Historic Recipe: Honey Gingerbread from 1796
This year has been a throw back to the old ways of doing things for many people, especially those seeking ease and simplicity. In recent years we became so high tech, so caught up in the latest, newest, fastest, sleekest... and then 2020 arrived and changed so much for so many.
Today's recipe is from the 1796 Cookbook by Amelia Simmons called, American Cookery. A recipe that takes us back 224 years is quite historic by anyone's standards.
This Honey Gingerbread is by no means the prettiest looking presentation, and would look like a Plain Jane sweet beside the modern, colorful, iced and decorated gingerbread recipes of today. But this recipe is one of those surprises we are always delighted to discover, because this Honey Gingerbread tastes as delicious as it looks plain.
As always we recommend that you watch this 4:25-minute video by Townsends right to the end, featuring Jas Townsend and Son. Then gather your ingredients and bake it yourself. If you can't find Pearl Ash, go to YouTube where you can scroll down below the video and there is a link where you can order it, as well as the tin oven, if you are so inclined.
INGREDIENTS & METHOD:
Combine all these DRY ingredients in a mixing bowl:
3.5 cups flour
3 Tablespoons diced candied orange peel
1 Tablespoon Ginger
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/3 cup of white sugar
Combine these two WET ingredients in a separate bowl:
1 egg well beaten
2/3 cup of honey
In a third dish, combine the milk and Pearl Ash:
1 ¼ cups of sour milk, or add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to milk.
½ teaspoon of Pearl Ash for leavening. It must fully dissolve before adding it to dry ingredients.
Add the milk and Pearl Ash mixture to the honey and egg and stir well.
Then pour it into the dry ingredients and stir and blend well.
Knead and roll out well with a rolling pin to about half an inch in thickness.
Cut it in any shape you want, but here it is being cut into rectangles.
BAKE at 325 F for about 25 minutes, but this can vary depending on your oven and altitude.
ENJOY! The taste of these Honey Gingerbreads is spicy sweet. They are a bit chewy but light and fluffy and they carry the seasonal flavors we yearn for at this time of year.
If you enjoy cooking and baking the old-fashioned way, go check out the many videos uploaded to YouTube by the Townsends, give this one a thumbs up and consider subscribing so you know when their new recipes come out.
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