Pain d’épice

I got this recipe from the WildYeast
I baked it yesterday morning, and fed it to dinner
guests last night. We all enjoyed it.

I don’t cook with a scale, so I converted the grams to cups of
flour and water. The dinner guests are vegans, so I converted
the grams of honey to cups of maple syrup. And I used whole
wheat flour instead of all-purpose.

I also threw everything into the bread machine and baked it on
the quick bread cycle instead of
making syrups and adding ingredients a quarter cup at a time.

The result was a pretty thin batter, that baked into a very
moist loaf, not the hard dry one that needs to be dunked in
coffee described in the post.

Another subtle flavor I ended up adding was coffee – I didn’t
have an orange to zest, but I did have some hard-as-rocks
bitter orange peel with my brewing supplies. My little mortar
and pestle wasn’t doing very well turning the rocks into
powder, so I used my coffee mill, so some coffee grounds got
into the recipe along with the anise, mustard, cinnamon, maple
syrup and
orange peel.

In any case, it was a fine combination of subtle flavors. I
was interested in seeing how the mustard went with the other
flavors – I don’t think I could have identified it if I hadn’t
known it was there.

If I weren’t cooking for vegans, I think I’d use the honey
instead of the maple syrup – I think it would go better with
the anise and orange peel.

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