Gingerbread and how it's made
Gingerbread and me
My gingerbread-baking journey started about 15 years ago. I had two small children and lived in Los Angeles, far away from my country of origin, the Czech republic (former Czechoslovakia).
When Christmas time came, I was feeling really homesick. Baking traditional Czech gingerbread (and other sweets) provided a connection to my culture, both for me, and my children (my husband connects to my culture via Czech beer). It also supplied a variety of Christmas gifts for my friends.
I love baking gingerbread because it combines the art of design, the craft of baking, and, in case of gingerbread houses, some aspects of architecture since I make my own patterns. Every new design is an exiting (and sometimes frustrating) challenge. But in the end, if it doesn’t come out right, the evidence of failure can be eaten.
My Christmas gingerbread items include houses, candleholders and Christmas tree ornaments. I also make gingerbread for Valentine's Day, Easter decorations and centerpieces, and gingerbread for birthdays and other occasions. It is common in the Czech republic to give a gingerbread heart with a message on it (Thank you, Love you, For Grandma, etc.) as a gift.
I am a home based baker, therefore small, custom and creative projects are my specialty.
All about gingerbread
The gingerbread goods are are of course fully edible and taste (and smell) great, yet they can also be used as decoration.
Gingerbread can last a long time without spoiling, several weeks at a minimum and even a couple of years if well stored. When storing your gingerbread, it must be very well wrapped. Gingerbread should not be refrigerated since that can cause condensation and humidity can soften gingerbread excessively. If storing gingerbread, the use of several silica packets is recommended to control moisture. Gingerbread should be stored at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
All parts of the gingerbread houses and decorations are hand made. The windowpanes are made of melted candy (specifically, Ricola or, rarely, for bright colors, Jolly Ranchers) or, if clear, gelatine sheets (not edible as is).
I offer gingerbread made using traditional ingredients, and also gluten free and dairy free gingerbread.
Ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, honey, mixed spices (ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, anise), baking soda, butter. Icing: egg whites, powdered sugar.
Gluten free gingerbread
Ingredients: gluten free flour, sugar, eggs, honey, mixed spices (ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, anise), baking soda, butter. Icing: egg whites, powdered sugar.
Dairy free gingerbread
Ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, honey, mixed spices (ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, anise), baking soda, vegan butter. Icing: egg whites, powdered sugar.