Saffron Bread- You’re Welcome

Saffron Bread… if I could choose one thing to eat for the rest of my life it would probably be this… I know.. it’s hard to believe especially with my undying love of Nutella and strawberries but it’s true.

Saffron can be extremely expensive but Trader Joe’s has some that won’t hurt the budget.  Saffron is expensive because it is an extremely labor-intensive crop! The stigma and styles from Crocus’ flowers are collected and dried making ‘threads.’ The smell is amazing and a little goes a long, long way.

Saffron Bread

This saffron bread recipe was found by one of our favorite Aunts in a 1976 book called The Great Home Cooking in America by the food editors of Farm Journal. It was given to our Aunt by her realtor who helped her purchase her first home in 1978! The rest is delicious history.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: saffron bread


  • 1 cup scalded milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch saffron
  • 1 pkg yeast
  • ¼ cup water (warm)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon cardamon
  • 1-2+ cup flour


  • Dissolve 1 pkg. yeast in ¼ warm water (You want the water warm enough to help to activate yeast but not too hot that it kills the yeast... you've got this!) Set aside.
  • Place 1 cup milk in saucepan and heat the milk over medium-low heat, which will prevent it from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring the milk for 4-5 minutes.
  • Pour scalded milk into a bowl containing ½ cup sugar, 2 Tbsp butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of saffron. Mix well.
  • Add dissolved yeast mixture, 1 beaten egg, ½ teaspoon cardamon, and 1 cup of flour to your milk mixture. Beat until smooth.
  • From here you want to add about a ½ cup of flour at a time until it makes a soft dough.... you want a consistency that is just past sticky. (:
  • Remove dough from bowl and kneed on floured surface for 5-7 minutes
  • Place dough in bowl and cover with towel.... let sit and rise for 1 ½ hours.
  • Take dough and cut in half. Take one half and separate into three sections. Smooth out each section into a snake like form. Braid three sections. Repeat with the other half.
  • Place on baking sheet. I try and let them rise again if I can but this step doesn't always happen. Preheat oven to 325°. Take one beaten egg and brush over braided rolls. Sprinkle a little sugar on each. Place in oven and bake for 20 (ish) minutes.
  • Remove and pull apart sections...smother with butter and share with your favorite family member.