Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gingerbread House - Tutorial Part Two

Today we're going to mix our gingerbread dough. There are lots of gingerbread recipes out there and you should feel free to use your favorite. I'm going to pass along a recipe I call recipe Gingerbread Plywood because of it's ability to resist humidity. Gingerbread will soak up moisture and eventually cause your structure to collapse. The ingredients in this recipe are edible but once baked it's very hard and will withstand sanding with a nail file or sandpaper which allows you to fit pieces perfectly. This is not the easiest dough to work with but it does give you a very sturdy material. If you're spending alot of time constructing a house, you don't want anything crumbling in your hands.

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I'm going to give you some tips as we go along. First gather together all your supplies.

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I buy my spices at ethnic markets or the bulk department at the larger stores. It's much less expensive than those little containers. Measure your dry ingredients into a sifter. Do you have one of these old models?

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Place the flour mixture in a large bowl and set aside. Measure out the honey.

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Beat the eggs and add the honey. Mix well.

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The mixture is going to look like this.

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Add the liquid to the dry ingredients.

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I don't even attempt to mix this with my Kitchen Aid. This dough is very stiff. Just use a sturdy wooden spoon to stir and combine.

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Put the spoon aside and start mixing with your hands.

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The warmth of your hand will help the dough to soften. Soon it will start to stick together. Add a small amount of honey if necessary.

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It's going to have a sandy texture. If it doesn't clump together, add a TBSP. of honey. Don't add too much or you'll have a very sticky mess.

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This is going to feel dryer than a normal dough. Knead it for a few minutes. You're going to put it in plastic wrap and place it in a airtight container. Let it stand unrefrigerated, overnight is best.

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While it stands the honey and sugar molecules combine, the mixture darkens and softens. Tomorrow it will be a bit easier to work with.

Tomorrow we're going to roll out the dough, cut our pattern pieces and fill the house with the great smell of gingerbread baking in the oven. Please join me!

11 comments:

Heidi said...

I cant wait to see the house! I did one of those box ones and needless to say - it broke my will to live.... ok not completely but nearly! I cant wait to watch and expert at work!!!

FarmHouse Style said...

OK, we have selected the Farmhouse pattern....huumm, wonder why we picked that one;) And we are ready to go. My little one is home with a cold today so we will have plenty of time to mix-up our dough and be ready for tomorrow!

Rhonda

Suzanne said...

Heidi -Oh my you're up early.

Rhonda - If you chose the Farmhouse, you'll probable need more than one batch of the dough.

FarmHouse Style said...

Thanks for the tip Suzanne, we'll make two:)

Rhonda

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Yum--to me nothing smells like Christmas more than gingerbread and of course, the freshly cut Christmas tree.:)

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh boy! I'm not even sure that I'm going to have time to do this, but I'm bookmarking it all.

LIBERTY POST EDITOR said...

You are so wonderful and smart and you never stop doing many things...you make me want to be a better person.

Paula Bauer said...

Heh heh - gingerbread plywood! Forget about humidity....is it nibbler-proof?!!

Cottage Rose said...

Hey Suzanne; I am sorry that I am going to miss your how too on making a house. I will be watching though, I love the first photo you did a great job on it.

Have a great week.

Hugs;
Alaura

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! I just made my batch. It wasn't coming together very well, so I added about 4 Tbls. In the end, I got it to make a ball and all of the bits to stick to it. But looking at your pictures, it seems as though it was still falling apart... What should the final texture be like?

Suzanne said...

It should be like a stiff roll-out cookie dough. You can soften it up by putting it in the microwave for a few seconds.