Origin Of Gingerbread
Gingerbread is claimed to have been brought to Europe in 992 CE by the Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis (also called Gregory Makar and Grégoire de Nicopolis). He left Nicopolis (in modern-day western Greece) to live in Bondaroy (north-central France), near the town of Pithiviers. Then stayed there for seven years and taught baking to French Christians. Gregory died in 999.
In the 13th century, gingerbread was brought to Sweden by German immigrants, and it also began to be made in Poland. In 15th-century Germany, a guild controlled production. Early references from the Vadstena Abbey show that the Swedish nuns baked it to ease indigestion in 1444. It was the custom to bake white biscuits and paint them as window decorations.
The first documented trade of the biscuits dates to the 17th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies, and town square farmers’ markets. In Medieval England it was thought to have medicinal properties. One hundred years later, the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, England became known as, proudly displayed on their town’s welcome sign, stating that it is the “home of gingerbread”. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates to 1793, although it was probably made earlier, as ginger had been stocked in high street businesses since the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.
Gingerbread came to the Americas with settlers from Europe. Molasses, which was less expensive than sugar, soon became a common ingredient and produced a softer cake.
Try making different shapes! Alternatively, make a house using the template below! They make great gifts and are a pleasure to ice!
Our Gingerbread Recipe
3 Ingredient Gingerbread
- 1 box Spice Cake Mix
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup Butter
- 2-3 tbsp Flour optional
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, egg and butter.
- If dough is sticky to the touch, add just enough flour to make it no longer sticky.
- Turn dough out onto a piece of parchment. Cover with a second piece of parchment and roll to 1/4-1/2” thick.
- Cut dough into desired shapes. Transfer to a nonstick baking sheet.
- Bake for 9-12 minutes, or just until cookies are set.
- Remove and cool. Decorating with icing or buttercream, as desired.
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