This recipe is pretty much exactly as detailed by Dan Lepard in The Guardian newspaper. It just seemed like a simple thing to make, and it pretty much was. While I like kneading bread, it's also a nice change to NOT have to knead bread. This bread doesn't need much effort, just 30 seconds of light kneading in total, 10 minutes apart. What's not to like?
The saffron taste and aroma was gentle but there, and the bread was just lovely. The most it takes up is time, and I watched two movies while waiting for the dough to prove. They were "Premonition", starring Sandra Bullock, and "One Small Hitch", starring an actor called Shane McRae. The first was a sort of paranormal suspense move, and the second a light comedy. While I really like Sandra Bullock, the movie itself was pretty much a clunker - I don't like unhappy endings, so that just made it worse. Shane McRae was pretty cute, though. I thought "One Small Hitch" was a good timepass movie.
And now, because this is meant to be a food blog, I will stop here and dream about Shane McRae in private. Do try this lovely bread, though. I'll be making it again for sure.
P.S. It makes fantastic toast! Try it with marmalade and peanut butter (or ok, maybe that's just me).
Recipe for: Saffron bloomer loaf
A good pinch or two of saffron
150ml boiling water
150ml cold water
1 tsp fast-action yeast
500g (4 cups) strong white bread flour, plus extra for shaping
50g (1/2 cup) wholemeal flour
2 tsp fine salt
Oil, for kneading
1. Put the saffron in a large mixing bowl, pour on the boiling water and leave for 10 minutes. Then add the cold water and yeast, stir well to dissolve the yeast, crumble in the ricotta and mix well.
2. Add the flours and salt, mix everything to a smooth dough, then cover and leave for 10 minutes.
3. Now lightly oil a kneading board or your kitchen worktop, and knead the dough lightly for 10 seconds. Return the dough to the bowl, leave for 10 minutes, then repeat this light knead twice more at 10-minute intervals, before leaving the dough, covered, for about an hour.
4. Lightly flour the worktop, pat the dough into a rectangle and roll up very tightly. Place the dough seam-side down on a tray lined with nonstick paper, lightly flour the top, cover with a cloth and leave for an hour until it nearly doubles.
5. Slash the risen dough three or four times with a sharp knife along the top,
and bake at 220C (200C fan-assisted)/425F/gas mark 7) for about 40 minutes.
Tip: Fill a metal dish with boiling water and place on the lowest shelf of the oven, before putting the dough in to bake, to help give the your loaf's crust a golden colour.