Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Pain d’épices - Honey Spice Bread from Burgundy
I found this recipe on Elra's Baking. Elra, unlike me, is a masterful baker. You can see real skill in her creations. Usually her recipes are somewhat complicated, time consuming and/or take real skill, but this time she had something pretty easy to share with us mere mortals, so I decided to try making it. If you're interested in reading up a bit more on this kind of bread you might visit David Lebovitz's page here. It may not be the most informative article about this kind of bread, but I like his story telling skills. He can make just about anything sound interesting and relevant to you.
Unlike Elra's gluten free version, I used regular AP flour and whole wheat flour. I bought 6 oranges and spent yesterday afternoon slaving in the kitchen, making candied orange peels. I'd have to say this was the hardest part of this recipe. However, as I have learned, home made candied orange peel or lemon peel is just so much nicer so I went the extra mile. Not only that. In Spain where I live, the cost of 6 oranges is under 2 euros and 1 kg of sugar is something like 0.70 euros. Basically, if you choose to slave in the kitchen instead of taking the easier way out you get about 2 cups of beautiful candied orange peel bursting with flavor for under 3 euros. In the spice bread, I used raw brown sugar instead of 'molasses + brown sugar' as I couldn't find any of the former, and I omitted the orange flower water as I felt it was an artificial flavoring this mix didn't really need.
Since Elra noted that you needed to let the bread sit overnight or if you can manage to restrain yourself, for 3 days, I made the loaf late last night so that I could have a slice this morning.
Perhaps because I didn't chop the orange peel finely enough, they appeared to sink to the bottom of the batter and created gaps at the bottom of the loaf, but this didn't detract from the wholesome spicy aroma of the bread. When I bit into the loaf, the burst of the spices and freshly made candied orange peels made all the slaving worth it. I still have more than 1/2 cup home made orange peel left so I'm definitely going to make this again.
Pain d’épices - Honey Spice Bread from Burgundy - Adapted from ~ Elra ~
1 Cup AP Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Ginger
1/2 Tsp Cloves
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Anise
1 Cup Honey*
1/2 Cup Raw Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Cup Candied Orange Peel
*I used a thick dark honey from Galicia. I suggest using orange flower honey to enhance flavor, if you can get this in your area.
Step 1: Warm the milk, honey and brown sugar over low heat until everything has dissolved. Set it aside to cool
Step 2: When the liquid mixture above has cooled, preheat the oven to 176 C (350 F).
Step 3: Mix all the dry ingredients except for the orange peel. Put everything in a big bowl and use a beater to beat it all up if you are lazy about sifting ingredients.
Step 4: Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix it just so that you don't have any clumps of flour in the batter.
Step 5: Stir in the chopped orange peel and pour into a buttered, paper lined baking mold.
Step 6: Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes.
Step 7: Leave in the mold for 10 minutes then remove from the mold and let it cool to room temperature.
Step 8: Wrap it with the paper still on in aluminum foil and let it mature overnight or for 3 days.
Step 9: Make yourself some coffee or tea and enjoy!
Note: Speaking of candied orange peel this guy has really made beautiful ones.