Makes 2 loaves
Blend 3 teaspoons sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Add the lukewarm water and let the yeast dissolve.
Cream butter and sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour the milk over this mixture, stirring well until smooth.
Add saffron to hot water and let stand 10 minutes. Strain the saffron mixture through a fine sieve. Stir the saffron-flavored water well into the milk-butter-sugar blend. Add the yeast mixture. Stir.
When smooth, sift 3 cups of flour, mixing well.
Blend 1 cup of flour with the raisins, currants and almonds in a bowl, until all fruits and the nuts are coated with the flour. Add to the dough and mix well. Add the rest of the flour and knead with your finger tips on a board until very smooth.
Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Cut dough in half and knead each half on a lightly floured board. Form into loaves and place each in a buttered, lightly floured loaf pan (9×5×3). Let rise again in a warm place 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated 300° oven 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool gradually at room temperature.