I have been experimenting with sourdough more and more, and have been amazed by the variety of things that it can make! Just recently, I made sourdough biscuits, which I had never before even considered as a possibility - but boy were they good with chili! One of the more intriguing recipes I've come across has been this recipe for semolina sourdough bread. I had had a bag of semolina flour sitting around forever, and this bread looked like a beautiful way to use it. Baking the bread as indicated (replacing the honey called for with agave nectar), yielded a wonderful bread, with the best flavor and texture of any bread I've baked before! Encouraged, I decided to switch things up a tiny bit, and came up with the idea for a semolina sourdough loaf infused with saffron. Here are some illustrations from the process. It's a rather long process (almost 24 hours all together), but most of that time is not hands-on, and the end results are worth it. There is nothing as comforting and yet somehow empowering as spending a day baking bread!
Top to bottom: sourdough starter formed into a "starter dough", the mixture of semolina and all-purpose flour, saffron soaking in warm water, mixed dough with flecks of saffron, and risen dough (look how yellow!) ready to be shaped into loaves. To infuse the bread with saffron, I added a mixture of 1 tsp saffron (ground) that had soaked in 2 TB of hot water for a few minutes in the first stage of mixing (before the first rise).
The result was an aromatic and strongly flavored bread. I realize now that I could tinker with this recipe some more, perhaps increase the sweetener a bit to offset the saffron flavor.
But it's an awesome bread to for sweet (drizzled with tahini and agave nectar), or savory uses, like this sandwich with Melody's tester tofu feta and radish greens:
I'm submitting this post to Sunita's World blog, for her monthly spice event, "Think Spice!" This month's spice, obviously, is saffron, a flavor near and dear my heart as it plays a huge role in Iranian cuisine.
- If you like saffron, here's another post from last year with saffron playing a starring role.
- To catch up with my sourdough spree, check out my sourdough post