Introduction: Corn Gingerbread
I’ve noticed that eating just bread, without any expensive things like spreads or cheese does not provide satisfactory culinary experience. To remedy this, I modified my previous recipe for bread (it requires only mixing of ingredients and baking of dough), so that it now contains more sugar and some spices. I also decreased amount of chemical leavening agents (by using just 10g of baking soda instead of 10g of baking soda + 30g of baking powder). In this recipe I use 3 types of flour (mostly corn flour, because in my opinion it tastes good with jams and confitures, when they are available), but using only one type of the flour or some other mixture should work as well.
- 667g of corn flour (package doesn’t not specify further details, so I don’t know if it was nixtamalized or not)
- 166g of wheat flour (type 650)
- 166g of rye flour (type 720)
- 250g of sugar (this time it just regular granulated sugar, because it will will dissolve just as well as powdered sugar)
- 10g of salt
- 10g of baking soda (I preserved this leavening agent, instead of baking powder because I prefer taste of finished gingerbread a little more, but you can experiment)
- 20g of cocoa powder (I used variety with darker color [probably a result of Dutch process], but the second batch of gingerbread that I baked together with the first one had cocoa with lighter color and it wasn’t much different)
- 3g of ginger (bought in powered form)
- 3g of cinnamon (bought in powered form)
- 0.5g of cloves (bought as dried flowers and then cut to smaller pieces with scissors)
- around 790g of milk (3.2% fat content)
- 40g of rapeseed oil
- parchment baking paper
- large bowl
- small plate for holding knife and fork
- kitchen scale
- oven with a rack or a tray
- sink, faucet, washing up liquid and some paper towels / rags for cleaning up after yourself
Step 1: Disclaimer
Ingredients used in this recipe contain gluten, lactose and potentially other substances that may be harmful for a portion of human population. You bake it and eat it at your own risk.
Step 2: Mixing Dry Ingredients
Put bowl on scale and start pouring powders inside, while measuring their mass. When you are close to the desired mass, pour very slow and gently, because otherwise you may put too much of a ingredient. To weight ingredients with mass of 10g of less, I used smaller, more precise scale, covered with small piece of paper, which prevented ingredient from coming in contact with the scale. Note that whole cloves that I had, were at first weighted, then cut with scissors over the plate and finally put into the bowl.
When all dry ingredients are inside the bowl, mix them all thoroughly with a blunt end knife (or other utensil that you have at hand). Note that during siring I take bowl from the scale, so that I won’t break anything.
Step 3: Mixing Wet Ingredients
Pour 40g of rapeseed oil into the bowl, mix just a little. Then start pouring milk and mixing. You actually don’t need scale at this point, as amount of milk required to get dough to right consistency must be determined experimentally (because for example flours could had varying amounts of moisture). In my case it was 790g of milk, and it allowed everything to be mixed, while the dough wasn’t extremely wet and liquidy. When your knife gets sticky with dough, you can clean it with other utensil (for example a fork).
Alternatively you may try making the dough on kneading board. You will use smaller amount of milk then. You will also be required to use higher portion of high-gluten wheat flour or find other solution that will allow dough to keep shape and be elastic.
Step 4: Preheating Oven
Set your oven to 180°C and turn fan on, if possible.
Note that during baking of this batch oven was set to 50 minutes and results were okay. But next time I baked gingerbread I set it to 60 minutes and it was even better (but some small portions of crust that were close to the oven’s side heating elements were burned a little).
Of course your oven may be different from mine and other settings may work better (or worse). Also, using higher temperature will caramelize more of sugar, giving finished gingerbread distinct taste, but then you must be extra careful not to burn it too much.
Step 5: Moving Dough
Place a rack or a tray on a flat surface next to a bowl. Cover top of it with baking paper. Pour dough on the baking paper, pushing dough with knife will help to overcome viscosity. You should be able to form two loafs from the amount of ingredients stated above.
Note that I actually prepared second batch of dough before turning on the oven, and had additional two loafs on second tray ready to be baked.
Step 6: Baking
Once oven reached right temperature, put tray(s) or rack(s) inside and wait Be careful not to put loafs too close to heating elements, or they may be burned. Wait for 50 to 60 minutes. Then, open oven from time to time so that moisture can escape. Wipe any excessive water that condensed inside the oven.
Step 7: Results
After few additional hours in slowly cooling oven, you should take the loafs out. When I measured their masses approximately 20 hours after oven was turned off, one of the loafs had 963g, another 948g.