It’s a sweet bread, not the hard stuff (which is really baked masonry) typically used to build houses, or the dough used for gingerbread people. This is more of a cake, but not as sweet. It’s the one I make when I don’t have enough bananas for banana bread or some other fruit for bread.
It’s easy to make, tastes really good, and goes well with coffee, warm or cold.
2-1/4 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 soft butter or shortening
2 rounded tablespoons sugar (white or light brown)
1 cup molasses
1 cup very hot water
Put the flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a bowl. Set aside. Beat eggs, butter, sugar in mixing bowl. I use a manual eggbeater.
Mix the very hot water with the molasses, then add it and the rest of the ingredients into one big mixing bowl. You can use an electric beater, but don’t overbeat. I usually use a wooden spoon, but that’s because my electric mixer weighs more than my vacuum cleaner, so if I don’t need it, I don’t use it.
The wooden spoon works fine. I’m sure using the beater would make it lighter, though lightness isn’t really what gingerbread is about.
My oven runs cool. I bake it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, then turn it down to 375 for another 5 minutes. You need to know your oven. If it runs hot, turn the heat down. I can only tell you what I do with my oven, but knowing your own kitchen equipment really helps in producing better food.
I have cooked this in a loaf pan and in the traditional 7X12X2 pan and both work fine, but I have to use my full-size oven. The mini-oven doesn’t seem to work as well for homemade baked goods. If you’re using a glass baking dish, lower the temperature.
I use spray on oil and it seems to work better than smearing it with butter or oil. I even spray it when it has a nonstick surface. Sometimes nonstick is perfect, but sometimes, a piece of the bottom hangs up and when you flip the pan, half the cake stays in the pan. Grease the pan. Maybe you don’t need it, but why not? You’ll only discover you needed it if you didn’t use it and you baked goods came out ruined.
It’s done when it pulls away from the sides and springs back to your touch. Let it cool so you can handle the pan without protection, then flip it over to cool on a rack. It usually falls right out of the pan, hopefully all in one piece.
Good warm with butter, or honey butter, or by itself.