Large pinch saffron strands
4 tablespoons boiling water
1 oz. (25g) fresh yeast
6 fl. oz. (175ml) milk, warmed
1 lb. (450g) all-purpose flour
1/4 nutmeg, freshly grated
5 oz. (150g) butter
8 oz. (225g) currants
2 oz. (50g) candied peel, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
Put the saffron into a bowl and pour on the boiling water. Leave it to infuse overnight.
In a small bowl sprinkle the yeast into the milk. Put the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt and nutmeg. Rub in the butter. Toss in the currants and peel. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the saffron and saffron water, yeast mixture and eggs. Mix everything to a dough. Knead the dough in the bowl. Cover it and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4. Knead the dough again. Either divide it into two and put it into two greased 9 x 5-inch (450g/1 lb) loaf tins, or divide it into sixteen buns and put them onto a floured baking sheet. Cover the loaves or buns with a cloth again and leave them in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until the loaves have risen about 1/2-inch (1.5cm) above the top of the tin and the buns have almost doubled in size.
Bake the loaves for 1 hour and the buns for 30 minutes. Cool them on wire racks. Eat them plain or buttered.
Makes 2 (1 pound) loaves or 16 buns.
Source: The Complete Bread Book by Gail Duff
Date: November 28, 2004