A slightly spiced flavour and a joyous colour for a special potted bread.
By Arianna Frea
What is there nicer than good bread? Preparing it at home is one of those pleasures of life that must be experienced: the atmosphere that is built around it is fascinating and it starts from the moment in which the hands enter the dense mass of ingredients and the dough starts to take its shape, to become alive.
Then comes the curious, anxious wait in which the dough is observed growing. Finally, the cooking in the oven that gives it its golden and flavoured shape, filling the house of an unique perfume. I love home-made bread with its soft texture.
This “potted” bread with a slightly spiced flavour and a joyous colour given by the saffron is very easy to prepare and can become part of every day life. Here I had the privilege of cooking it on a real wood stove, but even when cooked in the normal oven at home I can guarantee you its delicious.
- 2 ¾ cup (400 gr.) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 0.42 ounces (12 gr.) fresh yeast
- generous ½ cup (130 ml.) whole fat milk
- a scan ½ cup (100 ml.) warm water
- 3 tablespoons (45 gr.) melted unsalted butter
- 2 packages saffron
- 1 whole egg, to glaze
- poppy seeds
- oil to grease pots
- Before using the flowers pots, you have to prepare them. Wash them properly, grease them inside and outside and bake them 3 or 4 times, in hot oven, 400 F (200°) for 30 - 40 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, sift flour together with salt, and make a mound. Dissolve yeast in some milk; when completely dissolved, add the remaining milk and pour the mixture inside the mound of flour and sprinkle with some on the top, collecting ftom the edges.
- With a clean towel cover the bowl and let rest about 15 minutes, somewhere warm.
- Add warm water, melted butter, saffron and mix until you get a dough.
- On a floured surface dump the dough and knead for 10 minutes until you get a set and elastic dough. If you have a food processor, pour all the ingredients and pulse untill a set and elastic dough.
- Shape the dough into a ball and let rise for 75 minutes, or until the dough has doubled its volume, in a lightly oiled bowl tightly covered with cling-film.
- Lightly grease 2 pots and preheat oven to 400 F ( 200°).
- Dump the dough on a floured surface, divide in half, and arrange it inside the pots.
- Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise about 30 minutes, or until the dough rises til 0.98 inches (2,5 cm.) from the edge of the pot.
- Brush the top of the loaves with the beaten egg, sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Arianna Frea is an italian food stylist based in Milan. She has a true passion and dedication to food and photography. She loves cooking with her husband, especially cakes and treats. Arianna is the author of the blog Cookingmesoftly.