Seasonal baking has to be one of my favourite things to do, especially during the Christmas period. There’s nothing more exciting than filling your home with the warmth and smell of homemade food, that later on your can indulge yourself in and enjoy.
As you probably already know if you read my Blogmas last year, decorating gingerbread has always been a tradition of mine. I love to do it every year and despite the fact I’m 19, I’m not stopping anytime soon. Although, this year I’m not actually doing gingerbread men like I usually do… I’m stepping up my game and giving a gingerbread house a go (wish me luck, I’m sure as hell going to need it)
I’ve seen so many incredible gingerbread houses spiralling the internet so I know I have a lot to live up too. Having the mental capacity that everything has to be perfect is truly my downfall as I wind myself up something crazy – I’m praying this gingerbread house goes well, if not I’ll add photos anyway so we can laugh it off together.
So let’s get started:
Ingredients To Make GingerBread:
- 1kg plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 300g cold butter, diced
- 2 tbsp mixed spice
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 450g light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 225g golden syrup
How To Make Ginger Bread House:
• Firstly, gather together all your equipment, ingredients and preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/GasMark 6.
- Secondly, tip 500g of the plain flour into a mixture/food processor (or large bowl) with the cold, diced butter. Mix together until you can’t see any lumps of butter remaining (if you don’t have a food processor, rub the butter into all of the flour with your fingertips, until it resembles fine crumbs).
- Next, tip the buttery flour crumbs into your largest mixing bowl and mix in the remaining plain flour, ginger, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt then stir in the brown sugar.
- Now, whisk the eggs with the golden syrup in a large mug, once whisked, stir into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon.
- Using your hands, knead together into a smooth dough. You can either use the dough straight away, chill or freeze until ready to bake.
- Roll out a quarter of the dough at a time onto a floured surface (putting the rest of the dough into the fridge) to around 0.5cm thick.
- Using a ruler measure out the length and width of each side of the gingerbread house, you’ll need; 2 X Roofs, 2 X Sides and 2 X Ends. Then once you’ve worked out your measurements for each one, using a small, sharpe knife cut out your house templates. FYI, Obviously each house is different but I done mine with a triangle roof.
- Once you’ve done your templates, remove the trimmings and life the gingerbread onto the baking trays. Any left over gingerbread can be used for decorations for your gingerbread house.
- Bake the gingerbread one tray at a time (so it cooks evenly), on a high shelf in the oven for 8-12 mins, until golden brown. Once cooked, give each tray 3-5 mins to cool, then carefully move onto a cooling rack for further cooling.
- When cooled, trim the edges of the templates to make them neat (if your a perfectionist that is, if not ignore this step). Using a small knife, or heart-shaped cutters, cut out any doors and windows you want to have, although I just drew mine on with a gel decorating pen as it’s much easier.
- Before assembling your walls together, I actually decorated mine as I found it easier than decorating once it was all assembled. Now decorating is completely in your hands, I just went on Pinterest for some inspiration and went a little crazy! I’ve left pictures below of my decorations so if you’d like to copy mine then go wild…
- To start arranging the gingerbread walls, you need to assemble them. Once you’ve done that, swap to a big bag of icing with a medium nozzle to pipe generous snakes of icing along the side edges and stick the walls together (do this carefully as mine collapsed!!).
- Pipe extra icing where the walls join each other on the inside of the cottage for extra support.
- When ready, stick on the roofs very carefully. This bit can be fiddly, so you may need an extra pair of hands. Hold the biscuits on firmly for a few mins until the icing starts to set. Again, pipe extra icing where the walls join together for extra support and leave to set for a few hours, (I personally left mine overnight).
- To finish, decorate the roof, I done the tile look but you can do whatever you like. Then, just add the finishing touches elsewhere, add any extra smarties, jelly tots, icing herd&there and just enjoy decorating your finished gingerbread house.
That’s the gingerbread house baked, cooled and decorated. It may have been the hardest house I’ve ever made but I gave it my best shot!
FYI: if you don’t want to roll and measure your own shapes, you can buy gingerbread house cutters from most Pound Shops, Wilko’s, Robert Dyers etc.
I really hope you enjoyed today’s post and it gives you some inspiration to bake your own gingerbread, it’s such an enjoyable process at any age and it’s certainly a bake to get you in the festive spirit. Make sure if you do get your bake on, that you tag me in your photos as I’d love to see how you get on.
Happy Blogmas Day 3!
I’m sending you tons of love & hugs as always,