Friday, December 15, 2017

Pain d'epice

My holiday recipe for pain d'epice - little spice loaves, based on an MFK Fisher recipe (if you can call it that), with my own native American twist, is over at Gardenista.

My first batch was made with a honey and flour paste that had aged, probably fermenting very slowly, for a couple of months.

My friend Bevan WhatsApp'd me yesterday from Istanbul to inform me that the traditional medieval decoration for pain d'epice was boxwood leaves held in place "with cloves with gilded heads." Hm.

Maybe one day. I have box leaves. I have cloves. I just need the gold leaf and the bevy of indentured serfs to gild each clove. I imagine the cloves helped preserve the loaves, too. I am going very untraditional, heretical, even, and covering them with a think layer of rosehip jam, marzipan and royal icing, as we speak. Purely for looks.

But they are really best simply sliced very, very thinly, and buttered. With good butter. My go-to decent butter is actually just Land O'Lakes. But I love the Belgian one with with salt from the Camargue. I stocked up on it recently and the freezer is filled with the little salty bricks.


  1. I have some gold spray paint for the season .... you could gild the cloves that way ..... no?

    It sounds wonderful - the bread/cake, that is.

    1. You could, although perhaps having spraypaint inside the cakes where they are anchored might not be a good idea?

  2. Haven't visited in a while....I forgot how much I enjoyed your blog! Merry happy, Marie!


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