Advent, Advent ... Homemade gingerbread house
I had to be seriously 33 years old to build my first gingerbread house. I do not want to accuse my parents, but I can not remember ever building a complete gingerbread house. Although my mother says that we have also built something, but neither she nor my sister nor I can really remember it. Maybe we just wanted it, but never did it? Or it did not work out and we pushed it out? As a child, I probably would not have had the courage or patience, and in fact I underestimated the amount of work involved. I think I did not even like gingerbread, like so many things. But together with my husband, I took up the exciting task and together we kneaded, rolled, baked, glued, decorated, photographed and processed yesterday. Real teamwork!
One thing I can anticipate right away: It takes time! A gingerbread house is not even built on the fly, if you want to do it yourself. Meanwhile, there are also ready-made sets that you can buy in the supermarket. But there's nothing like doing it yourself and it's not that hard. We locked ourselves up for a Saturday and a full day should be scheduled. Just rolling out, cutting and baking takes more time than expected. And when assembling it is then wait, until everything is dried through and keep the four walls of their own.
My Gingerbread House - The Dough
The gingerbread dough for a house is quite firm and sticky and the amount is huge. In addition to honey comes in my gingerbread dough also brown sugar of diamond sugar. The provides among other things later for beautiful color. At the end you get 2.2 kg of dough out of the recipe - for all components and a base plate as a base for the house. The crowd definitely does not create a hand mixer and my big kitchen machine has just made it that way. I therefore recommend preparing the dough in several stages or kneading it by hand. It is also important to prepare the dough at least the evening before. It is even better if you leave it in the fridge for 24 hours. The reason is the potash used - it ensures that the dough on the inside is loose, but not too strong.
My Gingerbread House - The Preparation
For Gingerbread houses, there are many different variations of the preparation. You can either bake large plates and cut them directly after baking in a hot state or cut the pieces of dough before and bake the individual components. I opted for the second option because we had the plan to cook the windows directly from candies. There are various instructions for this, in which simple colorful fruit sweets are crushed to dust and scattered into the window openings. My husband was absolutely sure that it goes without the roar and you can just put two candies in the window openings. I was skeptical at first, but behold, it works perfectly. The candies melt exactly in the opening, harden completely and you can easily remove the baking paper from the components!
My gingerbread house - putting it together
There are also various possibilities for gluing together the individual components. The most common are, for example, melted sugar, melted chocolate or icing sugar.Simply mix in 250g finely sieved powdered sugar per fresh, stiff-beaten organic protein (size L). The double amount of this results in a piping bag full of best gingerbread house "mortar", which hardens quickly and extremely firm. Perfect to apply generously. I also used it directly for decoration. If you like it more filigree, you can add icing sugar and lemon juice to make a very fine lace. You can then apply pretty ornaments.
My Gingerbread House - The Decoration
When it comes to decoration, there are no limits to your imagination, whether fine and noble or decorated by children. We chose small butter biscuits as roof shingles - 180 of which my husband adhered meticulously! A small wreath of pearls and stars sits enthroned on the front door, and inside, a tealight glows out the candy-glass windows in the dark.
Stuffed biscuits as a fence, cherry lollies as plants and a marshmallow snowman who may have drunk a little too much child punch so he can on the wall of the house are a few of the details.
Chocolate as pebbles decorate the front garden, a bell and an outside light are not missing. And then there's plenty of powdered sugar as snow over the finished gingerbread house.
Diamond Sugar has a powdered sugar shaker that's perfect for it. In fact, I often use the sugar products of diamond: whether hail sugar, brown sugar, finest sugar for pastries or just powdered sugar - I have this selection actually always home. It is no coincidence that Diamant has been a sugar expert for more than 140 years. The name stands for traditional quality products that promise pleasure. This is a long-established Cologne company from my area. That connects already and I think that the quality also looks and tastes.
In addition, there are also in the sugar assortment also a variety of gelling sugar - not only in the summer you can cook jam! How about mulled wine jelly or orange marmalade? Especially for ice cream there is the diamond ice magic, with which one can touch ice masses in the twinkling of an eye - why not in winter with chestnuts or gingerbread? And what about the tea drinkers? Are you also candy fans? Perfect, because Diamant Zucker has several varieties to choose from. And just think of the good old Cologne Sugarloaf for the Feuerzangenbowle!Stir well, then allow to cool slightly and place in a mixing bowl. Possibly. from now on working in 2-3 stages, see above.
Add the eggs to the butter-sugar-honey mass and mix thoroughly until a uniform mass is obtained.
Mix the flour, cocoa powder, potash, gingerbread spice and salt separately, then gradually add it slowly to the liquid Knead mass. Best in a large food processor or by hand. It should be a smooth, slightly sticky and slightly tough gingerbread dough. Divide the dough into four portions, press flat and wrap each in cling film or pack airtight in plastic cans. Let rest at least overnight, better 24 hours in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before processing.
Prepare the templates on the baking day. The dough reaches exactly for all parts in the given size and an additional bottom plate. First of all, I marked out everything on a piece of paper with a ruler for all parts and then transferred it to cardboard. The box is then placed directly on top of the dough.
Prepare a template of 15 cm width and 26 cm length for the roof. For the side walls, prepare a template 15 cm wide and 24 cm long (this will leave some overhang for the gable). For the front and back, a template of 16 cm width is needed. The total length is 25 cm. First, determine the width and set a point in the middle of a height of 15 cm. From this point go up another 10 cm and connect this highest point with both sides at a height of 15 cm. This is how the classic form is created. It makes sense now to cut even the window and door openings in the box. I have selected 2 windows each with 5 cm square on the side walls. Of course you can also cut out round windows, insert gable windows or similar. At the door I made sure it was wide enough for me to push a tealight through.
Take one portion of the dough and evenly roll out 5 mm without adding flour to baking paper. Place the first template, cut it all around with a sharp knife and remove the remaining dough. Put the baking paper on a baking sheet and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 ° C top and bottom heat. Form a ball again from the removed dough and roll it out again 5 mm thick. Cut out the next stencil, put it on the baking sheet and put it in cold again.
Now push the first dough into the preheated oven and bake for 10-14 minutes, depending on the oven output. The dough should not be too soft, but should not be too hard or dark, otherwise it breaks easily. For me 12 minutes were perfect. Then remove from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes on the baking tray on a wire rack. Pull from the plate, allow to cool completely on the grid, then peel off the baking paper and allow the piece to dry completely.
Continue like this: Roll out the dough, cut it out, put it in a cold place, bake it, let it cool down. We need 2 parts each for the roof, 2 for the sides and 2 for the front and back.Place 2 fruit drops in the opening for the windows and bake. They melt evenly in it. Possibly. 2-3 minutes before the end of the baking time with a sushi stick or a roulade needle to ensure that the candy mass is distributed evenly. Finally, bake an at least 30 x 35 cm base plate.
When all parts have cooled, prepare the Royal Icing. Beat the egg whites in a clean, fat-free bowl until stiff. Gradually pour in the icing sugar and bake vigorously for 5 minutes. Immediately fill in a piping bag and close it well. Otherwise, the mass hardens immediately in the air.
To assemble, now lay the base plate ready. Begin with a front or back and sprinkle on the underside with plenty of Royal Icing. Press on the bottom plate and hold or support until the mass dries. Now create a side wall, I've created it on the inside of the back wall, not on the outer edge. Brush again with plenty of royal icing, both on the side wall and on the bottom, which is placed on the bottom plate. Compound thoroughly, press well and support again. I helped to support cake molds. The walls have already held after a few minutes. Now continue with the second sidewall and finally put on the front. Only when everything is stable and the Royal Icing has dried, continue with the roof.
For the roof, brush the two gable sides of the front and back with plenty of Royal Icing and also the upper edge of the side wall. Carefully place the roof and press it evenly. Make sure that the gable protrudes approximately equally at the front and back. Do the same with the second side of the roof.
Let the house dry for at least 15 minutes. Then you can put on all the "plastered" areas with the Royal Icing, for example, sprinkle ribbons or stick on sweets. With Royal Icing, the window and door frames are also painted on, candy is glued on and a fence is placed on the base plate. The imagination knows no limits. For the roof biscuits, marzipan, candies or fruit gums can be glued on with the Royal Icing.
Before everything is covered with icing sugar, the house should dry for at least 1 hour.
Please read all the hints in the introductory text above before preparing.
#diamantlebkuchenhaus and #lebkuchenbaecker
So why are we? When we're in our mid-thirties baking a gingerbread house, we owe it to Tobi, the cake baker . He's just calling up a blog about gingerbread baking in his blog: My Gingerbread House - Win a KitchenAid. You can send or post your own gingerbread houses via e-mail, on your blogs or social media channels.Time to participate remains until 20. December 2017 and all you can find in the terms & conditions ! We keep our fingers crossed and hope you enjoy gingerbread house baking and baking!
This article was created in cooperation with Diamant Zucker. Thank you for the nice cooperation!