Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gingerbread


KAF Whole Wheat Triple Gingerbread

I love gingerbread! Gingerbread cake, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread men (my mother-in-law makes the best), and even gingerbread latte. But for the longest time I depended on others to make the gingerbread products I consumed. Box mixes, bakeries, and my husband’s mom. Don’t ask me why, but I just assumed I couldn’t make a good tasting gingerbread. However, a few weeks ago, I decided to give it a try. I found what I hoped would be a decent tasting gingerbread recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. The main attraction for me was that it used white whole wheat flour. And an added bonus was that it included two kinds of ginger: ground, dry ginger and crystallized ginger. The amped up flavor appealed to me.

I was not disappointed. The gingerbread turned out wonderful – moist, flavorful, and with whole grain goodness, as well. Of course, I made some adjustments to make the recipe low-sodium friendly and to suit my personal tastes.

First of all, instead of 2-1/4 cups white whole wheat flour, I used 1 cup WWW and 1-1/4 whole wheat pastry flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand). Naturally, I omitted the salt altogether. Instead of 1/2 cup of melted butter, I used 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. (By the way, I buy the little lunch size, snack packs of unsweetened applesauce to use exclusively for baking. That way I don’t end up with a large jar of applesauce languishing in the fridge.)

Because I didn’t want molasses to overwhelm the gingerbread, I used 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup honey. I also used Knudsen brand liquid buttermilk because it’s the lowest fresh buttermilk I’ve been able to find. Reconstituted dry buttermilk would work too. However, its texture is much thinner than fresh cultured buttermilk, so I usually add a couple tablespoons of sour cream or yogurt to give the mixture some body. Because of the buttermilk, the leavening is baking soda. Sodium free baking soda is a good choice here as long as you remember to double the amount.

Finally, I wanted a lot of gingery flavor. So I used the 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger called for. I chickened out when it came to the crystallized ginger, though. I used only 1/3 cup (Ginger People ginger chips). But I added 2 cubes of Dorot frozen fresh ginger (10 mg. sodium/cube & equivalent to 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger). So instead of a double shot of ginger, I ended up with a triple punch. And, boy, was it good!

We ended up having some for dessert the night I made it. Then, I wrapped the leftover pieces and froze them. My husband happily had the rest for breakfast. This is a great recipe that I plan to make again and again. Here's it is:

KAF GINGERBREAD
  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour, or 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each cloves and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger (optional)

1) Grease and flour a 9" square pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
3) Melt the butter in a heatproof measuring cup. Add the molasses to the cup, and pour into the dry ingredients in the bowl, mixing to moisten.
4) Add the water, stirring until everything is moistened. Whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Stir into the batter until it's evenly combined. Stir in the crystallized ginger.
5) Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake just begins to pull away from the edge of the pan.
6) Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes before slicing; gingerbread is best served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

2 comments:

Sarah M said...

Yum! I've been craving gingerbread. Wondering where my package from Grandma is.

shambo said...

With all her recent health problems, this might be the first year without her gingerbread men. I'll really miss them. I love picking out the raisin or cashew eyes & mouths. Then biting off the appendages. It's a Christmas ritual for me. I guess one of us is going to have to learn how to make them. I've got her recipe, so I suppose it'll be me.