Cooking For Engineers Forum Index Cooking For Engineers
Analytical cooking discussed.
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Saffron in a pinch.

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Favorite Foods
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Wine and Food tube

Joined: 03 Jun 2008
Posts: 12
Location: World wide

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:20 am    Post subject: Saffron in a pinch. Reply with quote

The color of a Buddhist monk’s robes with its legendary powers, Saffron is undoubtedly the world’s most valuable spice.
One of the few not originated in India, saffron’s discovery is still one of mystery.
The word is from the Middle East, collaborating the words sahafarn (thread) and za’faran (yellow).

In Medieval times it was offered as a dowdy for a bride and accepted as currency.
It is also said to be “possibly the first spice ever used by man”.
Used for its incredible dying ability and unique flavor there is no substitute in the world.

Saffron comes from the flowering plant, the Crocus. Stigmas from the Crocus flowers are few and far between and it takes 14,000 hand picked stigmas to yield one ounce of saffron.
The stigma (female part of the flower) is the actual source of saffron. Then dried or cured and transformed into pure saffron. The masculine part of the crocus is the stamen. Cleopatra scented her baths with saffron, thinking it enhanced sexual pleasure. The emperor Nero in one of his many mad displays of decadence ordered the streets of Rome be strewn with it when he entered the city.

To appreciate its magic, experiment a little. Take half a dozen threads, rub them between your fingertips and bring them to your nostrils. The scent is elusive, fugitive, perhaps a little dusty, a hint of thyme and sage and hot hillsides. Drop the threads on a dry pan and set it over the heat, count to ten - the stuff is fragile and easily burnt - and inhale the fragrance. Better? Now drop the toasted strands in a heatproof glass with a splash of boiling water, just enough to soften them. Wait a few minutes and crush the threads with the back of a spoon. Now you're talking. The dark-red filaments leech their magic into the water, turning it the color of luminous gold. Inhale once more. The scent is there at last: full-blown and mature, it is the essence of summer; musky, with the fragrance of hay, the sweetness of honey, citrus and lemon balm.

It’s value lies partly in the fragrance, but above all, in it’s ability to turn everything it touches the color of sunshine.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 12
Location: northern mn

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


This Lemon Saffron Bread is almost unique! No single flavor stands out, or is even detectable for that matter. In this regard I think my recommendations are improvements. Cinnamon has a way of poking through other flavors, and lemon rind can be too sharp. The Penzeys Baking Spice, (which I always use in place of cinnamon), and preserved lemon, on then other hand, meld right in. ?

It has a subtle sweetness, which serves to offset the slightly bitter taste of saffron. Since the baking temp is only 350, and the smaller loaves only bake for 25 min, I wonder if maybe a nice clover honey might not work as the sweetener?

The crumb is a nice pale yellow. The closest I can come to describing the shade is that it's very close to a color that was popular on 1960 Fords.

You could make your own artist's rendition of this bread by printing out a very large picture of an appropriatly colored 1960 Ford, cutting out a slice-of-bread-shape, and outlining it with a medium brown felt tip marker?


Ingredients (my recommendations)

3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon loose saffron threads - .5 grams
1/4 cup hot water
1 .25 ounce packages active dry yeast
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (Penzeys Baking Spice)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (minced salt-preserved lemon-rinsed)
4 cups all-purpose flour


1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat; add butter, sugar and stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, soak the saffron in the hot water, let cool until lukewarm, drain and reserve the liquid.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk mixture with the reserved saffron water and eggs. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Add the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon zest and 3 cups of the flour; mix well. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

3. Lightly oil a large mixing, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

4. Form the dough into either one 9 x 5 loaf or (my preference) three 5 x 3 loaves. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

5. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven to internal temp of 190 degrees F, (approx 50 to 55 minutes for 9 x 5 loaf or 30-35 min for 5 x 3 loaves), or until golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 3
Location: London UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds good and on top of it saffron is considered to be a super food. We can't go wrong with this one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love rice with saffron. It's delicious, light and its yellow colour makes me happy!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 2
Location: 1166 Bryan Avenue Stillwater, MN 55082

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

saffron is used in many desserts and even in rice preparations as it enhances the taste of the food.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jim Cooley

Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saffron reminds me of the grasshopper guts that would appear on my my windshield after driving at at 75 MPH down the dusty backroads of Bakersfield, CA on a hot summer day.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1121
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

two spice / flavor thingies I both enjoy and use with exceeding care:

truffle oil

now, I'm talking the real $tuff, not the fake saffron or the chem lab truffle oil.
'fake' saffron is stuff which is not really saffron, but sorta' looks like it; and add to that 'fake sources' which are better/worser 'grades' of 'real' saffron - so it's a deep and treacherous market.

both have very very delicate flavors and influence on taste.

too much can be not at all good - did a chicken corn chowder with too much saffron....did not turn out well.....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Favorite Foods All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You can post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group