The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Persian Saffron Sourdough Bread

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Persian Saffron Sourdough Bread

The Persians make an enriched flatbread that could be challah’s twin only flat instead of braided.  Sweetener, oil or butter, milk, eggs and saffron.  It is called Shirmall.  The Iranians make all kinds of different breads with most of them the flat variety and they eat a lot of bread too…..if you have ever been there.  Iran is also known for the best saffron in the world as well and..... I just love saffron. 

I was lucky enough to go there to help build a new wing on the main hospital in Tehran while the Shah was still in power.  It was a wonderful country where you could snow ski in the mountains in the morning and be on the beach in the sand and surf in the afternoon just like Beirut – the pearl of the Middle East.  The food was especially fantastic.

For us bread makers, Khorasan or Kamut is the famous grain of what is modern day Iran but it is much older, a natural hybrid of durum and another local grass; polonicum, long ago.  We know this due to modern DNA testing but many still refer to Khorasan as an ancient grain which is fine by me.  It is old.

My daughter works with a fine doctor from Iran where they try to do their best to help cure colon cancers through surgery and chemo.  The kind doctor was gracious enough to give me a big beautiful batch of the best Iranian saffron that her mother brought to her when visiting not long ago.  My daughter was bragging about her dad the closet chef. and poof ....Saffron arrives:-)  She needs to brag more often!

She has been so kind to my daughter and teaching her everything she needs to be a great surgical PA.  Being a teacher requires the greatest, but hardest, character attribute to have and hold dear – generosity. I thought it was past due for me to give her a loaf of bread in appreciation.   I would have made Shirmall but I’m sure she has had that many times, and mine would not be as good,  so I decided to give her a bread she has likely not had before and neither have I – Persian Saffron Sourdough with Khorasan of course.

I’m not sure that SD is used much in Iran and SD is not a sweet bread but I hope she likes it.  It turned out beautiful and the color of the crust was tinged yellow from the saffron and the crumb had to be as well from the Kamut and saffron.  It smelled wonderful when the lid came off the Combo Cooker.

It sprang and bloomed well with some small blisters and browned up beautifully. An update...the Dr said that this was the best bread she has ever eaten so..... maybe they don not east as much bread in Iran as I thought:-)

Formula

Whole rye and Kamut bran, 16% pre-fermented flour 100% hydration levain using 10 g of NMNF rye starter aged for 1 weeks

Dough

10% high extraction Khorasan

74% Winco bread flour

2% Pink Himalayan sea salt

Enough warm water with a pinch of saffron to get the overall hydration up to 75%

Process

24 hour 2 stage levain with last 12 hour retarded.  1 hour autolyse with the salt sprinkled on top. 1 set of 50 slap and folds and 3 sets of 4 stretch and folds all on 40 minute intervals.  30 minute rest and a set of tretch and folds to place into a plastic covered, oiled, SS bowl for 12 hours of retard.  2 hour warm up, pre-shape and shape and 2 hours of final proof.  Baked in a Combo Cooker preheated to 5000 F and then turned down to 450 F for 16 minutes of steam with the lid on, and then 18 minutes of lid off dry heat at 425 F Convection.  Baked to 208 F on the inside.

Comments

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Okay I know you meant 500F. Ha ha! 

Seriously though, what a great idea to put saffron in bread. I totally have to try your recipe! It sounds delicious! Your loaf looks gorgeous!  

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

surface temperature of the sun:-)  It turns a loaf into a black cinder in less than 1 tenth of a second from a million miles away.....I have to make another one so I can see what it tastes like!  It smelled great.  The Dr said she was hungry so on the way home she tore off a hunk and ate it plain.  She called my daughter and said it tasted great so I am happy when folks want to just tear it apart to eat it!  Glad you liked it Danni and

Happy baking 

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

That is a beauty of a loaf....and a really wonderful story...and to cap it off your pictures...sigh. Love them. Bet your daughter is really learning so much and am so glad she has such a great opportunity to learn from the best. c

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

We have always been blessed with our daughter.  She is a delight and the world is her oyster.  I just wish I was younger instead of 40 when she was born - 30 would have been better:-)

Glad you liked the bread and story.  Happy baking Trail C

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

trouble is, there is not enough time to bake all these gorgeous, intriguing breads..”sigh”

so glad you are back inspiring us, I could tell it was your bread by the photo.

lovely sunset....  

Leslie

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I think it will have a unique taste, toasted with butter.  Lucy says we only have 9,400 breads it go!  We like the way this one turned out too,

Happy baking Leslie

pul's picture
pul

DB's signature looks! Great and must taste exquisite!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

of the oven:-)  We should get a taste one day for sure.  Glad you like it too.  Happy baking pul

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

I was intrigued by it years ago when I first saw it. Though I never had saffron, I think it will be a good flavor combination with the sweetness given its prominent use in Middle Eastern and Indian sweets and not to mention that it is the most expensive spice in the world. Lovely bread (with) and lovely stories. You have really one proud daughter and I'm sure you are already one proud dad.

What you said about teaching is really inspiration. Being the best in anything will not make you the best teacher in it. I have met a few during my life as a student and that's what we want to change for the future generation. I hope I and all of my batchmates will be good teachers.

Happy baking!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

teachers here on the the Fresh Loaf.  It is how I and so many others learned to make great bread!  That says a lot about the folks here for sure.  I am proud of the daughter, b aby girl, but I would be much prouder if she would get me an Air Fryer for my birthday in 5 days.......otherwise she wmight wish she did:-)

So .......we need to find you a nice girl to marry so you can settle down and start a family before the world ends.  Don't make your Uncle come over there and sort this out for you ......even though I would like to see the Philippines again for sure:!  Just saying you aren't getting any younger or better looking either:-)  Well it is worth thinking about and  it does take some time to find the right girl.

Glad you liked the bread Job and happy baking  - now get to work!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

teachers here on the the Fresh Loaf.  It is how I and so many others learned to make great bread!  That says a lot about the folks here for sure.  I am proud of the daughter, b aby girl, but I would be much prouder if she would get me an Air Fryer for my birthday in 5 days.......otherwise she wmight wish she did:-)

So .......we need to find you a nice girl to marry so you can settle down and start a family before the world ends.  Don't make your Uncle come over there and sort this out for you ......even though I would like to see the Philippines again for sure:!  Just saying you aren't getting any younger or better looking either:-)  Well it is worth thinking about and  it does take some time to find the right girl.

Glad you liked the bread Job and happy baking  - now get to work!

Lechem's picture
Lechem

 That's a lovely loaf Dabrownman. What a beautiful colour. I like your idea of an Iranian bread and a Challah being so similar they could be twins :) 

Lovely post as always. Thank you for the recipe. 

P.s. Damn... The buttons have been changed around and I reported your post :-o 

 Don't worry I have unreported you and bookmarked your post instead. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

sure.  But heck, you can't please everyone, not that I would want to:-)  Yep, the enriched Iranian bread with saffron is identical to challah!  Who knew....

Glad you like the bread and I will be making another one to taste before Lucy can figure out who forgot to feed her...... the next time I forget.  Happy baking Abe

kendalm's picture
kendalm

In Los Angeles it's only a bit less popular than Mexican food and there are restaurants everywhere - lots of Persian markets where saffron is about a 5th the cost of supermarket brands and smells and tastes about 10 times better

As for bread that must be incredible akin to the popular tadiq which is rice oil and saffron (carbs and spices) doesn't get much better than that ! 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

of at any rate but we are becoming a big fan of making it ourselves!  I wonder if there are some Instant Pot recipes for Iranian food?  Rice, chicken, lamb,  bread and so many other great dishes.  We will have to look up a nice place to eat at in LA the next time we are there.  The saffron is the very best for sure.  Glad like the post and happy baking Ken.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

If you do try some restaurants here you would probably find that most Persian restaurants are similar to Indian restaurants not so much in the food but more in the fact they are very similar menus and styles of cooking just as the way most Indian restaurants serve northern Mughlai style food.  Persian restaurants all serve khoobideh, sabzi etc and its usually all pretty good.  It's more therefore about finding your favorite dish.  I particularly enjoy their version of babaghanoush called kashke bademjan which is like a creamier baba with fried mint on top (the part I plunder) and it goes so well with their lavash bread you would love it.  The other thing is they serve is 'tadiq' which is totally different than home style tadiq - a simple pot of rice with crispy potatoes - a simple recipe but hard to master and usually best if you can get a home cooked batch.  All this stuff right up your alley but to the question of a simple rice dish if you can somehow find a friend who cooks Tadiq at home his recipe done right is heavenly ! 

 

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Looks lovely, but you will definitely have to make another loaf so we can have the crumb shot. We must have our crumb shot!

So, 74% bread flour, 10% Kamut (sifted) and 16% combined whole rye and Kamut bran? Sounds yummy. I just made some bread with coarse Kamut flour too. It's like cornmeal in consistency, but with a lovely flavour. Saffron must be a nice touch.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Later I'm sure since I have a lat of saffron burning a hole in my apron.   I think Kamut ground very coarse or maybe just cracked would make a great porridge or made like rice as a side dish with some herbs and saffron:-)  it would be a fun bread to hook your regular customers on as a special where you could charge them more:-)

Glad you liked the bread and happy baking LL

Flour.ish.en's picture
Flour.ish.en

bread of the truest kind. Love how you weave the history of the grain, the Iranian doctor, a proud and dedicated father, a bread baker and a teacher of all things sourdough. Wonderful read and spectacular bread. Happy baking!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Thanks and

Happy baking with a flourish :-)