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Swedish Saffron Bread

ingredients

makes 2 - 3 loaves
60 g (2 oz) fresh yeast
or 4 tbsp dried yeast and 1 tsp sugar
550 ml (2.2 pt) warm milk
3/4 cup (170 g) butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 tsp powdered saffron
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup (250 g) 9 oz sugar
3 1/2 cup (1 lb) 450 g plain or strong white flour
1 egg
5/8 cup (60 g) 2 oz almonds, blanched and chopped
1/2 cup (3 oz) 90 g raisins
60 g (2 oz) mixed candied peel (candied fruit), chopped
egg to glaze

for the garnish

crushed sugar cubes
chopped almonds or raisins

method

1. Grease two baking sheets.

2. Mix the yeast with a few tablespoons of the warm milk. If dried yeast is used add the teaspoon of sugar and set aside in a warm place for 10 - 15 minutes until frothy.

3. Add the fat and the rest of the milk to the yeast liquid.

4. Stir in the saffron, salt, sugar, half the flour, the egg, nuts and dried fruit.

5. Add the rest of the flour gradually and work the dough until it becomes smooth and shiny and no longer sticky.

6. Cover the dough with oiled plastic and leave to prove until doubled in size, about 1 hour

7. Knead the dough in the bowl then turn it on to a lightly floured board and knead thoroughly until smooth.

8. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 rounds and place them on the baking sheets. Cover with oiled plastic and allow to rise about 40 minutes.

9. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar and almonds or decorate with raisins.

10. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F (200°C) gas mark 6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

11. Cool on a wire rack.

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