Sunday 11 December 2011

Ginger Bread House Tutorial (PT 1)

I first made a ginger bread house about 15 years ago and had so much fun doing it !  Since then I have made a few for friends and family.  I have also had a few disasters.  So I decided I would share a few of the things I have learned along the way.

If you don't have a pattern you can go to Gingerbread House Heaven there are some fantastic templates available from their site.  Start simple and once you get the hang of the basic method move to something more complex.

My recipe and templates are from this collection.  I photo copied the patterns for long levity.

One day I wanted to make a smaller house so I used a photo copy machine and downsized the pattern.  This is the result.

  • 75 grams / 3 oz  butter
  • 4 tablespoons treacle
  • 4 tablespoons syrup
  • 100 grams / 4 oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 450 grams / 1 lb flour
  • 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground mixed spice
  • 1 beaten egg

  • Combine butter, treacle, syrup and sugar in a pan over LOW heat.
  • Stir till butter melts and sugar dissolves.
  • ** Do NOT boil or over heat this makes a soft toffee which in turn makes your dough tough.
  • Set aside to cool
  • Add water and beaten egg.
  • Combine the dry ingredients.
  • Make a well and pour in the melted butter mixture.
  • Mix well.

  • Use your fingers to gather the dough into a ball.
  • It should be a soft pliable ball.
  • Let it stand for 15 min
  • If it is too soft or sticky work in a little extra flour.

  • I roll my dough straight onto the back of a cookie baking sheet.
  • A lot of recipes say roll onto baking paper then place on baking tray.  I tried this and found that the pieces warped and never lay flat.
  • I sprinkle flour straight onto the back of my tray and roll
  • ** Do NOT use spray and cook or butter or oil !  This makes your ginger bread soft and it will not crisp up and in turn not retain it's structural integrity.
  • It needs to be around 3 mm / 1/8 inch thick

  • Preheat over to 190'C / 375'F / gas 5
  • Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until puffed up and dry.
  • Leave till cool enough to handle.
  • If my pieces stick I use a sharp knife to lift them off.
  • Cool completely on a rack.
  • Cook like size pieces together.  If you cook large and small bits together the larger pieces will be undercooked and smaller bits over cooked.

As you can see I managed to chip off a corner.  I will "glue" this back with royal icing when putting it together.

With the left over dough I made gingerbread men for Sir N to decorate!

Happy Baking

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  1. Thanks for linking up to Homemade for the Holidays! I've always wondered how to make a 'homemade' ginger bread house! Where do you find treacle and bicarbonate of soda?

    1. You're welcome :) I purchase them at our local grocery store

  2. You are welcome Amber.

    I think you call it baking soda in the US I am not sure. I buy mine from the grocery store, it's normally where the baking powder is. The treacle I find near the syrup or baking isle. Hope you put up some pics of your ginger bread house :)

  3. I love the smell of gingerbread. I prepare everything and make them with a group of people every year. This year we had 30 people. Great tutorial.

    1. Thank you Lisa :) I agree with you about the smell it's such a wonderful memory builder too

  4. love this!
    my children are no longer little, but we still enjoy our yearly Gingerbread House Extravaganza - the competition is fierce but fun.

  5. We make gingerbread houses every holiday season. It is a fun tradition.

  6. I will be using this come Christmastime! I always feel a bit intimidated with making gingerbread because the few times I've done it it hasn't come out well.


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