Gingerbread is THE absolut Christmas classic. The spices warm from the inside, its scent makes the apartment more cozy. And the sweetness can lift the mood in the dark season. Gingerbread is known and loved not only in Europe, but all over the world.
If you look into the history of gingerbread and its various recipes, you will realize that there is not just one gingerbread. The Greeks and the Romans knew similar recipes, in monasteries the gingerbread was consumed as food during fasting periods. Due to the various spices, it was considered healthy and digestive. The first written mention of spicy honey cake dates back to 350 BC. In Europe, the gingerbread formed of course at trade hubs, where there was the ability to get the desired spices (cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, pepper, cinnamon, etc.).
The classic Nuremberg gingerbread, became famous in the USA through German settlers. They have a rather soft consistency and are baked on oblates. The gingerbread version I’m showing you here is more of a Scandinavian type of gingerbread. It is more firm and more thin and reminds more of cookies than of patties or cakes.
Instead of honey, I use sugar treacle. If you can´t get it, use molasses. Even though there are still beekeepers regionally, I try to avoid honey in larger quantities. Honestly, I have hardly seen a bee this summer (2021). Only wasps or bumblebees. The death of bees is well known, but the reason is certainly not that we consume their honey, but pesticide exposure and monocultures. Last spring and summer, there was also the prolonged cold and heavy rain, so that the bees hardly had a chance.
I therefore think the bees should keep their honey to strengthen themselves. So the substitute sugar offered to them by beekeepers is what I use here for my pastries. Black treacle is a regional product and is not transported far like maple syrup or cane sugar (in live in Germany) . In addition, it is less sweet than honey, but has a high mineral density ( iron, kalium, magnesium, folic acid, for example).
The dough is quick to make, you just need a few more ingredients for the flour mixture as is so often the case with gluten-free baking. Everything is kneaded together into a smooth dough and refrigerated overnight. The dough is easy to roll out. If it sticks, just add some rice flour to the work surface and to the rolling pin. If the dough has become too warm and tender, put it outside in the cold or in the refrigerator for a while. About 15 minutes is enough so that the dough is easy to cut and handle.
If you use filigree cutters and want the shape to remain as intact as possible during baking, chill the baking tray with the cut out dough for another 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will then spread less in the oven. Speaking of cookie cutters: Many people have asked me where I got the stamp for the gingerbread faces. I can recommend etsy. There is a large selection of different cookie cutters.
But I also like to bake cookies completely without ready-made cookie cutters. Like in the video above. Cut your own templates, take tools (for example forks or beautiful glass bottoms) from your kitchen to stamp the dough. Or cut the dough completely freestyle, simply with a knife.
I wish you a lot of fun and beautiful ideas for baking. Feel free to write in the comments what you bake out of gingerbread dough.
Jingle by talented Philipp Westermann
- cookie cutters
- 150 g food starch gluten free
- 100 g rice flour wholemeal
- 100 g almonds, finely ground
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 10 g gingerbread spices powder ( cinnamon, coriander, anise, ginger, mace, cloves)
- 10 g cocoa powder unsweetend
- 100 g brown sugar
- 90 g molasses
- 140 g vegan margarine (try to get soy and palmoil free)
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients for the flour mixture. Mix in gingerbread spice and cocoa. Add remaining ingredients and knead evenly with the whisks of a hand mixer, first to fine crumbs, then with your hands briefly to a smooth dough. Place in a fresh-keeping box and seal airtight. Refrigerate overnight.The next day, preheat the oven to 180 degrees (convection oven 160 degrees). Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface or on baking paper. If necessary, dust the rolling pin with a little flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Cut out cookies as desired and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cool if necessary. Bake for 10- 12 minutes until golden brown. Pull out onto a cooling rack with the baking paper and let cool.
- If the dough has become too soft and needs to be rolled out again, place it in the freezer for a few minutes until it is firmer again.Chill the cookies on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes more before baking, then they won’t rise as much.