Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gingerbread! Tastes just like Christmas!

Living in Florida has really messed up my sense of season, so a recent cool snap made me think longingly of Christmas and baking and that awesome rediscovered Gingerbread recipe from KAF's Whole Grain Baking.  I made it a few years ago and then promptly forgot where I got the recipe.

an assembly of likely suspects
This is a very simple, no-mixer-required recipe so I gathered up the ingredients, greased and floured my 8x8 pan (calls for 9x9, but hey, you go with what you have), and heated the oven to 350F.

whisk this - I use pastry flour as it gives a nice moist crumb
Whisk dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups traditional whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon

mix this - in place of brown sugar corn syrup, I used brown rice syrup.  Oh, and I almost never have unsalted butter but as my salt is kosher salt, I've never had saltiness issues with my baked goods

Wet ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar corn syrup
1 lg egg
3/4 cup  molasses
1 cup buttermilk

Pour wet into dry and gently stir until incorporated.  Ok, wait, that's what I do.  The recipe actually says "Stir in teh flour mixture until the batter is evenly moistened."  If anyone can tell me why adding dry to wet vs wet to dry matters, by all means, comment!

stir in extras
1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger
1 cup diced dried apricots

The crystallized ginger, purchased at Whole Foods markets in a resealable bag, is not optional.  The apricots can be omitted.  I have made the recipe both ways and love it either way, so personal preference abounds here.

Pour into the pan, bake until center is set for 45 to 50 minutes.  In my case, because of the deeper batter in the pan with less real estate, I go for the longer time.  Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before you dive in with a fork and spoon serve warm.  Leftovers go great with breakfast coffee!
best served with whipped cream...alas, I had none

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