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Saffron Lemon Tea Loaf

(recipe, Anna Conley)


10 years ago I bought an ounce of saffron. It's still in the cupboard, in a glass jar with a cork, embedded in foil. It smells heavenly when I open it up! This recipe is my favorite. Saffron Lemon Loaf Herb Companion, Feb/Mar 1990 (the 'Saffron Issue'), from Interweave Press.


  1. ½ tsp. saffron threads
  2. ½ cup butter
  3. ¾ cup sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. grated zest of one lemon
  6. ¾ cup water*
  7. 2 tsp. lemon juice*
  8. 2 cups unbleached white flour
  9. ½ tsp. salt
  10. 2 tsp. baking powder
  11. * I don't use this combination of juice and water. I juice the lemon into a measuring cup, add enough water to make ¾ cup, then add two more teaspoons of water.


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Powder threads (works better if you lightly toast them first) and work into chilled butter. Cream in sugar, then eggs one at a time. Mix in lemon zest.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together. Mix lemon juice with water and add alternately with dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf pan or muffin tins filling about half full. Bale about 50 minutes for a loaf or 25 minutes for muffins, checking after 40 or 20 minutes respectively. Bread should be slightly browned and starting to pull away from the edges of the pan. Cool in pan 10 minutes,then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling