Gingerbread originates from Germany and can also be traditionally called Lebkuchen (or Pfefferkuchen) in German. Iconically it’s a traditional spicy honey dough that’s mainly baked around Christmas time and was spread from central Europe, all around the world. Recorded history says that spicy bread goes all the way to Egyptian times and since 1300’s, Europeans made it popular. Nuremberg is a city that is well known for it’s soft version of Gingerbread which are baked on round wafer sheets that avoid sticking the sweet honey dough with nuts on a baking tray. Several variations of this soft gingerbread exist today from early books of the 1900’s. Honey gives the dough a sweetness and preserving property as well as a tougher texture that allows the gingerbread to be made into gingerbread houses, large stamped cookies etc. Spices like ginger, cloves, cinnamon, anise and other sweet selections can be added to gain a distinguished flavour and unique colour.
The weights in the recipe table below will yield the following 'weight per unit' and 'number of units'. If you would like to change the recipe to cater to a different 'weight per unit' and/or 'number of units', you can use the Recipe Calculator Tool below the ingredients table.
|1||HEAT||Heat A,B & C in a pan or microwave safe bowl until sugar dissolved.||Do not over boil.|
|2||PLACE||Place the honey mixture (A,B,C) in a large bowl.|
|3||ADD||Mix G, H & I first, and then add it to the honey mixture (A,B,C).|
|4||MIX||Mix the whole mixture with a wooden spoon till everything is combined.||Looks like a paste.|
|5||KNEAD||Continue to mix on a bench top.||Slightly stretchy.|
|6||COOL||Refrigerate the dough until cool.||Wrapped in plastic bag.|
|7||KNEAD||Knead the dough again.||More stretchy.|
|8||ROLL||Roll the dough at 4mm thick to desired shape.||Place on baking paper.|
|9||GLAZE||Glaze the rolled dough with milk.|
|10||DOCK||Dock (poke holes) the dough with back of a skewer.||Approximately 1 inch apart.|
|11||BAKE||Bake the dough at 165C / 329F (Fan forced oven) OR 180C / 356F (Fan forced electric oven).||15 to 20 minutes.|
|12||GLAZE||Glaze with gelatin water right after removing from oven, for shine.|
- When you are heating up A,B & C in the first step, turn off the heat as soon as the mixture reaches boiling point to avoid any loss of water through evaporation. Water will help develop gluten from flour. Just turn off the heat and mix a little until the sugar is dissolved and not noticeable.
- 800g or gingerbread dough is just enough to roll a 4mm thick sheet that is 280mm by 400mm in size which should be just right to fit into any household oven. The dough should end up around 10mm to 12mm high (thick) after it is baked.
- This dough can often bubble during baking. Half way during baking, while the dough is still soft, you can push down these bubbles with a clean towel and continue to bake.
- Baked gingerbread items are commonly glazed with hot gelatine mix (heated gelatine and water). Put 1 amount of gelatine powder (or leaves) into 7 amounts of water and heat in the microwave. 5g of gelatine to 35g of water should be enough to glaze 2 trays of baked gingerbread. This process must be done right after the the dough comes out of the oven. The water will evaporate, leaving the shiny gelatine surface. If you wish to pack the glazed gingerbread, make sure the surface is completely dry or the packing material may stick to the surface of the gingerbread.