Monday, January 29, 2007

Let's call it honey spice bread

Have you ever had a perfect food day? Where everything you fix is just what you wanted?

Saturday was that day for me.

For breakfast, I had two slices of the pain d'épice I made Friday evening. I adore pain d'épice. I guess it's like gingerbread, you know, the soft kind, like gingerbread cake maybe. But no molasses. They sell it everywhere here, the best kind can ususally be found at the honey stand at the open air market. Since it's made with honey, not sugar. Or at least the good stuff is. The cheap stuff you can find at the grocery store is made with glucose syrup. Which probably gives you diabetes instantly.

Anyway, I can't keep myself supplied in pain d'épice, the good stuff is too expensive for how long it lasts at my house. So I've started making it myself. And, after fiddling with a recipe I found in a cooking magazine, I like the results. It's moist, dense but not compact, spicy but not overwhelming, sweet but not too much. Just perfect.

For lunch, I bought some fresh mussels at the market and had them with pasta and a curry cream sauce.

For dinner, I made 9 bean stew with cured garlic sausage. And frisée salad with homemade roquefort salad dressing.

Days like that help me forget days like this.

Pain D'Epice

375 g spelt flour (this really is the best flour for this - but if you can't get it, try using 250g of regular flour and 125 of rye flour)
100g butter, soft
1 egg
15 cl milk
1 package of baking powder - that's like maybe 2 teaspoons?)
250g good quality honey. Nothing that is sold in a bear. Unpasturized please.
100g orange and lemon peel confit
60g raisins
1 t baking soda
3 t of spices - I usually use 1/2 t of ground cloves, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, all spice...)
1 t salt

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (that's like 375 maybe?). Butter and flour a large loaf pan.

2. Heat butter, milk and honey. Set aside.

3. Cut the lemon and orange peel. Set aside.

4. Mix the dry ingredients together.

5. Add honey mixture and the egg (beaten). Mix in all dried fruit.

6. Pour into pan and cook about an hour.

Let cool in pan before removing. Tastes better the next day. But I can never wait that long.

Sorry about the measurements, the next time I make it I'll use cups.

Sometimes if I don't have enough I substitute some applesauce for 50 g of honey.


beth said...

I am going to have to try that recipe - but first I have to find a conversion chart because I don't know how to measure grams! It sounds wonderful. (remember I toldl you about daughters fall at preschool - well, her teeth/roots might have some really bad damage) - so sad.

Lorraine said...

Right...I have so much orange and lemon peel confit sitting around that I just don't know what to do.

I am going to bake bread today, though. And I might turn half of it into cinnamon bread.