How to: bake the perfect gingerbread
Christmas treats in a snap
What is it about Christmas that puts us in a baking frenzy? Maybe it’s the nostalgia. Maybe it’s all the Christmas cheer. Or maybe it’s just the cold weather making us fancy pudding every evening. Whichever it is, here’s the perfect gingerbread recipe for whenever you may fancy it.
What you’ll need
Seriously cute Christmas cutters from £4
These ceramic Christmas pud measuring cups £20
And a (Santa red) mixing bowl £14
50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
240g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium free-range egg
85g light soft brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp treacle
½ orange, zested finely
100g icing sugar, to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof paper or grease the trays with a little butter.
2. Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Crack the egg into a jug. Add the sugar, syrup, treacle and orange zest and mix together. Add this to the flour and stir to combine. Use your hands to squeeze the mixture together and shape into a ball. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.
4. Sprinkle a little more flour over the work surface and roll out a quarter of the dough to about 5mm thick. Cut out your gingerbread shapes using some Christmas cookie cutters and put the biscuits on to the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough, then bake for 10 minutes until golden. Let them cool for a few minutes, then put them on a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Mix the icing sugar with 1 tbsp water and use to decorate your gingerbread shapes – or use some tube icing if you find it easier to pipe. You can go festive and use red and green icing or try neon pinks and green with some sprinkles for a modern take on Christmas – totally party worthy.
Still got a few gifts to grab? Take our quiz for some last minute Christmas present ideas