Cornish Saffron Cake

Miners from Cornwall were addicted to this golden cake. When they migrated to work the silver, gold and copper lodes of the American West, their wives took this recipe with them.

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast or 1 ounce fresh yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • ½ cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Spanish saffron
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • ¾ cup lukewarm milk 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white raisins
  • ¾ cup currants
  • ¾ cup chopped almonds

Method

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and set aside in a warm place.

Combine the butter, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Dissolve the saffron in the ¼ cup boiling water, then let cool; add the yeast mixture, milk, butter, sugar, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth, gradually adding the remaining 2 cups of flour. Knead to a smooth, elastic dough, place in a large greased bowl, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk. When the rising time is about over, presoak 2 medium-sized clay pots, top and bottom, in water for 15 minutes.

Punch the dough down, add the raisins, currants, and nuts, and knead into 2 large, round loaves. Cover the bottom of each presoaked pot with a small piece of aluminum foil to prevent sticking, then place one loaf in each pot, cover with lid, and allow to rise in a warm place until the dough almost doubles in size.

Cover the pots and place them in a cold oven.

Set the oven temperature at 450 degrees.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a finger thump on the bread's surface sounds hollow.

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