Sunday, 17 July 2011

Ginger bread hands

We have been baking our favorite biscuits today..


great for little children, as it handles like play dough and is very resiliant,
 standing up to a lot of squishing !

we got covered in flour..

But so much fun.

Here is the recipe I use, brilliant results every time!

For one batch -the contents of the bisciut tin.

What you need..

  • 350g/12oz/2 and a half cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 100g/4oz/8tbsp butter-(not marg has to be butter for biscuits no arguments)
  • 175g/6oz/scant cup soft light brown sugar ( but i didnt have it so i used 112g of a darker stickier sugar cant remember exactly as ive thrown away the packet and made up the rest with golden caster sugar-which worked fine so dont worry if you have to improvise)
  • 1 Large free range egg (ours was medium but always free range)
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup (again id lost my tbsp measure do did 12 tsp roughly
  • a large bowl
  • a small bowl (we used a mug)
  • seive
  • a/several teaspoon(s)
  • a/several tablespoon(s)
  • scales
  • cling film
  • rolling pin
  • cutters (a glass will work just as well, anything hollow really)
  • baking trays (oh dont forget you oven gloves-ouch!)
  • baking parchment paper
  • cooling rack
  • small whisk (a fork will do)
  • your own (and helpers) clean hands
  • an oven and a fridge
  • an appetite !

to decorate,
  • 200g/7oz/1 and a quarter cups icing sugar
  • food colouring and sprinkles of your choice
or, in our case we skipped the icing and used various bits of kitchen toolage to creat patterns right into the clay... 
sorry dough ! To be honest the gingerbread is plenty sweet enough with out the icing but kids (and grown up kids) love to play with icing !

How to do it....

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl with the bicarb and ginger.
  2. rub in (tickle) the butter into the flour until you see a bread crumby texture.
  3. mix in the sugar.
  4. now combine the egg and golden syrup in another bowl/mug(yes it is a very funny consistancy!)
  5. tip the eggy mix over the flour and get you hands in!
  6. mix and squish together until a ball forms (i always gently rub it round the bowl to pick any crumbs).
  7.  Wrap in cling film pop it in the fridge, sit down and have a cuppa etc youve deserved it. ( you can clean up too if you like lol!)
  8. After 30mins in the fridge (a hour is better, any longer and the dough may need to come back to room temp a little before working)take out your dough.
  9. preheat you oven to 190c/375f/gas 5 (but watch out if you have a fan oven like me things often dont need as long of as high a temp, but you know your oven better than me)
  10. sprinkle the surface you are working on with flour grab your rolling pin and roll out your dough to about half a cm thick (could be thicker could be thinner you choose but keep an eye on them while they are cooking, also you may have trouble getting a very thin biscuit off your surface and onto you papered tray)
  11. play time ! cut out what ever shapes you like and have fun, imprint patterns if you ike too!
  12. transfer you cut outs onto a tray, leaving a bit of space around each one as they will spread a little, and pop into the oven for 12-15 mins (5-10 in mine) they should be more golden and well cooked looking when they are done.(if you like cruchy gingerbread leave them in a tad longer than if you want them a tiny bit soft which is easier to control on larger biscuits like me or ladies) You can play about with this each time you make them, because you will make them again and again trust me!
  13. (i made mine in batches of 6 to a tray, and rotated them in the oven to make the whole batch over an hour, removing cooling and puting in fresh trays until all the dough was used, you could freeze some to make later-removing a good while before use to defrost-early morning for late afternoon baking)
  14. After they have cooled you can ice them im not going to tell you how to make the icing because all this typing has made me loose the will to live a little! The packet should tell you but however you choose to decorate it have fun and enjoy your gingerbread people/stars/hearts/flowers/circles/dogs etc etc etc etc the possibilities are endless !

more examples of my gingerbread !

oh and this might come in handy if you are serious about icing biscuits !

Ps recipe is based on Kate Shirazi's "gingerbread gangland" from her book "Baking Magic" 2010

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