Daring Bakers: Gingerbread Houses!

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on December 23, 2009

A gingerbread house, you say?  Well the Daring Bakers decided to flow with the season in a historically low participation month.  Y of Lemonpi (a blog I love) and Anna of Very Small Anna (who’s blog is adorable) hosted this challenge, and I really enjoyed it.  I haven’t done a gingerbread house in years, and even then it was a kit, so this was a treat =D.  Then there was the burning, but we’ll forget about that part…

I had many ideas of shapes, but settled on dog houses.  I still have tonnes of dough in the fridge, so we’ll see if more come into being soon.

Why dog houses?  Just look at this face:

He’s my puppy.  Okay, he’s fully grown but I’m still allowed to call him a puppy, right?  I also chose dog houses because he doesn’t have one (and a crate just didn’t have the same ring to it).  I’ve also got two kitties (also fully grown).  I caught them while they were sleeping.  Hehe.  She’s a cutie.

And getting back to your regularly scheduled Daring Bakers post:

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

I love the flavours in gingerbread, but hadn’t ever made any from scratch.  I’m so glad I have now.  Its a lot of fun and can become whatever you want it to be =D.

Pictures you say?  Yes.  I’ve got plenty.  I think I’m slowly becoming better at this.  I don’t know.  Daylight helps (which I only had for the first couple of pics)…

Step 1:  Make a pattern.  Just wing it!
Now, cut ’em out all nice.
Then bake ’em.  Just try not to burn.  I sort of did that.
In the beginning, everything was simple in this pet town.
This house, although it recently had a little fire (burnt those cookies.  Whoops), put up a sweet little wreath, and admired the pine cones on the nearby tree.
The second little house, owned by the fearless cat, had a cat silhouette up, to warn the mice to stay away!
Next door was the dog’s house, and he did the same, even colouring in some features.
At the end of the street, there was another tree, and a house that just had a nice bit of paint.
Then, one day, Christmas infected this little town.  It started slow, creeping across from one side to the other.  No one knew what was happening, but everyone was extremely excited!

Wreath-house was treated to a string of pomegranate lights!  They oohed and ahed at the jewel-like quality.
The cat house got some life to its roof!  Black and white was the theme, and they even got a fireplace and chimney.  Lets just say:  The neighbours were very jealous.
As the Christmas cheer spread, a tree appeared!  Completely decorated with a glowing star/angel/whatchamacallit at the top!

The dog house (in the background) recieved some mini trees and lights across the side!
The final, plain house got the most treatment:  a red wreath, complete with leaves, and a tree on the inside!  A filled in roof, lights across the top and side and a star!
The other side had even more!  A lovely heart to bring more joy =D.

Christmas had come, and all the little houses jumped for joy.  (Seriously, they aren’t attached to the board.  They can jump, slide, anything.)

I used Y’s recipe, as it had much less flour and looked like it would take less time.  I still took all day, then I decorated, but it was a nice and relaxing process.

I swapped out the 5 cups of flour as follows:
– 1 cup sorghum flour
– 1 cup millet flour
– 1 cup sweet rice flour
– 1 cup tapioca starch
– ~1 tbsp xanthan (I think)

One note about gluten free:  You don’t need to rest it.  Since the butter isn’t being kept cold the issue is about the gluten!  I found that putting it in the fridge just toughened it up, causing me to have to work it with my hands to make it soft enough to roll out.  Don’t get me wrong – this is a tough dough, but when it is cold, its almost impossible to roll when gluten free.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!


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