I couldn't give up on the saffron without at least one more attempt at using it. I found this recipe in my "new" New York Times Heritage cookbook, hailing from Minnesota. I thought that bread's always a hit, so this was a good way to try saffron again. I didn't realize when I started this recipe that it was a sweet bread - what was I thinking? So, I served it with dinner anyway. No one gripes about sweet bread.
1/2 cup very warm water
1/4 tsp saffron threads, crumbled
1 cup warm milk
6 tsp yeast
4-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup butter, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
Sprinkle the saffron threads into the warm water in a measuring cup, and set aside. Pour the milk into your mixing bowl or bread machine pan, add the yeast, then the other ingredients in order. Add the saffron and water, the mix according to my bread making tutorial. You may need to add a bit more flour to the dough to give it a good consistency. When the mixing is done, divide the bread dough in 2, and place each half in a well greased loaf pan. Brush the top of each with a little milk. Let rise until doubled in size, then bake at 375F for about 25 minutes, until the bread sounds hollow when gently tapped. Let it cool a few minutes before removing from the loaf pans.
It is a beautiful bread, with a delicate flavor of saffron. My middle daughter didn't like the taste of the saffron, but everyone else liked it. Ryan singlehandedly ate half a loaf the next day for breakfast and lunch. So, I believe saffron can remain in our household, after all!