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Gingerbread recipe by my wonderful friend Amanda
Gingerbread biscuit dough, suitable for making “houses” or cutting in shapes etc
For 1 house or 4 doz bix
A timer is essential.
Put out the various ingredients first – as follows.
The first four things – for melting
3 oz butter, 4 oz soft brown sugar. 4 Tablesp treacle (or molasses) 4 Tablesp golden syrup (or honey.)
Dry ingredients -, SIFT into a large bowl: 1 lb plain flour1 and ½ Tablesp ground ginger1 Tablesp mixed spice
Other things,– put them by in small bowls;1 Tablesp bread soda plus 2 Tablesp cold water, (separately, at first)Finely grated rind of 1 small lemon1 large egg, beaten, in a cup or small jug.
It may help to soften the syrups by putting the cans in warm water
Put first four things into a saucepan, place over low heat, stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves, and stir until blended and no longer grainy. Take off heat and cool to lukewarm.
Have dry ingredients ready in a large bowl, (you can do this while the pot mixture is cooling.)
Mix the bicarbonate of soda into the cold water.Stir this into the warm, melted mixture in the pot, add lemon zest, and stir well. The mix may foam. (this is OK)Gradually mix this sticky liquid into the dry ingredients alternating with drips of the beaten egg; It may look very dry etc but persevere. Work with hands and squeeze and knead until dough forms. Gather into a ball. (if too slack, rest it for 15 mins; or add a little more flour, cautiously)You may chill it at this stage to recover firmness (or rest your hands) but don’t leave it to get too cold or it will crack and be too stiff to roll thinly.
Oven to 375deg F or 120deg C
Line your flat tin trays with non-stick baking parchment.
Shake dusting mixture on the table or a very little flour.
Roll out quite thinly (thicker for gingerbread houses though, obviously) cut and bake, until puffy and dry but not scorched…(watch!!) for about 10 mins.
Cool promptly, on rack, box in airtight Tupperware or similar.
Superb for holding shapes and impressions, does not spread.Not too sweet, so needs sugar icing (or a roof of marshmallows and liquorice allsorts etc!.)
Ice when cold.The raw dough can be sticky – roll complex shapes on silicone paper.Makes lots and lots.
Dusting mixture: half and half of icing sugar and cornstarch, sifted together, and stored in a jar with some holes in the lid, for shaking lightly under biscuit dough. (Or marzipan, etc) Better than floury flour.