I'll make something, make the effort to take photos, upload them to my computer, even put them into their own file...and then all of a sudden I find myself browsing through entirely new and delicious recipes. My attention quickly moves to making something new and the "old" recipe goes out the door. Then, as you can imagine, the process repeats itself. It's an unbelievably vicious cycle.
Besides the fact that these recipes deserve to make it out of their little files on my computer, I decided that now is the ideal time to start pulling things from the vault. With a cross country move (we'll talk more about this later) only three weeks away my little apartment is taking a beating. There are boxes starting to pile up due to some preliminary packing as well as all of the contents of my closet now being distributed throughout the apartment.
**MINOR RANT-My wonderful landlord decided to make the only closet in the apartment into a bathroom for the neighboring unit with one day's notice. Such a sweetheart.**
Needless to say, cooking and photographing in this little apartment has just gotten that much harder.
But the silver lining is of course there. Now these sweet little recipes get to present themselves to you!
As I found this one I wanted to kick myself for not sharing before. These delicious loaves of bread came from a cookbook that was given to me by the amazing woman that I work for after her and her husband's visit to Rancho La Puerta. I salivated at first sight and have been making things from it on a regular basis ever since. It's an unbelievable healthy and seasonal book that you wouldn't regret having on your shelves.
Ramble. Ramble. Ramble.
This bread is amazingly rich in flavor. The orange and saffron are wonderful together and something I never would have thrown together on my own. You need a piece of this. Warm. And slathered with butter.
So get to baking!
Adapted from the Rancho La Puerta Cookbook
Makes: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 20 minutes + 2 hours 40 minutes rise time
Bake Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours
1 teaspoon Spanish saffron threads
4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup agave syrup or maple syrup
zest of 2 oranges
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup toasted pine nuts
4-5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- Soak the saffron threads in 1/2 cup of the water for 30 minutes.
- Combine the remaining 3 1/2 cups of water and the yeast. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the syrup, orange zest, saffron, melted butter, and salt into the yeast until thoroughly combined. Add the wheat flour and mix until smooth.
- Stir in the pine nuts and most of the all-purpose flour, reserving 1 cup. The dough will be a little sticky. Flour the countertop with some of the remaining flour and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding flour to the surface as needed to make the dough more manageable. You may not use all the flour, or you may need a little more. The final dough should feel moist and a little tacky, but not sticky or wet.
- Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Turn over once to coat and cover with a barely damp tea towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Punch down the dough. Divide into 2 equal portions. Spread or roll each portion into a rectangle and pinch the edges together.
- Place each loaf in an oiled loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-frea place until the loaves have doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
- Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 1 hour, or until the tops are browned and the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.