This is a traditional English cake recipe. The saffron adds a warm flavour as well as a lovely yellow colour.
1/2 tsp saffron strands
150 ml boiling water
15 grams dry yeast
150 ml warm milk
1/4 cup fine sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 oz butter
1 cup currants
grated rind of a lemon
Put the saffron into a small bowl with the boiling water and leave overnight.
Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and add 1/2 tsp sugar in a separate bowl and leave for approximately ten minutes or until frothy.
Sift the flour with the salt into a mixing bowl, add the butter and rub it in with your fingers until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in the currants, lemon rind and remaining sugar.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and beat well to mix. Strain in the saffron and beat again.
Grease an 8in cake pan and pour batter into it. Cover loosely with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise almost to the top of the pan. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350F and continue baking 30 minutes more without opening the oven door. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices and serve plain or buttered.
Yields: 1 round loaf
Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours plus overnight soaking
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