The recipe I've used is from one of my favourite food bloggers /cookbook-authors, Clotilde Dusoulier from ChocolateAndZucchini.com fame. Formerly based in San Francisco, Clotilde has been living in Paris for the past 5 years or so, blogging and cooking up a storm.
I really love her creative, simple-to-execute recipes. They just "scream" Paris to me, so I quite often turn to her cookbooks when I feel like cooking something from home. The icing on the cake? Her blog and cookbooks are available in both English and French. If you love cooking, I highly recommend you have a look!
PAIN D'EPICE recipe - From "Chocolate & Zucchini" by Clotilde Dusoulier
2 teaspoons vegetable oil to grease the pan
375ml milk (1.5 cups)
200g good-quality honey (2/3 cup)
95g mild-flavored dark molasses (1/3 cup)
120g all-purpose flour (1 cup)
120g whole wheat flour (1 cup)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger
Optional: 1/4 cup finely diced candied ginger or candied orange peel, or a mix of the two [I use candied ginger]
*Make the loaf a day ahead to give the flavor time to develop.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease the bottom and sides of a 24 x 12cm (9x5") loaf pan with oil, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Combine the milk, honey, and molasses in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and heat the mixture without boiling, stirring with a spatula until dissolved. Set aside and let cool as you go on with the recipe.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a small bowl, combine the ginger and/or orange peel, if using, with 2 teaspoons of the flour mixture and set aside.
4. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the milk mixture slowly and whisk in a circular motion, starting from the center, until all of the flour has been incorporated - the batter will be thin. Fold in the ginger/orange peel if using. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the surface is brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Transfer to a rack and cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen the loaf, and unmold. Let cool completely, wrap in foil, and let rest at room temperature until the next day.