Fennel & Saffron Bread (Ψωμί με Μάραθο και Ζαφορά)

Fennel and Saffron Bread

I fell in love with food writer and teacher Patricia Wells during the pre-internet, pre-satellite-TV era.

We were living in Greece, and I barely spoke the language. Virtually no one on the island spoke English. We’d find BBC or Voice of America shortwave broadcasts when we were lucky; otherwise I didn’t have daily news of the world beyond the island.

On most Fridays, we’d drive 20 kilometers to the island’s main town for shopping. Buying the International Herald Tribune (IHT), an English-language newspaper flown in from Athens on the morning flight, was always on my list.

I preferred shopping on Fridays because that was the day IHT published Patricia Wells’ restaurant reviews. Her witty writing transported me to the best restaurants in France. She regularly inspired me to try new and interesting food combinations.

I’ve kept up with Wells ever since. She’s written numerous cookbooks, focusing primarily on the foods of France. Wells won the James Beard Award for Bistro CookingPatricia Wells at Home in Provence. She still writes an occasional IHT article.

My favorite of Patricia Wells’ many books is her first cookbook, Bistro Cooking. The recipes are simple, straightforward, and unpretentious, yet are consistently full of flavor. Over the years, I’ve made many recipes from Bistro Cooking and never had a dud.

I was recently reminded of Wells’ Fennel and Saffron Bread, a Bistro Cooking recipe I used to make regularly. Years ago, I’d gone through a phase of serving several different flavored breads when I made company meals. Fennel and Saffron Bread was one of my favorites for that purpose.

When I read about a day for cooking yellow foods to support Livestrong Foundation’s cancer awareness fight, I knew immediately I’d have to make Fennel and Saffron Bread. In addition to its wonderful flavor, this bread turns a beautiful shade of yellow from the saffron and semolina flour included in its ingredients.

A Taste of Yellow is a Livestrong Day event (May 13, 2008) and is designed to raise cancer awareness. Winoandfoodies is the originator and host of A Taste of Yellow.

Be sure to check out the recipes mentioned in this post:


11 Responses to Fennel & Saffron Bread (Ψωμί με Μάραθο και Ζαφορά)

  1. Your bread is so wonderfully yellow. I love Patricia Wells books too.

  2. The bread looks fabulous from the saffron and yes…fitting for Kakavia.

  3. Beautiful photo, the yellow “Live Strong” bracelet was a perfect touch. Beautiful bread too!

  4. What a gorgeous color and a beautiful loaf — I can smell it from here. It looks like it would be wonderful with the lamb meatballs in the previous recipe, too (great save BTW). I just posted a recipe adapted from another of Patricia Wells’ books, too! (Great minds, you know how that works . . .)

  5. I’m another Patricia fan too and have several of her books. Fabulous looking bread. Thanks for supporting LIveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow.

  6. Kalyn, it is most definitely yellow! BTW, next month Wells is publishing her next book.

    Lulu, I hope we all “Live Strong”.

    Manju, good idea about the bread and the meatballs (too bad I already ate the leftovers). Saw your recipe and it sounded wonderful.

    Thank you, Barbara.

  7. your breads are always a delight to see, i am imagining myself slicing through them and covering them with slice of feta and a piece of watermelon…

  8. Hunter Angler Gardener Cook says:

    Oooh…pretty! I will have to try this one. I may adapt it to the no-knead master recipe I have been playing with to get a looser crumb amd more air in the dough.

  9. vonsachsen says:

    You bread looks gorgeous! It´s like a beautiful yellow flower. I must try this. I have heard a lot about Patricia Wells Bistro Cooking and it seems like I´ll just have to buy it…

  10. We Are Never Full says:

    I love the idea of this bread. saffron and fennel seed are two of my favorite flavors. I am bookingmarking it. now!

  11. Maria, that is a very intriguing idea – I’ll try it next summer!

    Hank, I do love the color! I’d be interested to see how your experiment comes out!

    Vansachsen, thank you! As for Bistro Cooking, I can’t say enough good things about it.

    Never Full, so glad you like it!

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