Recipe Friday

Lemon Saffron Tea Bread

1/8 tsp saffron threads, crumbled
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp yeast
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
4 eggs
Grated zest of one lemon
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp salt

1. In a small saucepan, sprinkle the saffron over the milk. Heat just until tiny bubbles form along the edge of the pan and then remove from the heat and let stand about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over the warm water. Stir to dissolve and then stir in 1/2 cup of flour. Cover and let stand until bubbly, about 30 minutes. In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup of flour with the almonds and process until smooth.

ooooh, saffron....fancy....

2. Beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Beat in the zest, juice, salt, and 1/2 cup of flour. Add the yeast mixture, saffron milk, and nut flour. Beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a thick, fluffy batter is formed.

3. Use a spatula to scrape batter into a greased, 10-inch fluted tube pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Twenty minutes before baking, heat oven to 350.

4. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a rack to cool completely. Serve with fromage blanc or strawberries crushed with orange liqueur.

Verdict: I didn't have any fromage blanc or strawberries or Grand Marnier, so we had to settle with plain whole-milk yogurt, which we stole from the Saul's breakfast stash. We are horrible parents like that. I guess the cake was okay. It was kind of dry, so I probably overcooked it. The lemon zest and fresh lemon juice definitely gave it a bright spring kind of taste, but I could have made a lemon pound cake for much less trouble that would have tasted just as good and wouldn't have been dry. I think the most telling thing is that after a few days, 3/4 of it was dumped in the compost pile.

But at least I got to play with saffron!

1 comment:

belle said...

wow this looks fantastic(at least it photographed well) ..yes saffron so fancy pants