Why is gingerbread traditionally baked in a square pan? I mentioned to a co-worker that I'd be baking a loaf of gingerbread this week and she immediately corrected me. Not a loaf, she says, but a square. Why? Because. That was the explanation she gave me . . . and I haven't been able to improve on that despite a cursory search on the internet . . . so I wasn't about to mess with tradition . . .
I loved this bread! Full disclosure: Lee thought it was too sweet. Perhaps, but I think that it's just a strong-tasting bread. Imagine the taste of molasses, ginger, cinnamon and lemon, all combined into one recipe. Subtle is one word that could not be applied to describe it. It needs the sugar, but I'll make it again, and perhaps I'll try it without the lemon glaze to see if my DH likes it better that way.
Here's the recipe:
1½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup shortening
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup molasses
½ cup boiling water
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cups powder sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a square baking pan. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the shortening, sugar, egg. Add molasses and water. Slowly add dry ingredients until combined. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert in serving dish.
Make the glaze: Combine the lemon juice and powder sugar in a small bowl until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over warm gingerbread. Cover and let it sit overnight. By morning, the glaze will have been completely absorbed.
3 more days til Christmas Eve!