Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 55 minutes
This is a very old recipe. Pain d'épices has been made since ancient times but first appeared in Dijon in the 17th century. However the first "pain d'épicier" worthy of the name appeared in the records in Dijon in 1711. Pain d'épice was once known as the "paving stone of health" and was made with rye flour. It will keep for 3-4 days and is good even when a bit dry.
You can slice it and freeze it in an airtight freezer container.
You can serve it with foie gras, crème anglaise, a seasonal fruit coulis, fruit salad, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).
- Using a rolling pin, crush the aniseed.
- Place the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix.
- Transfer the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer; add the aniseed, sugar and honey.
- Add the butter and milk; using the whisk attachement, mix for 5 minutes.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, then pour in the batter. Spread evenly and press down with a fork; bake for 55 minutes.
- Test for doneness; the tip of a knife inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Cool on a rack, then transfer to a serving platter.
You could serve champagne or a sweet wine such as Côtes du Jura blanc, Jurançon moelleux, Pacherenc doux, Clairette de Die or Sauternes with the pain d'épices.
This recipe was provided to us by Arielle and Manu, the charming owners of Aux Murots Chambres d'hôtes, in the heart of the Burgundy wine country, close to the Abbey of Cîteaux (6 km) and just 20 km from Dijon.
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