mixing, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

  • Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal pieces, form into 14 inch long 'ropes'. Braid the 'ropes' together and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to a wire rack and cool.

Nutrition Facts

368 calories; protein 7.3g 15% DV; carbohydrates 53.4g 17% DV; fat 14g 22% DV; cholesterol 59.3mg 20% DV; sodium 418.5mg 17% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (27)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
10/18/2003
The aroma of this bread is beautiful. It is a traditional Cornish recipe for a bread/buns baked at Christmas. Cornwall used to grow masses of Crocus for the stamens that are saffron. The more saffron you use the brighter the colour; howevere saffron - real saffron not the ghastly powdered food colouring called saffron yellow is EXPENSIVE! I use about 1 teaspoon in my saffron buns. SOme recipes include dried fruit and others are a basic sweetish white bread with saffron added. The recipe would never include safflower in either its seed OR oil form! Read More
(36)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
05/19/2003
There's a problem with the rescipe. Using that much saffron would be a mistake. 1/36 to 1/4 teaspoon would be more advisable. Also the cinnamon & nutmeg should be left out entirely. It would be much better to just take a normal white bread rescipe and add saffron. What was probably used in this was safflower not saffron. There's a big difference Read More
(52)
36 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 24
  • 4 star values: 8
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 1 stars
05/19/2003
There's a problem with the rescipe. Using that much saffron would be a mistake. 1/36 to 1/4 teaspoon would be more advisable. Also the cinnamon & nutmeg should be left out entirely. It would be much better to just take a normal white bread rescipe and add saffron. What was probably used in this was safflower not saffron. There's a big difference Read More
(52)
Rating: 4 stars
10/18/2003
The aroma of this bread is beautiful. It is a traditional Cornish recipe for a bread/buns baked at Christmas. Cornwall used to grow masses of Crocus for the stamens that are saffron. The more saffron you use the brighter the colour; howevere saffron - real saffron not the ghastly powdered food colouring called saffron yellow is EXPENSIVE! I use about 1 teaspoon in my saffron buns. SOme recipes include dried fruit and others are a basic sweetish white bread with saffron added. The recipe would never include safflower in either its seed OR oil form! Read More
(36)
Rating: 5 stars
02/12/2006
I knew what I wanted from this recipe the saffron buns of my childhood so I played with it a little bit. I only used 1 teaspoon of saffron added a cup and a half of dried fruit with the flour and shaped into rolls. Cooked for about 45 minutes. My dad is Cornish throgh and through and hasn't had homemade saffron buns for years he gave this the five stars and went home with six for later. Thanks. Read More
(25)
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Rating: 4 stars
05/29/2008
Just a few notes on this recipe: 1. Cube the butter before you put it in the milk the milk isn't quite hot enough to melt two whole sticks. 2. For efficiencies sake I'd soak the saffron in the water before starting the milk then you're working on that while the water cools. 3. I ran out of sugar so I used 1/4 cup of honey. I'm not sure if my loaf of bread is terribly different than it would have been but it still tastes great. 4. Once again I'm not sure how different it tastes but vanilla soy milk works well as a substitute for milk. 5. If you are concerned with the taste there isn't too much saffron. I think the bread tastes awesome. However if the cost of saffron bothers you I would think you could decrease it. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
03/13/2005
Excellent! The saffromn combined with the cinnamon nutmeg and zest is an amazing coombination. (being from Jamaica we love our nutmeg). The yeastiness sweeteness and texture of this bread is the best. You have not lived until you've had this one! Read More
(12)
Rating: 4 stars
12/24/2007
I haven't given this five stars as I felt the quantity of flour was slightly out (I needed to add in a good deal more than the recipe called for) and it would have been good to know how enormous the 'loaf' would have been so I could scale down a bit! Having said that this is a gorgeous bread. I don't agree that it requires less saffron; it's just enough that it can be tasted as a proper ingredient in the cake but not so much that it overpowers other flavours. The golden colour the saffron imparts to the bread is beautiful also. I added a handful of dried fruit to this recipe which I think a couple of other people did too and have found that citrus peel goes especially well with the lemon-zest in the bread mix. It does make an enormous loaf but I'll definitely factor that in when I make this again. The double-proving worked really well and I would recommend that anyone trying this uses very strong white bread flour as this gives a superb structure to the bread. Fantastic thanks. Read More
(11)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/03/2008
incredible bread...wow very impressive will DEFINITELY make again! Made a very large loaf. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
06/26/2005
This bread was huge and hardly fit in my oven but my guests adored its slightly sweet flavor. The flavors in this bread are subtle and it is perfect to serve before or even during dinner. My guests loved this so much they asked to take pieces home with them. Read More
(7)
Rating: 3 stars
06/05/2006
a very nice flavor and texture when fresh baked but it dried out very quickly. making very small loaves of this might be better. Read More
(6)