Gingerbread Constructions…

30 Nov

Jump Drive

Taco Bell

School Bus

First, the recipe.  This gingerbread dough is particularly suited for rolling out and making into sturdy houses, trees, etc.  It is certainly edible, but not as tasty as a classic Gingersnap if you are looking for a cookie.  The original recipe hails from Bo Friberg’s The Professional Pastry Chef, which we used briefly as a recipe source in Culinary School.

Ingredients:
15 oz unsalted butter
15 oz granulated sugar
1 1/2 C corn syrup (18 oz by weight)
3/4 C milk
3 lbs bread flour
1 Tbsp baking soda
4 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground cloves
2 Tbsp ground ginger
  1. Place the butter, sugar, corn syrup and milk in a saucepan.  Heat to about 110 degrees, stirring the mixture into a smooth paste at the same time.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and spices together.  Incorporate into the butter mixture.
  3. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Dust the paper with flour and place the dough on top.  Flatten the dough, then refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  4. Roll out a chunk of dough at a time to between 1/4″ and 1/8″ thick, depending on the architectural function.  Keep the dough that you are not working with in the refrigerator.  The dough will feel a bit sticky, but do not be tempted to mix in additional flour.  The flour used in rolling the dough will be enough and too much flour will make the baked dough too hard.

Create a cardboard template for each piece of gingerbread dough for your project.  Roll out the dough, cut each piece then bake at 350 F until the dough feels firm and has browned somewhat.  If you under bake the dough a bit, the pieces can actually be cut with a hacksaw or trimmed down with a micro-plane.  Test out the fit of your pieces before you assemble, so that you can make any adjustments to size and fit beforehand.

To assemble the pieces, use royal icing made from 1 pound, 4 ounces sifted powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 C egg whites.  Beat in a mixer with a whisk and adjust the consistency as needed so that the icing is thick enough not to drip or run.  We used disposable piping bags to apply the royal icing to the adhering edges of our constructions.

Let your architectural pieces set up once they are all together at least overnight before you start adding all of the details.  We limited ourselves to only edible decor, finding most of it at the candy section of the local drugstore.

See these up close and personal at the Discovery Science Center!  Next up… a Gingerbread Trailer.

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