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History Cookbook: Gingerbread

This recipe is in categories Georgians / Regency, Baking, Party food, Snacks
About this recipe
Healthiness : (44 votes)
Comments: All cooking is done at the end.
Use oven gloves when handling baking sheets.
Preparation Time: 1 hour including cooling time.
Cooking Time: 10 minutes per tray.
Number of servings: 20-30 small biscuits
Serving suggestions: Serve as a snack with a glass of milk or fruit juice.
This is a vegetarian recipe


Street sellers became common in most towns and cites during the Georgian era. Sellers called their wares as they went.
Fresh milk, cherries, apples, fish, buns and treats like gingerbread men could all be bought in this way.

Market days were particularly important, with many people traveling to sell their produce and buy goods. Anne in The Diary of a Farmer's Wife writes:
"Feb ye 4, I do allus like going to the market,it be verrie nice to get in companie sumtimes. I did sell my butter for 7 pence a pound- I did buy a ribbon for Sarah's hair, and a gingerbred man, as well as one for Carter's wife."

Ginger was a popular flavouring and there are recipes for both biscuits and a dark sticky ginger cake. The gingerbread recipe given here is darker and spicier than a modern gingerbread. You could substitute the treacle for golden syrup and the dark sugar for white sugar if you prefer a lighter, sweeter biscuit. See Christmas Gingerbread for this version.
Ingredients
  • 200g butter (cold)
  • 400g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 3tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g dark treacle or molasses
  • 100g muscovado(brown) sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
Equipment
  • Weighing scales
  • Baking sheet
  • Teaspoon
  • Tablespoon
  • Sieve
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rolling pin
  • Chopping board
  • Biscuit cutter or knife
  • Wire rack
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Sieve the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl and mix in the sugar
  2. Break the butter into small pieces and add to the flour
  3. Rub the butter in until you have a mixture like breadcrumbs
  4. Mix the milk and treacle together in a cup
  5. Make a well (hollow) in the centre of the flour and pour in the milk mixture
  6. Beat well with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough
  7. Place the dough in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  8. Preheat the oven to 180 c
  9. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to 5mm thick
  10. Cut out the shapes with a cutter or knife
  11. Place on baking sheets with a little room for them to spread
  12. Bring all the trimmings together, re-roll and cut until the dough has all been used
  13. Bake for 8-10 minutes
  14. Allow to cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack until cold
Gingerbread - print view  Gingerbread - print view

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Comments
There are 6 comments for this recipe.
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Name: Yummyliciousness 8th December 2014
This is really yummy! I would definitely recommend this! Maybe even make a house out of it, if it's strong and thick enough! (Normally it would be about the thickness of two pound coins to hold the weight)
Comment if it works! Would love to try!
Name: Cook 8th October 2013
easy to cook, taste nice. recommend using golden syrup.
Name: Kfir 20th February 2012
That's really thinknig out of the box. Thanks!
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