Currant Bread
Cuisine: Dutch
Serves: 1 Loaf
Currant bread makes an excellent breakfast, and I recommend serving it toasted with butter and honey or apricot jam and a very strong cup of black tea. If you end up with stale leftovers, this makes fantastic French toast or bread pudding—use immediately or store in the freezer until you’re ready to live your life right.
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whole milk
  • pinch saffron or saffron extract (see below)
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp honey, divided
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, divided
  • 1 large navel orange, zest and juice
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil, such as canola
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) dried currants
  • 3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
  1. In a pot on medium heat, warm milk with crumbled saffron threads to lukewarm, about 100°F (38°C). Remove from heat, and whisk in 3 tbsp honey and yeast. Set aside for about 5 minutes, until yeast is fluffy.
  2. Pour milk into bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly with egg, orange zest and juice, oil, and salt.
  3. Add currants and flour, and with wet hands knead to form a shaggy dough. Knead for about 8 minutes, or until dough is elastic. Form dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm spot for about 40 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size.
  4. Grease a 9 x 5-in (23 x 13-cm) loaf pan. Fit dough into prepared loaf pan. Once again, cover with plastic wrap and kitchen towel and leave in a warm place to rest for about 40 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C).
  6. In a small bowl, mix egg yolk and remainder of honey with 1 tbsp water. Brush mixture over top of risen dough.
  7. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until golden. Let sit in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wait until bread is completely cool before cutting a slice; if you want warm currant bread, reheat it or toast it after it has totally cooled.
Saffron Extract
  1. Good saffron has a smell a little like sweet pepper, and reminds me a bit of anise, not because of its fragrance but because of the way both are sweet and bitter at the same time. Good saffron is expensive, but you can get a lot of flavor out of not very much of the spice. To get the most mileage out of it, grind a pinch with a mortar and pestle (if you don’t have that, use your thumb and grind into the palm of your other hand) along with a"pinch of sugar, then steep in ½ cup (250mL) hot water. The result is a saffron extract. Where I call for Da pinch of saffron," feel free to use about a tablespoon of the extract. This mixture will allow you to use saffron in multiple recipes. Keep in mind that saffron blooms—releases its color and flavor—in water but does not bloom as successfully in fat. Look for saffron in stores that sell Italian or Persian groceries.
Recipe by Food Bloggers of Canada at