Bake a bach

We may not all be able to af­ford our own bach but luck­ily we can have a go at mak­ing an ed­i­ble one these hol­i­days

Nadia - - CONTENTS -

Make this gor­geous Kiwi ver­sion of a clas­sic gin­ger­bread house

This gin­ger­bread bach has us dream­ing of Christ­mas and long sum­mer days at the beach. Build­ing this Kiwi ver­sion of a clas­sic gin­ger­bread house is some­thing the whole fam­ily can en­joy – and when you’ve fin­ished ad­mir­ing it, you can eat it!

CUT OUT 4 TEM­PLATE PIECES FROM CARD:

ROOF: 24cm x 22cm FRONT: 21.5cm x 12.5cm BACK: 21.5cm x 9.5cm SIDE: 17cm base x 12.5cm (tall side) x 9.5cm (short side). Draw from top of tallest side to top of short­est side to form the slop­ing top edge.

GIN­GER­BREAD DOUGH

2 large eggs ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed 1/4 cup honey 3 cups flour 2 tsp ground ginger 4 tsp cin­na­mon

2 tsp mixed spice Grated zest 1 or­ange or lemon 2-3 tsp freshly squeezed or­ange or lemon juice

ROYAL IC­ING

1 egg white 1½ cups ic­ing sugar 3 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp freshly squeezed or­ange or lemon juice 1-2 pack­ets red liquorice straps, for roof­ing iron

1 Place the eggs and brown sugar in a stand mixer (or use a bowl and elec­tric beat­ers). Beat at medium speed un­til pale and fluffy.

2 While eggs and sugar are beat­ing, melt honey over gen­tle heat. Slowly add honey to egg mix­ture and con­tinue beat­ing un­til mixed through.

3 Sift flour and spices into a large bowl. Add grated or­ange or lemon zest and gen­tly fold through with a spoon un­til evenly dis­persed.

4 Pour egg mix­ture into dry in­gre­di­ents. Fold through care­fully un­til mix­ture starts com­ing to­gether.

5 Add 2 tsp or­ange or lemon juice and con­tinue to bring to­gether. Us­ing your hands, gen­tly squeeze and push mix­ture to­gether. It will be crumbly but should stick and hold to­gether with some gen­tle knead­ing. If it’s still too dry, add an­other 1 tsp of juice. Shape dough into a ball.

6 Place in beeswax wrap, plas­tic wrap or a plas­tic bag and re­frig­er­ate for 20 min­utes.

7 Pre­heat oven to 180°C fan­bake. Lightly flour a clean bench.

8 Cut dough in half. Di­vide one half into 2 equal pieces. Cut re­main­ing half into 1 large piece and 1 small piece (the small piece should be about a quar­ter of the size of the orig­i­nal half). You now have 4 dough pieces.

9 Take a sil­i­cone bak­ing sheet (or sheet of bak­ing pa­per the size of an oven tray), sprin­kle with flour and place 1 of the equal-sized dough pieces on it. Sprin­kle rolling pin with flour and roll out to about 5mm thick and big enough to fit the side tem­plate twice. Place side tem­plate on top and cut around edges. Flip tem­plate over and cut out the sec­ond side.

10 To cre­ate win­dows in the side pieces, use a sharp knife to make a cen­tral hor­i­zon­tal line about 4cm down from the top; this is the top of the win­dow. Us­ing a ruler, cut out 2 small rec­tan­gles, leav­ing a thin piece of gin­ger­bread in the mid­dle as your win­dow frame. Score lightly all around the outer edge to cre­ate a frame.

11 Roll out other dough pieces, us­ing 1 sheet of bak­ing pa­per each, and cut out pan­els. The largest piece is for the roof. The small­est is for the back, the other piece is for the front. For the front, cut out a door and win­dow, start­ing about 4cm down from top. Our door was 4cm x 8cm, and the win­dow 4.5cm x 4cm, but you can make them any size you like. Re­move trim­mings and use to make ac­ces­sories (we made surf­boards, deckchairs and a cricket set).

12 Trans­fer bak­ing sheets/pa­per with gin­ger­bread to oven trays and bake (1-2 trays at a time) for 10-12 min­utes or un­til pan­els start to har­den and edges have lightly browned. You don’t want to over­cook them; they will need to be firm enough to stand up but will also har­den as they cool. (We found bak­ing them on a heavy-based oven tray worked best as they tend to wrin­kle on a lighter tray). The smaller pieces and ac­ces­sories cook faster so keep an eye on them and re­move first. Once out of the oven, leave to cool ei­ther on the tray or on a board. Sit­ting a heavy oven tray on top of the gin­ger­bread pan­els while they cool helps to flat­ten any curly cor­ners or puffy ar­eas.

13 Be­fore ic­ing, gather any adorn­ments you want to go on the sides of the bach. We had a shop-bought but­ter­fly, two gin­ger­bread surf­boards and some plants made from snip­pets of pine.

14 For ic­ing, place egg white in a medium bowl. Sift in ic­ing sugar, then add turmeric and juice. Stir un­til smooth and spread­able; if it’s too thick, add a few drops of wa­ter.

15 Us­ing a spat­ula or but­ter knife, spread ic­ing on out­side of pan­els (ex­cept roof), avoid­ing win­dow and door frames. We found it eas­i­est to hold each piece and spread it as if you were but­ter­ing toast. Scrape any drips from edges. Lay pieces on bak­ing pa­per and gen­tly press on the adorn­ments.

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