Gingerbread (Lebkuchen)

Ingredient list:

  • 500g rye flour
  • 500g wheat or spelt flour
  • 280g cane sugar (or refined sugar)
  • 420g honey
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 10g baking soda (natron)
  • 60g gingerbread spices (mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, ginger, fennel seeds, clove, allspice, aniseed, star anise, pepper, cardamom)
  • nuts and dried fruits for decoration (we used almonds, cranberries and candied orange peel)
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar

In a small bowl mix the icing sugar with three times its amount of water and put aside for later use. Mix the two types of flour, the cane sugar, the baking soda and the spices in a large bowl.

Heat up the honey in a pot – it should not cook but it should appear thinner and very liquid when warm. Remove the pot with the honey from the stove and add the eggs one after the other. Since the honey is warm you have to be quick here, so stir them in without taking any extra time (especially the first two eggs).

Add the honey and egg mixture to the flour and combine them with a spoon to roughly incorporate the liquids. Turn it out onto your counter – at this point some strength and muscles are needed: You need to combine everything to a smooth dough by kneading – it may look dry and crumbly in the beginning but will turn into a smooth dough when kneaded long enough.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan). Roll out the dough 0.5 – 1 cm thick (use a little bit of extra flour to prevent it from sticking to your counter) and cut out cookies. For the gingerbread quite larger cookie cutters should be used. Place the cookies on a baking tray (lined with parchment paper). Lightly coat the cookies with the sugar and water mixture and decorate them with nuts and dried fruits.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes – until the edges turn slightly brown. Remove them from the oven and put them on plates to cool down. Store them in cookie jars – this way the gingerbread stays fresh for at least a month.