1. Start by putting the water and rice into a pan with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook over a very low heat, stirring frequently, until the water has been absorbed.
2. Dissolve the saffron in the hot water and stir into the rice with the Parmesan. Leave to cool slightly, then stir in the butter and 1 egg.
3. Beat 1 egg in a deep plate and season lightly with salt and pepper.
4. Form the cooled rice into 10 balls about the size of a mandarin orange. Make a depression in the centre with your finger and fill with the diced cheese, as well as peas and meat (if you want a non-vegetarian version of the recipe). Seal the opening.
5. Dust the rice balls with flour and roll first in egg and then in breadcrumbs.
6. Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry the rice balls, a few at a time until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
7. Place arancini fried rice balls on a serving plate and garnish with bay leaves.