Having a house full of girls, afternoon tea is a common occurrence. We enjoy our tea time, with some sweet treats and reading some poetry. We love the whole thing, from the dressing up to using our table manners and using vocabulary like “C’est magnifique!” a la Fancy Nancy style.
We made scones, cupcakes, muffins, banana bread and many other treats but today I was in the mood for something a bit different, something with spices. I remembered eating, once a loaf of spiced bread called “Pain d’épice”, a long time ago and decided to give it a try.
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 stick on cinnamon ( about 1 1/2 tsp grated )
- 1/2 nutmeg, ground in a mortar and pestle
- 3 gloves, grated
- 1/2 tsp anise seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle
- 2-3 black peppercorn, ground in a mortar and pestle
- 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup oil or melted butter
In a bowl mix in the flour, baking powder, the spices, lemon zest and salt, set aside. In a mixing bowl cream the eggs and brown sugar until fluffy, add the flour mixture. Add the milk, oil and honey and mix until smooth and all the flour mixture in no longer dry.
Pour in a well-greased bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Your whole house will be enveloped with those spices and you will not need any air freshener, this will be the best time to relax and enjoy the aromas coming out of the oven.
- 1/2 cup confectioner sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 to 2 tsp of milk as needed
In a small bowl mix in the sugar and the lemon juice, add in enough milk to get a smooth somewhat liquid white glaze, pour over the cool bread. Slice and serve with butter or homemade lemon curd (I personally like the contrast of the tartness of the lemon with the spices and light sweetness of the bread)
Tip: Using dried ground spices is convenient but sometime you don’t get the full flavor, using fresh grated spices will give you more intense flavor and you won’t regret it.