Daring Bakers’ Gingerbread House

Gingerbreadhouse

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

I was planning on sitting out this challenge because I had so much on my plate. But my 19 year old son said his date wanted to make a gingerbread house. So I asked if I could make the dough using the DB recipe and they could bake it and decorate it. I used Y’s recipe and I didn’t have the problem many other DB’s had with it being too dry.

It was my son’s first time making a gingerbread house and using a pastry bag. He and his date had fun creating this cute gingerbread house and they did a great job!

Y’s Recipe:

Gingerbread House

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature [226g]
  • 1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]

Royal Icing:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar 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.

Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard.

Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.

[I rolled out the dough on a floured bench, roughly 1/8 inch thick (which allows for fact that the dough puffs a little when baked), cut required shapes and transferred these to the baking sheet. Any scraps I saved and rerolled at the end.]

Preheat the oven to 375’F (190’C). 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.

Royal Icing:

Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency. Pipe on pieces and allow to dry before assembling. If you aren’t using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl, loosely covered with a damp towel for a few hours until ready to use. You may have to beat it slightly to get it an even consistency if the top sets up a bit. Piped on the house, this will set up hard over time.

Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga) from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas