German style Gingerbread house, made with a very simple template, top with your favourite Christmas cookies or sweets.
- Syrup ingredients
- butter - 130g
- soft light brown sugar - 160g
- runny honey - 200g
- golden syrup/Zuckerrueben syrup - 125g
- Dry Ingredients
- Plain flour (405 Weizen Mehl) - 585g
- bicarbonate of soda - 2 teaspoons
- ground ginger - 3 teaspoons
- salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- ground allspice or mixed spice - 1 teaspoon
- Extra bread ingredients
- juice and zest of 1 clementine
- egg yolk - medium ( save white for later)
- water - if required 1 to 2 tablespoons
- Royal icing
- egg whites - 2 medium
- icing sugar - 5.9g per g of egg (see note below)
- UK, vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon
- To decorate
- Make a template for the house. See the note below.
- Melt all of the syrup ingredients in a saucepan on a low heat. Stir frequently.
- Mix together the dry ingredients.
- Fold the syrup into the dry ingredients. Add the juice and zest of the clementine, the egg yolk and a little bit of water and mix gently until you can no longer see the flour any more.
- Unlike normal biscuit dough it is best to roll gingerbread out whilst it is still warm. Put a piece of greaseproof paper on to your work surface, this makes it easier to handle the dough. Roll out some of the dough till it is about 6mm thick (1/4 inch) and bigger than your template. Carefully cut round the template. You need to end triangles one with a window and one with a door and 2 squares.
- Use the left over dough to make some Christmas trees and gingerbread men.
- Preheat your oven till 200 degrees centigrade.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until firm and a little darker around the edges.
- Leave to cool fully before removing gently from the tray.
- See the notes below on how to make the royal icing and on how to assemble the house.
- The gingerbread will keep for at least a week. Be warned once you start eating it is very hard to stop. Thats why I make lots of extra men and Christmas trees to help the house last a little bit longer!
It wouldn’t be Christmas in my house, without a Gingerbread House. I have made houses from paper templates, metal cutters and now I have invested in a simple silicon mould that I got from Lakeland. I use Royal icing to stick my gingerbread house together. Homemade royal icing is made from raw egg whites. Make sure you use the freshest eggs you can find, as there is a very small risk of salmonella from raw egg. I having been eating these for years and haven’t had any problems. If you are worried in the UK you can buy an instant royal icing packet mix.
This year I am doing a traditional inspired house. In Germany most of the bakeries sell Gingerbread houses. One of favourites is Cafe Schuster in Kaiserswerth. They have made a giant house and covered it with Christmas Cookies and royal icing, see the photo below.
The recipe shown below is based on a recipe and template provide Ostmann’s the bakers supplier. I made it a little bit bigger, so you don’t get tempted to eat the house straight away and used ginger as the main flavour. It is a German recipe for Gingerbread which produces a light gingerbread. If you would like a darker style gingerbread you can also use the version I have used for my Zombie bread men. My personal preference is for the darker version, but both taste good. The version given here is slightly healthier as it uses mainly honey for the bread.
If you have struggled building Gingerbread houses in the past, a traditional German style Triangle house is much easier to build. You only need to cut two pieces for the template. A square 17cm wide for each roof picece and a triangle with the dimensions shown below. If you are struggling to read the pictures dimensions they are Base 13.5cm, Height 14cm tall, Sides 16cm long. You need to cut 2 square roof pieces and 2 triangle pieces. Cut a window in one of the triangles and door in the other.
Once cooked leave the gingerbread to fully cool on the tray before assembly. Find a large board to put the house on. Mix some royal icing. Over the years I have spent a long time waiting for the Royal icing to get to the right consistency to be sticky enough. The foolproof way I have found is weigh the egg whites. As you will have probably noticed even with a graded box of eggs there can be quite a wide range in the weights of the eggs. I used 2 egg whites, weighed them and then used a multiple of 5.9g of icing sugar per gramme of eggs, which was roughly 360g for the weight of eggs I had. In a clean bowl start by mixing the egg whites on there own until they are light and frothy. Then add the sugar a spoon full at a time until it is all incorporated, whisk for 5 to 7 minutes on a high speed or until the royal icing is at the firm peak point, i.e. will stay in place when the whisk is removed, see picture below. Cover with cling film until you are ready to use it as the air will set the icing.
Start by fixing the two triangle pieces, ensure that they lined up and are less than the width of one of the square roof pieces apart. Use some tin cans to help them balance until the icing is dry.
Once the ends are dry put a layer of icing around the edge of the triangles and between the base of the triangles. Then place the roof pieces on and gently push down into the icing. Leave to dry. Add some biscuits or sweets to the house, using the royal icing to help it stick.
I would love to see the pictures if you give this a try. Good luck with the house and Happy Christmas. For some other Christmas cooking ideas check the ideas on my Christmas Page.Add to Favourites