Saffron Orange Pine Nut Bread
This is Rancho La Puerta’s agave-sweetened take on a traditional Swedish treat — Saffron Buns. The buns are also popular in the UK and are baked for special occasions, including festivals, feasts, and receptions. Unfortunately, most commercial saffron buns and cakes are artificially colored because saffron is such an expensive spice. Fortunately, a little goes a long way, and the flavor is unique, so find the good stuff if you can.
- 4 cups of warm water
- 1 cups syrup of agave or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons saffron, finely ground
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup pine-nuts, toasted
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 4-5 cups unbleached flour or more whole wheat
- Zest of 2 oranges
- Mix water, syrup, and yeast. Let stand until frothy. Add in the saffron, orange zest, salt and butter. Stir well.
- Add half of the flour with the pine nuts, mixing until smooth.
- Stir in the remaining flour. Turn out onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic.
- Return dough to bowl and cover with a damp tea towel to prevent the dough from drying out. Let dough rise in a warm, draft free place until double in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Punch dough down. Divide into 2 equal portions. Spread each into a rectangle.
- Roll up into loaves. Seal edges by pinching.
- Place loaves in oiled loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm draft free place until nearly double, about 40 minutes.
- Bake loaves in preheated 375 degree oven for one hour or until tops are browned and the loaves sound somewhat hollow when tapped.