The Christmas preparations are in full swing in our home as it is the biggest celebration of the year. Also, with so many kids in the house, you cannot escape the Christmassy fever which starts every year just after Halloween. The only one who can and does ignore all the angel cut-outs, reindeer puppets and salt dough ornaments creating is my husband and he thankfully accepts the role of Dr.Seuss's Grinch as it just means less mess. Me, on the other hand, I can get very emotional about Christmas and I try new recipes every year to feed my hungry crowd. This recipe is very traditional in France and even if it's sweet, you can find many meals where spice bread is used with savory foods such as foie gras (liver of a specially fattened goose or duck). As I am against this practice, we rather enjoy French spice bread as a dessert.
Traditional French Spice Bread
100 grams grass-fed butter (traditionally, salted butter is used, but you can use a non-salted version)
150 ml milk (you can use raw milk or non-dairy milk such as almond milk)
180 grams honey
200 grams flour (I used spelt flour, but you could use gluten-free flour such as rice flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. mixed spice - cinnamon, cloves, cardamom)
1 tsp. grated zest from either an orange or a lemon or both
2 whole cloves, 1 whole star anise
1. Heat the milk with whole cloves, star anise, butter and honey. Do not let boil. Set aside and let cool.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, zest, mixed spice. Add eggs and filtered milk.
3. Bake at 180 degrees for an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. You might want to cover the spice bread the last 20 minutes of baking with aluminium foil as it tends to burn on the top.