Pain D'epices (Dairy-free, Egg-free)

December 20, 2014
Missed earlier posts in this series? Here are days onetwothreefourfivesix, and seven.

Happy Eighth Day of Christmas! I had a friend date today with my pal Ashley. She needed to do a little shopping, and it was pretty hellish. Not because of her, because of the massive amount of people. I guess it's the last Saturday before Christmas and people are getting last minute gifts. Merry consumerism! Avoid the crowds (and the regifting) and give food gifts instead. They're cheaper, more useful, and much more environmentally friendly. This bread makes a great gift and people will have no idea it's healthy. Give them the gift of a happy heart and belly!

Pain D'epices is a French quick bread that's sweetened only with honey. Traditionally, it includes some amount of rye flour. This is a fairly non-traditional version that uses only Kamut flour and is dairy and egg free. Kamut flour is very high in protein but still has a light texture and a kind of buttery sweetness that works really well in sweet baking. I used it in my birthday cake! The great thing about Kamut is that it has to be organic to be given that name, so no pesticides or GMOs. If you're sensitive to wheat gluten, or just trying to avoid it, give Kamut flour (and puffs) a try. Like spelt, it's much more easily digestible. It's not gluten-free, though, so this recipe isn't suitable for celiacs. I just started using Kamut recently and it's my favourite flour. It's fabulous.

This bread-cake cross gets deliciously sticky after sitting on the counter overnight and improves with age. The next day or two after baking, it will be moist and perfect. Please wrap it up and let it sit for at least twelve hours before you eat it. It's a good midday snack and makes a great addition to breakfast. The spices are quite similar to gingerbread, but even if you're like me and don't like gingerbread very much, you'll like this. It's pretty, aromatic, and very much a holiday treat. This version isn't particularly sweet.

2 cups Kamut flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can full-fat coconut milk* (400 ml)
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely zested orange rind (organic is best)
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped

Heat the oven to 325F and grease a small baking tin (mine is 6 x 2.5 inches). If you use a bigger tin, adjust the baking time accordingly.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a smaller bowl, mix the coconut milk, honey, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and orange zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a wooden spoon. Don't over mix or it'll become tough. Gently fold in the cranberries. Pour into the prepared baking tin and bake at 325F for 50 minutes to one hour. It should be golden in colour and a toothpick will come out clean.

Let is sit in the tin for ten minutes before carefully removing and setting on a cooling rack. Cool completely before wrapping it. Let it sit tightly wrapped on the counter overnight before eating.

1. I probably wouldn't substitute other non-dairy milks here. The high fat content of the coconut milk is integral to the bread. If you're concerned it tastes coconutty, it doesn't at all.

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