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Tips

Samples of gingerbread building tips
from How to Build a Gingerbread House by Christina Banner

  1. The dough should be rolled to 1/4 inch thickness for the walls and roof of your gin-gerbread house. Small or decorative gingerbread pieces, such as chimney parts or window ledges, may be rolled thinner, about 1/8-inch. Note that they will bake much faster than the gingerbread walls and roof pieces.
  2. Keep a toothpick close to the oven as your gingerbread bakes. If any air bubbles show up in the dough as it bakes, simply poke them with the toothpick as they appear, then return the tray to the oven to continue baking.
  3. If you are using baking sheets that do not have sides or rims, line the tray with foil cut slightly larger than the tray, then roll the excess over the edge of the tray. This will hold the foil in place as you move the tray to and from the oven, other-wise the foil and gingerbread pieces could easily slide off your tray.
  4. If you have enough refrigerator space and baking sheets, you can roll and cut all of the pattern pieces, place each piece on the prepared trays as directed, then cover the trays with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Remove each tray as you have time and/or oven space to bake them, brushing or spraying the dough with water before you place the sheet in the oven, as directed.

   

Fixing a Warped Piece of Gingerbread

Occasionally, you may find that one of your baked gingerbread pieces has warped or curled. The most common cause of this is using a baking sheet made of thin metal. Light-weight baking sheets can warp in a hot oven which, in turn, causes your gingerbread to warp. Overworking the dough and/or adding too much flour can also cause the edges of your gingerbread pieces to curl slightly while they bake.

If a piece of gingerbread is warped, let it cool enough to pick it up off of the tray. Flip the piece over, face down, and place it back on the tray. Return the tray to the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, until the ginger-bread is flattened out. Once the piece is cool enough to remove from the tray, place it on a flat surface lined with 2 layers of paper towel, still face down, to cool completely.

While it is important to have flat gingerbread pieces that are as close to the pattern size as possible, do not become overly concerned with their appearance. Royal Icing is very strong, and will hold your walls together even if they are less than perfect. Remember that what looks like an obvious flaw in your gingerbread after it is baked will probably not be noticeable later, once the house is assembled and decorated.

Click on the following links for some great tips from the book.

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