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The secret of the gingerbread

The gingerbread can be baked in a variety of forms and variations. It is a spicy, durable pastry. Immerse yourself in the world of gingerbread and learn more about the ever-popular Christmas cookies.

Gingerbread secret

The first honey cake was already 1,500 BC. Made in ancient Egypt. (Photo by: el lobo / fotolia.com)

History of the gingerbread

The scent of gingerbread triggers the Christmas spirit. Gingerbread in its various variations is part of the classic pastry for Christmas.

The first honey cake was already 1,500 BC. Made in ancient Egypt . Today's gingerbread comes originally from Belgium, from where it was spread and expanded. The Nuremberg gingerbread is particularly well known, since Nuremberg already had access to honey and was able to produce large quantities of honey gingerbread.

Gingerbread variants

A distinction is made between two different types of gingerbread:

  • brown gingerbread
  • Gingerbread Wafers

Brown gingerbread

… is made from a dough with lots of flour and sweetened with honey. The finished dough is shaped, cut out or filled into a box. It is often filled with jam or marzipan and covered with chocolate.

The brown gingerbread includes:

  • Honeycake
  • pepper nut
  • dominoes
  • and lots of little pastries, like gingerbread hearts

Gingerbread Wafers

… consists of a dough with little or no flour, as well as a larger amount of nuts, hazelnuts or almonds. The wafer gingerbread is sweetened with sugar. Round shapes that are covered with chocolate or frosting are typical. The highest quality level is the Elisen gingerbread, which is made from 25% almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts and 10% flour.

ingredients

Depending on the type of gingerbread, different ingredients are used - the most important ingredients include:

  • Fat : Many traditional recipes contain lard. Some recipes also use butter or margarine. But there are also gingerbread recipes without fat.
  • Sweetener: Wafer gingerbread is mostly sweetened with white or brown sugar. For brown gingerbread, honey or sugar beet syrup is used as a sweetener.
  • Spices : The most important ingredient for gingerbread is the spices. There are already ready-made gingerbread spice mixtures that consist of cinnamon, ginger, anise, clove, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, orange or lemon peel, star anise and also fennel. The many spices are responsible for the unique taste of the gingerbread.
  • Flour : Mostly light wheat flour is used for the production. But dark wheat flour, rye flour or a mixture can also be used. Brown gingerbread usually contains more flour. Wafer gingerbread contains relatively little to no flour.
  • Eggs : There are no eggs in many gingerbread recipes.
  • Leavening agents : baking soda and baking soda are used as leavening agents. Deer horn salt or potash is traditionally used as a yeast substitute. It gives the raw gingerbread dough a bitter taste. Deer horn salt or potash loosens the dough, but it takes several days or weeks to rise.

Our recipe tips:

  • Gingerbread batter basic recipe
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • filled gingerbread
  • Elisen Gingerbread
  • Gingerbread Kaiserschmarren
  • Lucerne gingerbread
  • more gingerbread recipes

Tip: Here you go step by step to the gingerbread house!

gingerbreadhouse

A lovely gingerbread house is always a surprise and delighted. (Photo by: volke / fotolia.com)

  • The dough should be refrigerated before rolling out. Chilled dough is easier to roll out and cut out.
  • The base should be dusted with flour to prevent sticking.
  • Line the baking sheet with baking paper, grease it or sprinkle with water.
  • The sheet should be cold when the gingerbread is placed on it.
  • The baking temperature for gingerbread should not be higher than 180 degrees, otherwise acrylamide (pollutant) can form.
  • To decorate the gingerbread must be completely cool.
  • The decoration is versatile and individual: with icing, lemon, nuts, food coloring or with small sweets.
  • After decorating, the gingerbread must dry to harden.
  • Gingerbread is long-lasting (for a few weeks) and edible - when storing it is important to ensure that it is cool, dry and airtight. Hard gingerbread can be softened again with a cut apple.
  • Never store the gingerbread or honey cake together with other cookies, as these can absorb the aroma through the spices.
  • Leftover gingerbread can also be processed as a gingerbread parfait.

With our gingerbread basic recipe you will definitely have fun!