Cooking dishes from dried saffron milk caps

Where and how saffron milk caps grow: what mushroom pickers need to know

All types of saffron milk caps belong to the family Russula and belong to the genus Mlechnikov.
They are united by two common characteristics - orange color with several variations of other shades, as well as milky juice of red or orange color, which, in contact with air, becomes blue or green. To go into the forest for this product, you need to know how and where saffron milk caps grow.

Almost all types of saffron milk caps prefer to form mycorrhizae with coniferous trees. Therefore, they grow in pine or spruce forests, growing on a coniferous forest floor. The collection of saffron milk caps begins in mid-July and continues almost until the end of October, when the first snow is expected.

How long do saffron milk caps take to grow and when is the best time to go to the forest?

Many novice mushroom pickers wonder: how do saffron milk caps grow? Note that these fruiting bodies germinate only if they are in a humid place. Mushrooms begin to grow especially actively after warm, heavy rains. If the summer was dry and hot, fruiting of saffron milk caps may not occur at all.

The mycelium of saffron milk caps grows from mid-spring and continues until late autumn. However, for its growth it requires a constant flow of warm air, a certain temperature and humidity in the ground layers. The mycelium can penetrate the top layer of soil to a depth of 15 cm. During drought or severe frosts, it becomes dehydrated and develops very weakly, but does not die and increases its resistance. Camelinas usually form at 50-60% air humidity in the ground layers. We invite you to see a visual photo of how saffron milk caps grow.

Experienced lovers of “silent hunting” share information about how saffron milk caps grow in the forest. They do not grow in single specimens, but prefer large colonies. Therefore, having found a few of them, look around and see that there are a lot of these mushrooms. Saffron milk caps especially love illuminated meadows, clearings, edges, as well as the sides of forest roads, which are well warmed up by the sun.

Let us note that a large number of people in Russia are not only fans of salting or pickling saffron milk caps, but also of collecting them. This is why the question arises: how quickly do saffron milk mushrooms grow?

As mentioned above, the growth of fruiting bodies depends on several factors. The most important is the temperature, the optimal range of which is from 15°C to 27°C. If some fruiting bodies, for example, champignons, are better off growing in the dark, then saffron milk caps simply need sunlight. At the right temperature, these mushrooms grow quite quickly.

How long do saffron milk caps take to grow and when is the best time for mushroom pickers to go looking for them? These fruiting bodies become large already 12-15 days after “birth”. Therefore, the best option would be to collect saffron milk caps already on days 4-7. To do this, you should find a clearing in the forest with these mushrooms and be sure to remember it, because throughout the entire mushroom season you can visit here and collect a repeat harvest.

We invite you to watch a video of how saffron mushrooms grow in the forest.

Preparation for the winter

The warm, productive season flies by quickly, but it is possible to extend the use of your favorite mushrooms into the winter by worrying about mushroom preparations.

Harvesting saffron milk caps

Freeze or dry, marinate or ferment, pickle or fry - saffron milk caps will be good in any form.


It is freezing that preserves the fresh taste and aroma and allows you to further fantasize with various mushroom dishes. But to prevent the mushrooms from sticking together into one continuous pile and losing their attractive appearance, they must be frozen unwashed, but peeled. First, freeze in one layer, and only then lay out solids in containers.


Salting is carried out under pressure and without, cold, hot or dry. In this case, small mushrooms are left whole, and large ones are cut into pieces. Peeled and processed (but not washed) using the dry method, they are placed in layers, caps down, in a vessel at the rate of: for 4 kg of mushrooms - 5 tablespoons of coarse salt and 4 branches of finely chopped dill.

When hot, you will need, in addition to saffron milk caps (2 kg), a head of garlic, dill umbrellas, parsley, aromatic leaves (currant, horseradish, cherry), 3 tablespoons of salt. The mushrooms are first boiled for about 20 minutes, dried and placed on the leaves layer by layer with salt, garlic and parsley under pressure.


Only 5 days are needed to obtain delicious pickled saffron milk caps. For 2 kg of peeled mushrooms you need to take:

  • 4 glasses of water;
  • 2 tablespoons salt;
  • 1 tablespoon sugar;
  • 5 tablespoons 30% vinegar;
  • 3 medium bay leaves;
  • 5-10 pieces of allspice and peas.

Mushrooms boiled for 15 minutes in clean water are poured with marinade and boiled for 7 minutes, and vinegar is added at the end.

Marinated mushrooms

Transfer to jars that need to be rolled up or covered with nylon lids. You can replace the vinegar with half a teaspoon of citric acid, add garlic, cumin, coriander or mustard to the marinade.

How quickly do saffron milk caps grow after rain in the fall and when to pick mushrooms?

How quickly do saffron milk caps grow after rain: this is a question usually asked by beginning mushroom pickers. In this case, the pattern between precipitation and fungal growth is quite difficult to trace. If the rains are warm and plentiful, then the fruiting bodies grow quickly. After the rain, you can go to the forest for about 5-6 days, collecting small and young specimens of saffron milk caps. Those that were older grow and the diameter of their cap can be up to 12 cm. Sometimes you can harvest the harvest after 3-4 days, since small fruiting bodies grow very quickly in high humidity. Therefore, for mushroom pickers with experience, you can safely go into the forest after the first rains.

How to quickly process saffron milk caps before salting using cold and hot methods

For example, the most common option for harvesting mushrooms is pickling them. How to properly process saffron milk caps before salting so that the result is a delicious canned product?

It is worth saying that saffron milk caps are considered one of the cleanest mushrooms. Although their caps are a little sticky and grass with fallen leaves stick to them, processing saffron milk caps before cooking is not at all labor-intensive work: all adhering forest debris is easily removed from the surface of the caps. In addition, saffron milk caps grow mostly on sandy soils, so sand can collect between the blades, but it can also be easily removed with water.

How then to process saffron milk caps for pickling if a cold or hot method is chosen?

  • To do this, the mushrooms are cleaned of contaminants and the ends of the stems are cut off.
  • Broken and unsightly specimens are completely rejected.
  • Pour in cold water, leave for 30-40 minutes, then rinse with your hands.
  • Place on a large sieve or rack and leave to drain.
  • Next, according to the chosen recipe, the mushrooms are salted or marinated.

If saffron milk caps are intended for dry pickling, then under no circumstances should they be wetted. Clean the mushrooms using a damp kitchen sponge or an old toothbrush with medium-hard bristles.

This option can be one of the most acceptable at home, as it allows you to quickly process saffron milk caps for subsequent processes.

Places where saffron milk caps grow and collection season

Seeing a small bright orange mushroom in the forest, everyone, even a novice mushroom picker, immediately understands that it is a saffron milk cap.
You can recognize it not only by its color, but also by its shape. These fruiting bodies have a small cap (on average 6 cm), first flat and then funnel-shaped with edges curved inwards. The caps of some adult specimens reach a diameter of up to 17 cm. The surface of the fruiting body is moist and slightly sticky. Saffron milk caps grow every year in the same place, forming entire families. All lovers of “silent hunting” know that the quality and abundance of the forest harvest will depend on various factors. In particular, you need to know in which forests saffron mushrooms grow. First of all, it is worth noting that these fruiting bodies are found almost throughout the entire territory of the Russian Federation. In addition, saffron milk caps are popular in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and also in Moldova.

Option for hot processing of saffron milk caps

Many experienced housewives use another option for processing saffron milk caps - hot cleaning. This method includes preliminary cleaning of mushrooms from forest debris: pine needles, grass and leaf residues.

  • Next, the fruiting bodies are poured into a large container with cold water, a little salt is added and washed by hand.
  • Cut off most of the stems and place them in small batches in a colander, caps down.
  • Rinse under high pressure of cold water so that the remaining sand is completely removed from the mushrooms.
  • In an enamel pan, let the water boil, add a pinch of citric acid and 1-2 tbsp. l. salt.
  • Add the washed mushrooms and immediately turn off the heat, leaving them to cool completely. Then you can use the saffron milk caps at your discretion: pickle, hot salt or fry.

You can also process saffron milk caps by boiling them in several stages, changing the water each time.

  • After cleaning and cutting off the ends of the stems, the mushrooms are washed and immediately added to boiling salted water.
  • Boil for 5 minutes, drain and allow some excess liquid to drip off.
  • Allow a new portion of water to boil and add mushrooms, boiling for another 5 minutes.
  • Drain, place in a colander and leave to drain.
  • Mushrooms can be boiled 2-3 times in different waters with the addition of a small amount of salt.

Many housewives use blanching for hot processing of saffron milk caps.

One of the most nutritious, easily digestible and aromatic mushrooms, camelina, is loved and in demand on any table; it seems especially tasty if collected with one’s own hands during a long search through the forest thickets.

Habitats of saffron milk caps: in which forests do these mushrooms grow?

There are two main types of saffron milk caps: spruce and pine. From this we can conclude where exactly saffron mushrooms grow, in which forests. But it is known that these fruiting bodies settle not only in coniferous forests. So, they can often be found in mixed forests. It should be said that camelina will grow even in those mixed forests where coniferous trees are represented in small quantities.

Unlike the “royal” porcini mushroom, which prefers only mature forests, saffron milk cap is very fond of young trees: pines, firs, cedars and spruces.

And if the spruce saffron saffron grows mainly in the forest, then the pine species can even settle near a single tree growing in a park, square or city limits.

As already mentioned, saffron milk caps grow in large groups, but there are also single specimens, which is extremely rare. Interestingly, these mushrooms are also found in deciduous forests if at least a few coniferous trees live there. So, it is better to look for saffron milk caps in coniferous and mixed forests, especially in those areas where there is low forest. Experienced mushroom pickers know very well where and in what forest saffron milk caps grow. Therefore, in order not to wander in search of their favorite mushrooms, novice “hunters” can ask their more experienced colleagues which roads lead to hot spots.

Some lovers of “quiet hunting” prefer to first look for saffron milk caps on the north side of the tree. In their opinion, this is where the largest and strongest fruiting bodies grow. In addition, the saffron milk cap has a companion mushroom - the oil can, which grows near the pine trees. Having found a tree with such mushrooms in June-August, return to this place in a month or two (August-September). With a high probability it will be possible to collect a good harvest of young and beautiful saffron milk caps here.

You can look at the photo in more detail about in which forests saffron mushrooms grow. These fruiting bodies have different shades of caps, but they all live up to their name. The color of the camelina will depend on the specific type of tree with which it forms mycorrhiza. In addition, the color can be affected by climatic conditions, time of collection and age of the mushroom. Thus, the color of the camelina varies from light orange and red to red and rich copper. The surface of the cap of an old mushroom sometimes takes on a greenish color.

Answers to common questions

Even the most experienced mushroom pickers still have questions about their storage and preparation. The most common ones are presented below.

In order to prevent the saffron milk caps from spoiling for as long as possible, after processing they are boiled in salted water with a pinch of citric acid. Next, allow all the water to drain and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Despite the fact that saffron milk caps are slightly bitter, their bitterness is soft and piquant and does not require disposal. Therefore, it is not at all necessary to soak them, except for large aging specimens. When pickling, they are used in their own juice, which does not have an unpleasant bitterness. Moreover, prolonged exposure to water can result in loss of appearance and individual aroma.

Modern multicookers are an excellent alternative to frying pans, ovens, steamers and saucepans. They allow you to prepare healthier and tastier dishes, including from any mushrooms, minimizing the use of fats and, accordingly, eliminating carcinogenic substances from the prepared food. In multicookers you can fry, stew and bake them, but this will take a little more time.

Ryzhiki, having their own natural unique aroma, do not need additional spices during cooking. To prepare them, all you need is a pinch of sea salt and ground white pepper, which is distinguished by its mild effect. To emphasize and enhance this smell, you should add onion, dill and allspice in very small quantities.

The king mushroom with its cheerful sunny color is good in any type of preparation; it caresses the eye, amazes with its taste, and attracts with its smell. Peaceful, healthy summer-autumn mushroom hunting can provide any family with all sorts of tasty, healthy and nutritious dishes throughout the winter.

Dried saffron milk caps are another option for storing mushrooms that are beneficial to the body for the winter. After all, it is in dried products that the largest number of vitamins and important microelements are preserved, which are destroyed during the process of pickling and hot salting. In order for milkweeds to be used until spring, they must be properly dried in compliance with storage rules.

What other places do saffron milk caps like?

Having decided on a trip to the forest, you need to find out in which places saffron mushrooms grow. It must be said that some specimens can be spotted quite easily, while others are well hidden. Therefore, you need to walk through the forest carefully and watch your step so as not to damage the fruiting bodies. Having found only 1 saffron milk cap, look around: there are sure to be several more specimens nearby.

As for the habitats of saffron mushrooms in the forest, they prefer sandy soils. They settle in moss or short grass. Sometimes they are really difficult to notice in the grass, even despite their bright cap, so it is advisable to “arm yourself” with a special stick. This “tool” is very convenient for moving away blades of grass and fallen pine needles, in which fruiting bodies can also be hidden. So, when you come to the forest, it is recommended to pay attention to the bumps and small protrusions, where, most likely, a pleasant “surprise” awaits you. Often saffron milk caps also grow in young forest clearings.

Once in a coniferous or mixed forest, you should also find an edge, clearing or open clearing illuminated by the sun's rays.

For example, among the places where saffron milk caps grow, one can note overgrown fields where shrubs and small spruce trees are already located.

These mushrooms are often found on the sides of forest roads and along long ditches, where the sun warms the ground well.

Camelina grows especially en masse among coniferous trees, the height of which does not exceed 5 m.

It is also important to note which places saffron milk caps do not like. Thus, they do not tolerate waterlogged soil and shady areas. In such areas there is no point in looking for your favorite mushrooms, even if coniferous trees grow nearby.

Knowing the places where saffron milk caps grow, every connoisseur of “quiet hunting” can secure a good mushroom harvest.

To what temperature do saffron milk caps grow in the forest and when to pick mushrooms

Traditionally, saffron milk caps grow from July to September. However, favorable weather conditions can prolong their fruiting. So, for example, if the weather permits, the first fruiting bodies can be found already in June, and the last ones - in early November. The season for collecting saffron milk caps is in August and September.

Some novice mushroom pickers may wonder to what temperature do saffron milk caps grow in the forest? It is known that this mushroom loves warmth and sunlight. The favorable temperature for abundant growth of saffron milk caps is no less than +10°C. As a rule, after the first frost, the mushrooms completely disappear.

By the way, it is recommended to collect saffron milk caps early in the morning, when the dew on the grass has not yet evaporated. In this case, the caps of the fruiting bodies will shine in the sunlight, which means they will be clearly visible. In addition, it is not recommended to cut off saffron milk caps, as this can damage the mycelium. It is best to carefully unscrew the fruiting body from the ground clockwise.

How to store saffron milk caps

Fresh saffron milk caps have a short shelf life. Their transportation may also be difficult. If you leave them at room temperature, then after 3-4 hours they will begin to deteriorate. Exposure to sunlight speeds up this process.

Mushroom picking (Photo from the site

The shelf life of saffron milk caps in the refrigerator is no more than a day, but provided that they have undergone primary processing without the use of water. Only specimens with strong and elastic flesh are suitable for food.

When to collect saffron milk caps

Ryzhiki are not as popular mushrooms as, say, porcini mushroom, but due to some of its qualities they are in many ways superior to it.

  • Camelinas contain 3.08% proteins, 2.18% carbohydrates, 0.71% fats.
  • These mushrooms contain phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, chlorine, calcium, and sodium.
  • There is glucose, trehalose or mycosis, glycogen (animal starch).
  • Saffron milk caps are rich in vitamin A, so frequent consumption of them improves vision.
  • These mushrooms contain a natural antibiotic, lactarioviolin, which is used to treat tuberculosis.
  • Eating saffron milk caps improves metabolism.
  • Despite the presence of milky juice in saffron milk caps, they can be eaten raw, and when cooking they do not require soaking or pre-cooking. The milky juice of saffron milk caps is not bitter. Only spruce saffron milk caps are slightly bitter.

When to collect saffron milk caps

The first saffron milk caps appear already in July , but the time of abundance of these mushrooms occurs in August and lasts until September .

The first to appear are spruce (summer) saffron milk caps, which can be collected at the end of July. Then comes the turn for pine saffron milk caps (autumn), which grow until frost.

True, depending on climatic conditions, the time of appearance of mushrooms may vary, and in warm climates, saffron milk caps can grow from May to November.

There are also natural signs by which one can determine the appearance of saffron milk caps:

  • If raspberries, blueberries, strawberries have ripened in the forest, and porcini mushrooms of the second layer have also appeared, then after three weeks you can go for saffron milk caps.
  • Where boletus were spotted in June–July, saffron milk caps will appear in September–October.
  • The heather has bloomed - it's time for saffron milk caps.
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