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i've come across several references in recipes for swedish holiday lucia bread or buns, which includes saffron. somewhat to my surprise, most say that using too much saffron will make the bread dry and hard.

why would saffron do that? i have to think that if it's true for bread, it would be true for other baked goods with saffron as well.

Robin Mather Jenkins

Chicago Tribune

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I have used saffron , mainly for Easter buns and would have thought that the sheer cost of this it would stop you using too much.

On this subject , I put the threads in a glass, topped with boiling water and leave them to soak for an hour or more, to ensure good solution and distribution through the product

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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This idea that saffron can dry out baked goods is news to me, and I don’t see offhand how it could have this effect, particularly in the small quantities in which it’s normally used. It is a dry powder and so absorbs moisture, but the proportion compared to flour would be insignificant. Here’s a wild guess: if some of these baked goods were originally made with a starter of some kind, the saffron might suppress the growth of the lactic-acid bacteria that contribute moisture-holding qualities to starter-raised breads.

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