I've been asked to make a gingerbread house for our church's Christmas party. It will be 8"W x 10"L x 12"H. I live where humidity is simply part of life! Is there a hint or recipe that is sturdy. For example, would I cut back the shortening/butter content? Increase the flour?
Thank you for your help
Found this, courtesy Franky's Attic and the wayback machine...
Humidity Proof Gingerbread
Just don't let your kids eat it, they are liable to end up with a chipped tooth.
Mrs. Latour's Best Ever Gingerbread House (who is she? I don't know)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/8 cups sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup honey
3/4 tsp each cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger
Sift all dry ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Combine eggs and honey. Add to dry ingredients. Mixture will be very stiff. If unable to mix, add 1 T. of honey. Do not add too much or the dough will be too sticky. Pat in to a ball. Knead the dough on a floured surface to combine ingredients. Place dough in a bowl, cover tightly and let stand at room temperature a few hours or overnight, until the honey is absorbed. Preheat oven 325 F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8" thickness. Dust pattern pieces with flour and lay them on the dough. Cut out with the point of a sharp knife.
Carefully transfer pieces with a spatula to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Baking time 12 minutes for the walls, doors and shutters. 15 minutes for the roof pieces or until gingerbread is lightly brown. Remove immediately from cookie sheet and lay flat on wire rack to cool.
Allow to cool thoroughly before decorating. I roll it out on the cookie sheet instead. This stuff is tough, and if you microwave it for 10 second intervals, it does soften. Try 10 seconds, if not soft enough, 10 more, etc. Also, if you use parchment, it makes it much easier to transfer.
That's what it's all about, sharing.
this is the recipe i use and it hold up very well. our humidity ranges from 30% -100% (gotta love indiana weather)
Loretaâs Favorite Gingerbread Dough
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 Â¼ cups molasses
2 eggs, beaten
In large saucepan, melt shortening on stove over low heat. While shortening is melting, in a separate bowl stir together flour, salt and spices (if using for cookies, add 1 tsp. baking soda). When shortening is half melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until completely melted. Add sugar, molasses and beaten eggs. Mix well and quickly (to prevent eggs from cooking). Add molasses mixture to flour mixture. Mix well. Dough will be soft. Cover and refrigerate until firm enough to handle.
When dough is firm enough to handle, remove from refrigerator and let sit until room temperature (about an hour). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To prevent aluminum foil from slipping, wipe counter with wet sponge then smooth aluminum foil over damp counter. This will prevent the foil from slipping while dough is being rolled out.
Working with a small handful of dough (about the size of a baseball), roll dough onto aluminum foil that has been sprinkled with flour. Sprinkle dough with flour to prevent dough from sticking to rolling-pin.
IF DOUGH IS TOO STIFF, MICROWAVE FOR 10-15 SECONDS TO SOFTEN THE DOUGH.
Roll dough to about 1/8â thickness. Place gingerbread house pattern pieces onto dough and cut-out dough pieces (don't forget to cut out windows). A pizza cutter works great for cutting out walls and roof sections. Remove excess dough pieces. Lift entire piece of foil and place on large cookie sheet.
Place cookie sheet in oven. Check frequently to prevent burning. Bake until golden brown. Large pieces may bake as long as 14 minutes. Smaller pieces might take 6 â 7 minutes. Unused dough may be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks (bring to room temperature and knead briefly to use again). To prevent from sagging, I bake my roof sections until dark brown, almost burnt.
When dough pieces are done baking, remove baking sheet from oven. Quickly lift foil from baking sheet and place on a flat area for gingerbread pieces to cool. If pieces have distorted while baking, while still warm, run knife or pizza cutter along sides of walls/roof sections to create a straight edge. If pieces have curled up during baking, while still warm, gently push edges down to lay flat.
With gingerbread pieces still on the foil, let cool overnight. Next day â gently peel foil off of gingerbread pieces. You are now ready to assemble, or add windows!
Wow! thanks Valarie and Julie. Great recipes.