Step 7: Bake Gingerbread

Just about everything deforms when you bake it. After all the work cutting pieces and impressing designs in them, we want to try to minimize the puffy swelling that happens in the oven.  First, I specify letting your cut & molded gingerbread pieces dry overnight. This helps set the surface texture up, so that we’ll see more of it after baking. Then when the pieces actually go in the oven, you’ll want to cook them at a very low heat (I used 250°F) with the oven door propped open with a wooden spoon. All this results in drying the gingerbread and cooking it very slowly. It will likely take an hour until your gingerbread is done (maybe longer depending on altitude, moisture, thickness…) Just keep checking it every 15 minutes or so, and eventually you will see it turn a slightly darker shade of brown. If you touch the surface of a piece, it will feel mostly firm, and your fingers will not easily leave an indentation.  Try to group your gingerbread pieces with other pieces that are a similar size. Smaller and thinner pieces will bake more quickly, and it will be easier to remove a whole sheet of small pieces together. Let all gingerbread pieces cool completely before assembling.
<p>Wow. This is exquisite! I am going to save all this info, and TRY to put one together. Now that xmas is over, I have a YEAR to actually do all this! You are so utterly clever! (and patient!)</p>
Thats fabulous...
really amazing
(Passed out in awe)
WOW.. i have NEVER seen a ginger bread cake house before :o btw is it a cake? would love it if it is :D
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G ! = )
Wow wow wow!
Congratulations, indeed! A fine job, and so lovely! <br>Great Instructable!
Congratulations! You totally deserved the grand prize - your gingerbread house is totally mind blowing and amazing!
Thanks! And congratulations right back atcha. Your Weasley house= amazing. And I love that you illustrated the steps. Can't wait to see more of your creations.
Gorgeous! I feel like I could move right in!
This is totally amazing.<br>And the instructions are very clear and helpful.<br>I am planning to make a gingerbread Fachwerk house next winter, and I think this will be of some help.<br>Thanks for supplying so many photos, too!<br><br>I wonder if you could put it outside for animals to eat once you want to discard it. It would be a shame to just throw all that into the garbage. Even if it&rsquo;s not meant for human consumption &ndash; it&rsquo;s food after all!<br><br>Oh, I also really appreciate you showing the paper cornet technique. I think this is a much better way than wasteful single-use plastic bags.<br>I normally use my pastry bag for everything, but for those tiny little things the cornets are very handy and better to control.
Good thoughts on animal feed... I think it would depend on what type of animals will be eating it. I know sugar isn't the best stuff for some critters. I think that this guy will eventually end up in the compost bin. <br><br>Would love to see pictures of your Fachwerk house next year!
The sugar could indeed be problematic. But how much sugar does a show-dough actually need?<br>I don&rsquo;t know, I mean you also made it to smell good, so &hellip; I think if you could make a gingerbread dough with little sugar, you could just hack it into pieces after use and feed it to the birdies outside.<br>If you have chickens or pigs, they would probably eat it, too.<br><br>The compost bin is fine too, at least that way it will feed SOMETHING after all, and not end up in the landfill. Haha<br><br>If you are interested, here is the version of the person who originally gave me the idea:<br>http://red20.deviantart.com/favourites/?offset=48#/d2g07gr<br>I think it looks fabulous. :)<br><br>Btw: I checked out your site and added it to my food related bookmarks! Some great tips in there, thanks for sharing! :)
wow, now this is a gingerbread house I can appreciate! For the windows, I baker friend showed my a trick. You can buy gelatin in dry sheets that are about 3x4 inches. They are almost translucent and have a diamond grid shape on them - diamonds are about 3/4 inch. They accept diluted food dye really well so they can act like stained glass or just leave natural. The only reason I am mentioning this is because your sugar windows may begin to dissolve and droop due to ambient moisture. There is also another sugar product we used to get out of Germany, flown to Vancouver. Can't remember the name, reminds me of the name Glycol - but thats not it of course... Anyway it enabled you to make elaborate spun sugar decorations for dessert garnishes that wouldn't dissolve like regular sugar will. Anyway - awesome design - double love!
<br>Thanks! I think that the sugary substance you were thinking of is glucose. (And you're right glucose does hold up in humid conditions much better than plain poured sugar. ) While it's not hard to find glucose in a pastry kitchen, it's a bit trickier and more expensive for your average joe to hunt down. I chose to stick to plain old sugar, just to make it a little more accessible. Great idea on the gelatin sheets! That would be fantastic for a project that needed to hold up for a long period of time, or in a humid environment.<br><br> So far my windows have been holding up great, but I've been able to keep the humidity at or below 50%.
Finally remembered - isomalt - how I got glycol out of that I'm not sure. And yes, not the easiest item to find, that and you need a silpad to pour them on. Regular parchment paper just doesn't work as well, unless you get the silicone impregnated stuff which once again isn't available at your average grocery store.
Oh, yes, isomalt! Magical secret pastry stuff. I remember while I was in culinary school having daydreams about making some sort of hot glue gun that fed you isomalt.
LOL! Thanks, @kitchentablescraps -- the glucose would have made this a tough project for us average joes. <br> <br>All I can say is Wow! Brilliant work, and a superlative 'ible. Thanks for showing us what's possible.
Thanks! And, yes, I realize that I am using &quot;approachable&quot; as a relative term. ;) <br>
This is awesome! Well planned out, too! <br>
I think those gingerbread people need to salt their steps before one of them breaks a neck.... Or gets eaten, whatever comes first.
Are there photos of the house when the lights are on?
Just added a few &quot;nighttime&quot; photos to show off the lights and windows. :)
Looks awesome!
I love that you did something so fun and unique! I've always wanted to do curved pieces but the dough always cracked or burned and so I thought it wasn't possible - I'll have to try your idea of letting it dry overnight and baking it so long at a low temp. I hadn't ever thought of putting designs in the dough before baking like the bricks - I really love how it came out! You had a ton of ideas I had never thought of or found in my gingerbread research - thank you so much for sharing! I especially love how it didn't need a ton of decorations, just a tiny bit of candy, simplistically breathtaking.
Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.
This is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for putting it into such a thorough instructable--I can't imagine how much time that must have taken in itself! And I, too, would love to see a photo of it lit, if there is one.
Just added a few &quot;nighttime&quot; shots to show off the lights. :)
Awsome!!! I found this while surfing another website as an alternative to carving your own brick rolling pin. http://www.nycake.com/hearttexturerollingpin-6.aspx
Great find, thanks for sharing! There are lots of pretty textured rolling pins on the market. My only note of caution would be to make sure you get one with a fairly deep relief. Some of these rolling pins are designed to be used with fondant or gum paste, and since you don't bake fondant or gum paste after rolling it, they can accept very delicate, shallow patterns. If the patterns are too shallow, they might disappear once you pop it in the oven. You can also play around with using everyday objects (fabric, metal mesh, etc) to imprint some texture. (Just make sure they are clean and food safe)
FABULOUS!!! What a great piece of &quot;gingertecture&quot; (I made that word up) This is a show stopper for sure. Hope you entered this in a contest somewhere, it is sure to take 1st prize!!
epic xmas gingerbread....5/5, i would add an mp3 player with a small amplifier to play xmas songs
whoa. a 5 story cookie! now all i need is a gallon of cocoa, and i'll be set. this is so cool. oh, to be a mouse in your house. lol!
amazing! the snow covered steps, carving, yadda, yadda is simply awe inspiring.<br>
This is stunning!
Absolutely marvelous! The attention to detail is simply stunning, keep up the excellent work!
I love this, reminds me of Chicago... Sweet Home Chicago.......
Can't talk normally -- the only thing that comes out is &quot;oooooooooo&quot; and &quot;oooooaaahhh&quot;. This is brilliant! My <strong><em>usual </em></strong>stereotype of an architect-slash-pastry chef is somebody who is rotund, wearing thick spectacles. Now I know better -- it's actually someone who thinks outside the Saltbox!&nbsp;
@kitchentablescraps; It's good to let your Inner Architect &amp; Pastry Chef out! I've sent your instructable to all my cooking relatives. Cheers! Site
just curious; where is the ginger in your &quot;gingerbread&quot; recipe...?
You're totally right-- not a lick of ginger in my gingerbread dough. This is a pastry dough designed for construction, so flavor is not really much of a consideration. (Lots of gingerbread doughs formulated for construction have no spices at all.) I wanted my recipe to be strong, easy to work with, and to look and smell like gingerbread. Dried ginger is not terribly aromatic, so I added cinnamon and nutmeg to perfume the dough.
I designed and made all types of &quot;gingerbread&quot; structures from, trains to teepees to houses, when my kids were little...wish I'd have seen this one. Totally Awesome.
WOW! This is FABULOUS! It must've taken quite a bit of time and patience. Thorough instructions. Thanks for sharing your beautiful piece with us! 5* and fave.
Your work is simply awe inspiring... I love the idea of the brick roller to make the texture. I'm going to use that method on some clay things I am constructing. Very nicely done!<br><br>Jerry
That is the best gingerbread house ever! Thank you so much for the templates! (you should make this <a href="http://savvypracticality.com/make-a-doll-house-couch/" rel="nofollow">dollhouse couch</a> for it)
perfectly epic!
LOVE, love, love it!!! Wonderful job.
Prettiest gingerbread house ever. I wish I was a mouse so I could live in it and snack. :D

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Bio: Enthusiastic cook, blogger and (sometimes) crafter.
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