Cornish Saffron Bread

A traditional Cornish bread.


  • 1 tsp saffron strands
  • 200 ml warm milk
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 450 g plain flour
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 175 g butter (diced)
  • 200 g mixed dried fruit
  • glaze:
  • 3 tblsp milk
  • 2 tblsp caster sugar


  1. Put the saffron strands in a small bowl, pour over three tablespoons of the warm milk, stir and leave to stand and infuse.
  2. Stir the yeast into half the remaining milk, adding one teaspoon of the sugar.
  3. Stir, and leave to stand for 3-5 minutes until it froths.
  4. Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a large bowl.
  5. Rub in the butter, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  6. Mix in the remaining caster sugar and the dried fruit. Make a well in the middle; add the yeast mixture, saffron milk and the remaining warm milk.
  7. Stir well until a soft dough is formed.
  8. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about five minutes until the dough is springy and smooth.
  9. Transfer to a very lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean damp tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for one hour, or until the dough has doubled its size.
  10. Turn out the dough, knock back and knead again to get rid of any pockets of air.
  11. Roll into a ‘sausage’ about 80cm/30in long.
  12. Lightly grease a 23cm/9inch loose-based round cake tin and coil the dough, starting at the centre.
  13. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for thirty minutes, until almost doubled in size.
  14. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C/Gas 5) and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
  15. To glaze the bread: Boil the milk and sugar together, and simmer for two minutes. Brush over the hot bread, and allow to cool.


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