The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain d'épices

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Pain d'épices

Hello,
Browsing through an old baking text (Professional Baking by Mr. Wayne Gisslen), I was so happy to find a gingerbread formula with a pain d’épices variation – which included 50% rye flour (!).
This bake is for MC, who kindly gave me some beautiful Fairhaven whole rye flour, which I used in this bread :^)

I made some slight flavoring adjustments based on recipes by Flo Braker (adding fresh nutmeg and black pepper) and Martha Stewart (adding fresh ginger); grateful too for these posts, showing different ways to make pain d'épices.

(experimenting with photo borders...)   

With our cool, wet weather, I thought the sunny orange and warm spice in this bread would be a lovely thing to bake,
and I was happy to have this taste of France here at home.
The bread was really good yesterday, and is better today; can’t wait to see how this tastes tomorrow
(the flavors of the spices are developing really nicely).
Honeyed-orange ricotta is a lovely accompaniment (drizzled honey (to taste) over fresh ricotta,
grated some fresh orange rind over, gave it a quick stir – yum!).



(I wanted to try out my new 9x4x4 pullman pan, and estimated the batter weight for the pan. I used the weight of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s pound cake in The Cake Bible (684g) as a guide for the smallest pan, then scaled/rounded up from there. Did a long bake in a reducing oven, hoping to bake the bread through in that large pan, without overbrowning it).

Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

Comments

varda's picture
varda

and I'm sure the flavor is incredible with those ingredients.   This must be high rye day.   Looks like you got just the right amount of dough (paste?) for your pullman.   And I like your picture borders - they match the color of the lemon.  -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Varda,
Thank you for your comment.
When looking through Mr. Gisslen's book at the bookstore, I saw all sorts of interesting things, but not this bread, the first pass through.
I was very happy to discover this 50% rye version; thought this sounded so delicious and it really is!
Thought about fresh-grinding the cinnamon too, like you did for your gorgeous Cinnamon Swirl bread :^) but in the end just used what I had (it was that bread of yours that finally pushed me to buy a smaller 9" pullman pan).
The scaling was ok; the batter rose just to the top of the pan; but I had hoped for a bit rounder top. I can't blame the orange slices for that - it had risen as much as it was going to by the time I applied them.
The lighting in my kitchen isn't the greatest; my photos might be a bit washed out so those orange slices might look like lemons as a result. Lucked out at the market with these ones, they are organic, lovely for zesting, very sweet and juicy, and in real life, brightly colored!
:^) breadsong

varda's picture
varda

just me mis-speaking.   I could see they were oranges.   Oops!  -Varda

Syd's picture
Syd

Looks delicious Breadsong.  Is that what you would call a dessert loaf, then?  With pastry flour and rye flour there isn't much gluten in there.  I see your instructions are also to 'mix until just combined' so gluten development is something you want to avoid.  It must have had a very light texture.  The combination of nutmeg, cloves, anise, cinnamon and ginger really appeals to me.  Bet it tastes wonderful.

Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Syd,
I would call this a dessert, or snack loaf (something nice to have with some good tea or coffee).
It is soft textured, but holds together enough to allow you to slice it thinly.
It wasn't only the rye that caught my attention with this bread, but the spices too -
as the spices did with your Hot Cross Buns! Your spice mixture for those was out-of-this-world.
One of the things I remember seeing in Mr. Gisslen's book is a recipe for crossing paste that looks like it might be similar to what you used, so am looking forward to trying it on this year's Hot Cross Buns.
Thanks so much Syd! I really appreciate your comment.
:^) breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Your Pain d’épices is absolutely mouthwatering breadsong! The list of ingredients builds such a delicious combination  of flavours, I can easily imagine how good it must taste, and the border experiment works perfectly to set off the colour of the loaf and garnish of orange. Copied and saved for forwarding to Marie in hopes she'll make one for me! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

All the best,

Franko


breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Franko,
Thank you so much, and I hope Marie does make you one of these! :^)
Orange and spice were comforting here, as rain, snow and hail were pelting down this weekend...
Thinking about fresh ginger, I was reminded of your Rye and Ginger post, and how you used a ginger-water infusion in your bread; I'm thinking a fresh ginger infusion would work for this bread, too.
(I've been meaning to try making beautiful Rye and Ginger bread of yours...I found the beer...must find the time!).
Thanks again, Franko - I really do appreciate your kind comment!
:^) breadsong

sam's picture
sam

Wow, that must taste incredible, with all the spices, and orange!   Yum.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thank you, gvz!
This bread had all the flavor I'd hoped for.
:^) breadsong       

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

very nice spice / fruit bread a fine desert / snack bread Those on a low salt diet need to take note that this bread is so good it doesn't need but .2% salt because it so flavorful otherwise.  Almost as much honey as flour!  Very nice bread indeed and a good looker too. 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi,
The honey as the only sweetener was another thing that attracted me to this recipe.
I was expecting this bread to be sweeter in taste given the amount of honey, and wondered if adding the currants
might be too much...to my taste, the flavors were nicely balanced, considering spices/salt/sweetness.
Thank you very much for your kind comment!
:^) breadsong

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Very European bread, Breadsong! Lovely executed, and very inspiring .

Be warm, and thanks for posting this.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Khalid,
Thank you for your wishes to 'be warm' - appreciate that very much (snow is still in the forecast though)!
With all of the stories and pictures being shared from those who travelled to France for Europain, I think I needed to have a taste of France here in my kitchen...
Thanks so much for your compliments about the bread!
:^) breadsong

sweetbird's picture
sweetbird

Just reading that ingredient list makes me want to head to the kitchen and start baking this right away. What an unusual bread! It has sparked my imagination and I will certainly be trying it some day soon. (And I will be sure to have fresh ricotta and honey on hand when I do!)

Thank you, Breadsong!

All the best to you,  Janie

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Janie,
I neglected to write this in my post, but I first read about fresh ricotta and honey as a 'condiment' to serve with bread, when reading Beth Hensperger's book, Baking Bread - Old and New Traditions. (I've had the book for years and years,
and only tried mixing some up this past weekend...really regretting not making it sooner, loving the flavor!). 
Your raspberry honey would be an absolutely gorgeous addition to ricotta, and give it a pretty rosy color?
When you posted about your beautiful! Christmas Stollen, I made note of the book, and was able to find it
at a used bookstore.
Just looked through the book and found a 'torta di ricotta' recipe, with a brandied! pastry crust, that looks divine...
a little bit of honey and citrus zest might be lovely in the filling too. Now I have a new project for this coming weekend!
Thank you so much for your comment, and for making reference to Ms. Thomas' book 'the vegetarian epicure';
I had never heard of this book before and am happy to have my own copy now.
:^) breadsong

sweetbird's picture
sweetbird

I'm so glad you were able to find a copy of the much-loved Vegetarian Epicure! And I can hardly wait to hear about the torta with brandied ! crust :-) if you decide to make it over the weekend. I haven't made that one. Perfect for spring. I hope you have many years of happy discoveries with that book. It always feels as though I have a friend in the kitchen with me when I'm using one of Anna Thomas's books, and that one particular, since I've had it so many years through so many stages of my life.

I love the idea of the raspberry honey in fresh ricotta and will have to try it. Have you ever made fresh ricotta? It's incredibly easy and deliriously delicious, especially at room temperature. In case you haven't tried it, here's the recipe I use when I make it: http://www.marthastewart.com/316049/homemade-ricotta. You can lower the fat content, but (of course!) the height of deliciousness is when made as written.

Warm regards,  Janie

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Janie,
I'll give that ricotta recipe a try :^)
Thank you so much for the suggestion, and for your good wishes for the book.
It's nice to have 'a friend in the kitchen', isn't it? I often feel the same way when cooking or baking something from a favorite author's cookbook!
:^) breadsong

ananda's picture
ananda

A lovely spice combination, and so much honey Breadsong!

It looks a lovely quick bread, beautifully presented as ever.   Does the combination of whole rye and soft wheat flour work well?

I've made Gingerbreads before with light rye for a bakery I worked for...and I did not like the claggy texture in the mouth.   Maybe the wholegrain flour won't be so prone to producing this texture?

All good wishes

Andy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Andy,
Thank you - I'm grateful for your compliments, as always :^)
Here is a closer picture of the bread's crumb:


I was pleased with the texture of the bread, considering 50% whole-grain rye flour was used.
I'm not sure if this picture gives you a better idea of what the bread might be like to eat...
I'm not sure what 'claggy' means, but am guessing it means gummy or unpleasant?!
:^) breadsong