Recipe: Gingerbread House
So I decided to join the Daring Bakers. Basically, it’s a food blog baking ring, which coaxes people into baking complex and challenging confections once a month.
It being December and all, my inaugral challenge was to bake a festive gingerbread house. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I am one of the clumsiest people alive, so a 3-D baked structure definitely wasn’t going to be my strong point. But anyway. I took a deep breath, and set about making the dough.
The recipe I chose was Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga) from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas. We were given a choice of two, and I chose this one because the other recipe contained cream which I didn’t have any of!
I blended up the ingredients in the magimix to give a stiff dough which I left in the refrigerator for a couple of days while I visited my parents for Christmas (which was lovely, by the way).
Upon my return I rolled and baked the pieces, using this template. They shrunk quite a bit in the oven, and were much much thicker than they should have been. I will know for next time I make a gingerbread house (it may be some time…!) that the dough should be rolled very thinly. The pieces for the chimney came out very misshapen so I decided that the house would have electric heating rather than a wood-burning fire…
Anyway, this is how it turned out, I don’t think I did a bad job overall, but I look forward to my next daring bakers’ challenge which will hopefully be something more delicious than disastrous!
Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga)
Adapted from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas.
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, well packed
1 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup boiling water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Cream the butter and sugar in the Magimix until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight (or 2 days…).
Roll the dough out and cut pieces to a template.
Preheat the oven to 190c. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
Assemble with royal icing. Add 1 plastic dinosaur (Allosaurus or suitable alternative).