Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spice Bread

I've written a couple of times (3/30/2009 and 3/8/2010)about my medieval bread recipe, Fine Bread. Anise isn't the only spice that can be used in it. I've used cinnamon instead in the past, but I've found the flavor a little too one-dimensional.

I needed a quick and easy dessert for a party the other night. Fine bread is really quick and easy -- just weigh and mix the sugar, flour, and spices, and beat in four eggs.

Aniseed isn't to everyone's tastes. Most people don't like the strong licorice-like flavor and are reluctant to try it. But most people do like spice cake.

Spice Bread
8 oz flour (weighed)
8 oz sugar (weighed)
4 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon butter
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Beat the eggs well; there mixture should be evenly yellow with no globs of white or yolk. Add to dry ingredients. Mix until it's batter.

Melt the butter and coat bottom of dish. Add batter and smooth out in pan.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes (less if the dish is a thin, metal pan). Sprinkle powdered sugar lightly over the top of the cake. Serve warm or cool.

This was an unmitigated success!!!! The sharpness of the ginger was well-balanced by the warmth of the cinnamon with the clove and nutmeg providing a nice deep richness to the flavor.

The eggs kept the bread really moist, almost like it had fruit in it, but without the chewiness or sogginess that often accompanies the fruit.

Several of the guests put a little whipped cream on the top and couldn't get enough of the combination! Yea!


Geoffrey said...

This looks really good! I love the big amounts of spices. I always double the spices in recipes for spice breads/cookies because it seems there's not enough usually. Surprised there's so little butter and no oil in it! Also, is it still light enough and not too dense even without baking soda or baking powder? Thanks!


Susan Wensel said...

The spice bread turns out more like a brownie than a bread. Medieval descriptions of foods (such as bread, cake, etc.) don't always correspond to what we think of when we think of those terms.