This is a fun project my son and I like to do during the Christmas season. It takes a LOT of gingerbread. Here’s the recipe I used this year (I like to experiment with different weights of flour, etc.
4 1/2 lbs of pastry flour
.50 oz of salt
1 oz ginger
2 1/2 lbs molasses
1 lb 4 oz HOT water
10 oz butter, melted
life savers, slightly crushed
In one large bowl, combine flour, salt and ginger. Whisk together to combine.
In another large bowl, combine molasses, hot water and butter. Stir to combine.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. It should take about six pours to fully add the liquid. Stir between each addition, until just saturated with flour. Try to combine fully but not overmix. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Here’s the gingerbread cut-outs with the dimensions I used:
I used the cardboard on the back of legal pads for this. Front/back 10″x6″ . Windows 1 3/4″x2 3/4″. Sides 8 1/2″x6″. Center roofline up middle of side 11″. Window 1 3/4″x2 3/4″. Roof 11 1/2″x7 1/4″. Door 2″x3 1/4″. Chimney (2) 1 2/3″x4″. (2) 1 3/4″x4″ with 1″ tall notch for roof. Then I used a round cutter to cut a circular skylight out of each roof panel.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough out, dusting with flour to about 1/8″ thick, except for load-bearing walls which should be 1/4″ thick. Cut out using these cardboard guides on top of the dough. Place on greased cookie sheet, or cookie sheets covered with parchment or silpat. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. After 45 minutes, put life saver candies in the windows and skylights. Lower heat to 300 F and bake for another 20-30 minutes until hardened. Allow to cool. Part two is next.
It’s ready for the decorations!
This is what we have so far. We still have to do something with the walls, the chimney and embellish the pond a little more.
Elizabeth Dougherty has been cooking and writing about food intensively for more than ten years. She is the fourth generation of chefs and gourmet grocers in her family with her mother, Francesca Esposito and grandmother, Carmella being major influences in her early cooking years. As a teenager, her family sent her to Europe where she became focused on French and Italian cuisine. She survived a year and half of culinary tutelage under a maniacal Swiss-German chef and is a graduate of NYIT, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations.
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