Honey and Saffron Loaf

I’m beginning to explore the wonders of yeast.  I see dough as a person.  It grows when you feed it (with water and sugar) and dies when you make it unhappy (try to burn it with hot water).  The dough also rises when it’s warm (like us, but sunburn-free) and shrinks when it’s cold (just like us).  When I was kneading, this personification also rang true.  You have to let the dough know who’s boss (ME).  It wants to just sit there all slack, but you have to tell it (sometimes yelling is in order), that is needs to straighten up and form those gluten networks. Those gluten networks are what form the foundation for the yeast to release carbon dioxide and make beautiful holes in that network.  Well enough about my lovely friend, bread and let’s starting baking.

I mixed some of the flour, the yeast, and water in a bowl and mixed it all up.  This sits for about 4 hours until it doubles in size.  In this warm heat of July, the dough was ready in about 3 hours.

The rest of the ingredients are added including the honey and saffron which give it flavor.  The recipe called for crushed saffron, but I used the flakes.  Now my bread will have little orange flakes in it.  You can mix the dough in your mixer until it clears the sides and then knead by hand for about 5 minutes.  Instead, I mixed the dough for a minute until it was all incorporated, then switched to kneading a little earlier.  It took about 15 minutes of kneading to get the bread ready. The dough should have a nice windowpane structure.  Meaning, that if you pull a chunk of dough off and try to stretch it thin, it should be thin enough to almost see through.

Like this (image courtesy ofhttp://www.3sheik.com/article92-%5Bbread%2016%5D%20kaiser%20rolls.html):

When the dough is ready or your arms get tired, let the dough rise covered in a greased bowl for 30-60 minutes.

Pat the bread down and place on a floured baking sheet.  Cover with a towel and let rise for another hour.

When it’s almost done rising, preheat the oven to 425˚F.  My dough looked like this:Don’t worry, those orange dots aren’t some crazy fungus, that’s the saffron.

I slashed the bread with a knife, so that some of the steam can escape during baking.  You can try all sorts of patterns, but limit yourself to 3-5 slashes 1/4 inch deep.

Here’s my handiwork (Am I ready to carve a turkey?):

It goes into the hot oven for 25-30 minutes.  You know it’s done when it’s nice and brown.  Tap on the bottom, it should make a hollow sound when done.

This bread is delicious, sweet with a hint of saffron.

Recipe from Baking Bites

Recipe:Honey and Saffron Loaf


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: