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Saffron Bread

Inspired by Modern Swedish Cookbook

I used this old-fashioned bread recipe to accompany the gravlax recipe on the smorgasbord. The bread’s punchy flavor balanced the taste of the salmon— with great success! The dough itself is dense, which makes for a crusty loaf with a large potential to hold its own instead of going soggy. The saffron taste comes through in this recipe, which makes it a great option for grilled cheese or a hummus, vegetable sandwich.

Saffron Bread


  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter

  • 1 cup whole warm

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron dried threads

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 4 cups bread flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Yields: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes


  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk until lukewarm.

  2. Remove 1 tablespoon of milk and place in a small bowl.

  3. Add the yeast and and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

  4. Set aside to allow the yeast to ferment about 5 minutes, then add the saffron.

  5. In a large bowl, place the butter.

  6. Add the remaining lukewarm milk from the saucepan. Mix until the butter has melted.

  7. To this mixture, add egg and the remaining sugar.

  8. Whisk in the yeast mixture.

  9. Slowly, start adding in the flour and the salt.

  10. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured counter.

  11. Knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is glossy and firm.

  12. Place back in the bowl.

  13. Cover and place in a warm area of the kitchen. Let rise for 2 hours.

  14. Preheat oven 375°F.

  15. After the rest period, place the dough back on the counter.

  16. Shape into a long log.

  17. With a bench scraper, cut the dough in half down the middle, leaving one inch of dough uncut on one end.

  18. Begin twisting the dough by taking the right side and placing it on top of the left, alternating the two sections until you have reached the other end of the dough.

  19. Place the twisted dough in a greased loaf pan that measures 13 by 4.5 inches.

  20. Place in a warm location to rise again, approximately 45 minutes.

  21. Brush with the egg wash and bake for 40 minutes.

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