This recipe is suited for the home kitchen and will produce enough gingerbread to make a house using the template provide in the back pocket of The White House in Gingerbread: Memories & Recipes book.
Makes 2 sheets (12 x 18")
Use a 5-quart mixing bowl
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 5 ounces molasses (liquid measure)
- 5 ounces honey (liquid measure)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Mix all ingredients together in the order listed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Let the dough rest and firm up in the refrigerator overnight.
Shaping & Baking Gingerbread Sheets
- Once the gingerbread dough has rested and chilled overnight in the refrigerator, you are ready to shape it for baking. You will be creating a supply of gingerbread “wood” from which to cut out the pieces of the house. When baking in the home kitchen, you should use a flat 12 x 18 inch baking pan—the half size of a professional pan. These pans are readily available at stores and fit most home ovens. It is important that your sheets of gingerbread be smooth, of uniform thickness, and perfectly flat. In order to be successful, you must use flat baking pans. Consider buying a few new baking pans if yours are worn. In the end, you will be glad you did.
- The gingerbread dough must be rolled flat to a uniform thickness. The gingerbread used for the walls of the house should be 3/8 to 1/2 inches thick. The gingerbread used for the roof should be 3/8 inch thick. To achieve these precise widths, buy two wooden boards that are the thickness of the walls and the roof. To roll out the dough, begin by placing parchment paper on a flat surface. Dust the paper with flour to prevent the dough from sticking, and then place a brick of dough in center of the parchment paper withyour two boards placed at either end of the paper. Put another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough down to the thickness of the wooden boards. Trim the edges of the dough to fit in the sheet pan. Using the bottom paper, lift the dough and place both the paper and the dough into the sheet pan. Remove the top paper.
- Dock the dough by pricking holes with a fork all over the top. This will allow steam to escape and help the gingerbread to bake flat. If you do not dock the dough, you will get large bubbles in your gingerbread. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Bake at 350 degrees. A half sheet of dough will take about 25 minutes to bake. It is important to bake the dough fully. Bake it to be very dry, as the completed gingerbread house will absorb moisture on humid days. Toward the end of baking, prop the oven door open with a small ball of aluminum foil to allow the steam to escape from the oven. When done, remove the pan from the oven and let the baked dough dry on the sheet pan.