Fruity saffron bread for Bread Baking Day#26

by Sunita on January 29, 2010

Bread, beautiful, home made fresh bread; how I love it! There’s something so comforting in baking one’s own bread. Having said that, I haven’t baked bread for  a while now. The yeast has been in and out of the kitchen cupboard all too often,  but hasn’t gone into anything, for quite some time.

When  Jamie announced that as her birthday was nearly here, she wanted everyone to bring some bread for her ( she is hosting Bread Baking Day #26, an event, originally started by Zorra), I was elated. Jamie is a dear fellow blogger, and at last, here was something to motivate me to start baking bread again. But, I again got caught up with life and almost forgot about it. Her birthday came and went; I wished her , but there was no bread. But wait! The event was on till the 1st of February, so I might just be able to do something after all. Today, Dinesh dropped Rengoni and Agastya off at school, and even after all my chores, I was left with a few unexpected hours to do something, namely to ”bake bread”.

And bake bread, I did! The yeast was summoned again, this time, with a clear purpose in mind. Randomly, I took out the cranberries, and some saffron, and a handful of raisins, and I was all set.The dough was kneaded, left to rise, knocked back, left to rise again, and, finally, baked. This produced a  lovely, slightly rich ( her birthday, wasn’t it?), fruity saffron bread. And I was once again lured by the aromas wafting through the oven as the bread baked, and left realising as to how much I had missed all this.

What’s needed-

2 and 1/4 C of warm milk
2 tsp of fast action dried yeast
3/4 tsp saffron strands

2 tblsp of softened butter
3 and 1/2 C + 1/2 C+ extra for dusting, of whole wheat flour (atta)
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 and 1/2 tsp raw cane sugar ( can use normal sugar too)
1/3 tsp of salt
1 C of cranberries and raisins mixed together

How to-

  1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, yeast and saffron and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  2. On another bowl, rub together with the fingertips, the flour, butter, sugar, salt, ground cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and tip in the saffron mixture. It will be very sticky. Gradually, add the 1/2 C of flour and knead in. Transfer the dough to a well floured surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes or till smooth and elastic.
  4. Shape the dough to a round, place in an oiled bowl and cover with an oiled plastic wrap. Leave the dough to rise for at least 1 and 1/2 hours or till doubled in volume.
  5. Knock back the dough and knead in the cranberries and raisins.
  6. Lightly flour a baking tray. Shape the dough into a ball and place on the tray. Gently flatten the top to about 7-8 inches in diameter. With the thumb, index and middle finger, make a depression in the centre of the dough.
  7. With a sharp knife, make cuts all around, but not all the way down.Cover the tray with an oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise for at least 1/2 an hour or till doubled in volume.

  8. Pre heat the oven at 220 deg C. Place the tray in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for bout 10 minutes. At this point, if the top has browned nicely, cover the tray loosely with a piece of foil ( to avoid over browning) and bake for another 30 minutes. The bottom of the bread should sound hollow when tapped.
  9. Brush the tops with a little melted butter ( optional) and cool completely on the rack before slicing.

This is a gorgeous bread, both with regards to the crust and the crumb. I’ve tried bits of it on its own. It had the hint of spice and the fruits added a wonderful sweetness to the bread.

I am planning to serve it for breakfast tomorrow, and I know it will disappear from the table very soon; Rengoni and Agastya might like a little  butter spread over it. Can you tell that I’m looking forward to the morning?

There you go Jamie, this one is for you.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa January 30, 2010 at 12:32 am

A gorgeous bread! It must be very flavorful!




2 Radhika Vasanth January 30, 2010 at 1:11 am

It has come out really well Sunita… Love the texture of the bread… feel like grabbing one right away..


3 Heather Peskin January 30, 2010 at 1:29 am

What beautiful bread! It is very expert and professional. I haven’t really gotten into bread baking and much admire the bakers who can do this.


4 rachel January 30, 2010 at 2:19 am

Happy to see you back at bread baking. I have tried quite a many of your breads. and they work out well for me.


5 Sonia January 30, 2010 at 4:03 am

Gorgeous bread! Love the color and tint of cranberries and raisins in bread. A very beautiful bread indeed! :)


6 nags January 30, 2010 at 10:21 am

that’s a gorgeous loaf Sunita!


7 Happy Cook January 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Wow that is a beautiful bread. And i love that you have sliced them in good fat portions than thin pieces.
I can eat few slices right now.


8 Asha@FSK January 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Sunita, that is one stunning loaf!! so beautifully shaped!!!!!

btw I am bringing milk bread too !! :D YAY!!


9 Sunshinemom January 31, 2010 at 3:58 am

Wonderful photographs and a beautiful ring! The first one is especially eye-catching.


10 Dharm January 31, 2010 at 10:14 am

That bread looks really lovely! Ship a few slices over here please…


11 Sarah, Maison Cupcake January 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm

That looks beautiful, I like the shape of it.

I am not going to manage to do a BBD this month sadly but the idea I had in mind will do nicely for the Bread and Chocolate Monthly Mingle also hosted by Jamie.


12 The Gypsy Chef January 31, 2010 at 1:11 pm

The bread is beautiful, I’m sure it’s flavorful as well. The saffron pic is especially beautiful.


13 Nina February 1, 2010 at 4:15 am

Looks fantastic Sunita. Great pics as usual…the first one is the best!!!


14 Nirmala February 1, 2010 at 5:14 am

What a beautiful bread ? Lovely golden crust and rich crumb…I want a slice buttered immediately!


15 Deepa G Joshi February 1, 2010 at 9:17 am

such beautiful clicks and such delicious bread..lovely


16 Bethany February 1, 2010 at 9:51 am

Lovely and beautiful pics sunita! I love saffron and I’ve really been meaning to get into bread baking!


17 Soma February 1, 2010 at 10:57 pm

A Very Very beautiful looking bread! I love the flavors, the way you shaped it .. everything about it.


18 Jamie February 2, 2010 at 7:52 am

Oh Sunita! Thank you so much for this gorgeous bread! What beautiful flavors (love them!!) and the texture is perfect! How beautiful! You should be baking bread more often if this is how you do it! Thanks so much for baking this for my BBD Birthday Party! Hugs my dear friend!


19 Mowie @ Mowielicious February 2, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Sunita that bread looks amazing and it’s making my tastebuds sing. There’s nothing I like more after a hard day’s work than a slice of toasted bread with butter. Yours looks and sounds extra special. Gorgeous photos and lovely styling by the way – I’m very impressed!


20 Kitchen Butterfly February 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Looks stunning….and soft. I want a few slices….please


21 sreelu February 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm

wow Sunitha, I so envy you, this bread looks gorgeous. Baking bread is a real art and you my dear are at perfection !!


22 ap269 February 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Gorgeous bread!


23 Jeanne @ Cooksister! February 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Oh Sunita, how wonderful!! I love the idea of combining saffron and fruit in a bread. I hang my head in shame – I am such a non-baker…


24 Sunita February 12, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Thank you Jeanne. And you, a non baker? Remember the billboard? LOL


25 Doli January 10, 2011 at 1:36 am

I just tried your recipe and it came out good but the bread wasn’t baked fully. What do you think the problem was? The bottom was dark brown but still wasn’t totally baked when I cut it open.


26 Sunita January 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

I’m not really sure;did you wait for the bread to cool completely on a rack before slicing?


27 Madhu February 8, 2011 at 10:49 am

Yummy post.. love ur blog and all ur recipes.. tnks for sharing :)
I wud very much like to try out this bread recipe.. can cranberries be substituted with any other fruit? Your suggestions pls..


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