Thursday, August 16, 2012

Make a Gingerbread House for Christmas

India Galyean shows you step by step how to make a gingerbread house.

      Gingerbread is a sweet that can take the form of a cake or a cookie in which the predominant flavors are ginger and raw sugar. Gingerbread was introduced to Europe long ago by the Crusaders.
      The town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, UK is known as the "home of gingerbread" and this is proudly decreed on the welcome sign. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates back to 1793; however, it was probably made earlier as ginger was stocked in high street businesses from the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 1700s.
      Originally, the term gingerbread (from Latin zingiber via Old French gingebras) referred to preserved ginger, then to a confection made with honey and spices. Gingerbread is often translated into French as pain d'épices (literally "spice bread"). Pain d'épices is a French pastry also made with honey and spices, but not crispy.
      As a cookie, gingerbread can be made into a thin, crisp cookie (often called a ginger snap) or a softer cookie similar to the German Lebkuchen. Gingerbread cookies are often cut into shapes, particularly gingerbread men. Traditionally it was dunked in port wine.
      A gingerbread is used to build gingerbread houses similar to the "witch's house" encountered by Hansel and Gretel. These houses, covered with a variety of candies and icing, are popular Christmas decorations, typically built by children with the help of their guardians.
      Another variant uses a boiled dough that can be molded like clay to form inedible statuettes or other decorations. A significant form of popular art in Europe, major centers of gingerbread mold carving included Lyon, Nürnberg, Pest, Prague, Pardubice, Pulsnitz, Ulm, and Toruń. Gingerbread molds often displayed the "news", showing carved portraits of new kings, emperors, and queens, for example. Substantial mould collections are held at the Ethnographic Museum in Toruń, Poland and the Bread Museum in Ulm, Germany.
      The lesser known bread form tends to be a dense, treaclely (molasses-based) spice bread. Some recipes add mustard, pepper, raisins, nuts, and/or other spices/ingredients to the batter. In one variation, the bread omits raisins or nuts and is served with warm lemon sauce. In the United States, the bread is more often served in the winter, particularly at Christmas time in the central parts of Pennsylvania.

More Fun Links to Gingerbread:
Virtual Gingerbread House Fun for Kids:

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