Rancho La Puerta Recipe: Orange Saffron Pine Nut Bread
Makes 2 loaves
Nothing says fall like warm homemade bread, fresh out of the oven, and the pine nuts and maple syrup in this recipe adds to its fall-like feel. If you can’t make it down to Baja California to nosh at Rancho La Puerta’s lush and vast resort –
known for its quality cuisine and cooking classes – give this recipe a try. We love the Spanish touch of saffron.
1 tsp Spanish saffron threads
4 cups warm water
2 tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup agave syrup or maple syrup
Zest of 2 large oranges
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp sea salt
4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup toasted pine nuts
4 to 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- Soak the saffron threads in ½ cup of the water for 30 minutes.
- Combine the remaining 3½ cups of water and the yeast. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the syrup, orange zest, saffron, melted butter, and salt into the yeast until thoroughly combined. Add the wheat flour and mix until smooth.
- Stir in the pine nuts and most of the all-purpose flour, reserving 1 cup. The dough should be a little sticky. Flour the countertop with some of the remaining flour and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding flour to the surface as needed to make the dough manageable. You may not use all the flour, or you may need a little more. The final dough should feel moist and a little tacky, but not sticky or wet.
- Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Turn over once to coat, and cover with a barely damp tea towel to prevent the dough from drying out. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Punch down the dough. Divide into 2 equal portions. Spread or roll each portion into a rectangle and pinch the edges together.
- Place each loaf in an oiled loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until the loaves have doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bake for one hour, or until the tops are browned and the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.