In the package I received from Marx Foods was a sampler of their Iranian saffron. Did I mention before that these guys are generous? For those unfamiliar, saffron is the stigma of the crocus sativus and is the most expensive spice in the world by weight, given that it must be harvested by hand, and that each flower yields three delicate stigmas.
The best way I can describe the flavour of saffron is hay-like, with a floral twist. Many find the golden colour it imparts to food even more lovely than the taste. It’s a natural in rice and in sauces with seafood or chicken, and a classic baked into bread with raisins or currants in England and Sweden.
I decided to merge Indian and English influences to create an egg bread studded with pistachios and currants, with a hint of cardamom and lemon. The result was a marvelous loaf that’s flavourful enough to eat on its own, and makes a lovely French toast the day after. Get the recipe and 4-strand braid instructions here.