My partner Sadie has been playing around with gingerbread for a couple of years, often to keep our son amused, so our bickie tin is always loaded with deliciousness. This is the best dough we’ve found, not only for rolling, but also for eating. And, thankfully, our son Hedley thinks so, too.
- 60 g unsalted butter, softened
- 120 g caster sugar
- 125 g golden syrup
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 350 g (2⅓ cups) plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Makes about 20 gingerbread shapes
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar, then beat in golden syrup, spices and ½ tsp salt. Stir in flour and bicarbonate of soda until fairly evenly combined, then mix in 60 ml water and knead together to make a stiff dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190°C. Working in 2 batches, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, turning every few rolls so dough stays evenly sized, until dough is about 4mm thick. Cut into shapes using a range of cutters, perhaps gingerbread men and stars, then lay on oven trays lined with baking paper. Bake, swapping the trays halfway, for 10 minutes or until the gingerbread is starting to change colour.
Cool on the trays until firm, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 4 days. These tend to stay fresh for longer if baked until nearly crisp.
Photography Alan Benson