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bacon of hate > baconiel > baconhenge > oh, canada! >
pomme et porc > speckschnittenlebkuchenhaus > pork princess >
vegan wrapped in bacon > surprise #1: filet de bling >
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Beltane 2008
Speckschnittenlebkuchenhaus

Zabet Stewart (photo)
click to enlarge

Speckschnittenlebkuchenhaus

"It was now three mornings since they had left their father's house. They began to walk again, but they always came deeper into the forest, and if help did not come soon, they must die of hunger and weariness. When it was mid-day, they saw a beautiful snow-white bird sitting on a bough, which sang so delightfully that they stood still and listened to it. And when its song was over, it spread its wings and flew away before them, and they followed it until they reached a little house, on the roof of which it alighted; and when they approached the little house they saw that it was built of bread and covered with cakes, but that the windows were of clear sugar. 'We will set to work on that,' said Hansel, 'and have a good meal. I will eat a bit of the roof, and you Gretel, can eat some of the window, it will taste sweet.' Hansel reached up above, and broke off a little of the roof to try how it tasted, and Gretel leant against the window and nibbled at the panes."
Fairy Tales, by the Grimm Brothers

by Raellyn Hatter and Zabet Stewart

Project Name

Back View
Zabet Stewart (photo)
click image to enlarge

Suggested Listening

Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck (no, not that Engelbert Humperdinck), produced by the Metropolitan Opera.

Difficulty

AntiCraft Superstar
Click here for definitions of difficulty levels.

Finished Measurements

Approx. 9"/23cm H x 4.5"/11.5cm W x 7"/18cm D (not including chimney)

Download

Gingerbaconbread House Template (pdf format)

Ingredients

Bacongingerbread

U.S. Metric Ingredient
5 1/2 c 605 g all purpose flour
1 tsp 5 g baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1/2 tsp 2.5 g baking powder
1/2 lb 225 g unsalted butter
1 c 170 g packed brown sugar
4 tsp 20 g ground ginger
4 tsp 20 g ground cinnamon
4 tsp 20 g ground cloves
4 tsp 20 g ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp 12.5 g table salt
2 large eggs
1 c 250 mL unsulfured molasses
10 strips cooked bacon (rashers), crushed into bits

Royal Icing

U.S. Metric Ingredient
2 c 300 g confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
1 Tbsp 15 g meringue powder
as needed water

Baconcreme Frosting

U.S. Metric Ingredient
3 c 450 g confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
1/4 lb 110 g unsalted butter
1 Tbsp 15 g meringue powder
1/4 c 45 g saved bacon fat or rendered lard
2 Tbsp 30 mL heavy cream
1 tsp 5 mL vanilla extract

You Will Also Need

  • decorative medalion-style candy molds
  • pastry bag and coupler
  • 1 small round icing tips
  • 1 fancy scroll icing tip
  • 1 small gingerbread man cookie cutter
  • 1 tree cookie cutter (selected in proportion to the gingerbread man)
  • 1 small sheep cookie cutter (optional)
  • cake boards (14"/35cm square and 8"/20cm L x 5.5"/14cm W)
  • 1 lb/.45 kg pancetta, sliced into rounds—not shaved but not thick-cut, either

Chef's Notes

Project Name

Murder Most Foul
Zabet Stewart (photo)
click image to enlarge

This is a weekend-long project at the best. It could be done in one day if you were prepared to have a very long day and didn't need it until the next day. We recommend spending Day 1 making up the bacongingerbread early on, rolling it out into multiple baking sheets, and chilling it thoroughly, say overnight. Day 2 can be spent cutting out pieces and baking them. Assembly can be left for later on Day 2 or even on Day 3.

If you are baking one day and assembling the next, you can make both frostings ahead provided that you lay plastic wrap directly on the surface to seal out all air. Since they both contain meringue, they will harden like a rock if you don't block out all contact with air. Keep them refrigerated until use; when ready just peel the plastic back and give them a good stir to make sure they are smooth.

Unfortunately, gingerbread houses do not hold up well in humidity. You will likely only have about 12 hours before your house begins droop and melt unless you live somewhere extremely dry.

The AntiCraft assumes any well stocked basic kitchen to have certain things on hand. (Click for our basic kitchen items list.)

Directions

Pancetta Shingles:

Project Name

Pancetta Shingled Roof
Zabet Stewart (photo)
click image to enlarge

Cut pancetta rounds into quarters. Fry the pancetta quarters until crisp over medium heat, making sure to weight the pieces so they do not curl during cooking. When crisp, lay out on paper towels to drain and cool. Put aside until ready to shingle the roof.

Gingerbaconbread:

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add all the spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and mix until combined. Next mix in the eggs, molasses, and bacon. When the mixture is smooth, slowly add the flour a little at a time. You may have to add a little more or a little less to get a nice stiff dough. Divide the dough in half, and wrap in plastic. Smooth the dough in the plastic to create a disk shape. Refrigerate at least 1 hour until dough is stiff and ready to work.

Preheat your oven to 350 F / 180 C. Cut parchment paper so a single piece will cover the bottom of the baking sheet and not curl.

Project Name

Oh, Bugger.
Zabet Stewart (photo)
click image to enlarge

Flour your work surface lightly and roll out your dough. I use a large piece of parchment as a work surface, so it's easy to turn the dough and transfer it onto the baking sheet. If the gingerbread dough starts to crack around the edges when you roll, let it stand for about 5 minutes to temper, and start again. You can also pinch the edges back together to help the dough keep its shape. Add more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface. Roll out the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. Use the cut parchment paper as a guide to see how large to roll out the rectangular shape of the dough. When it is the appropriate size, trim the dough edges, reserving the dough for reuse, and place the sheet of dough with the parchment underneath on the baking sheet. Chill the dough in the freezer until firm, about 10 minutes. Repeat process until you have three baking sheets full of gingerbread dough.

While the dough is firm, lay out the templates, and trim around them with a sharp knife. Make sure you have cut the correct number of pieces for each shape. Remove all excess dough and reserve it for reuse. It can be rolled out to make more shapes. Move the pieces around until there is at least half an inch of space between each to prevent the parts from merging together as they bake.

Project Name

Applying Decorations
Zabet Stewart (photo)
click image to enlarge

Press some of the reserved dough into the decorative candy molds to make the decorations for the house. Freeze the molds for about 5-10 minutes and then pop the molded decorations out and lay them on a baking sheet with the rest of the pieces. Make sure you have all the pieces for the house, the trees, the sheep, and the gingerbread men before you start to bake. It will be easier if you don't have to go back and roll out more dough while trying to watch the ones that are baking. Bake the gingerbread for about 9 minutes, though the molded decorations will probably be ready much sooner as they are very thin. You want the pieces to be crisp and not darkened. Let the gingerbread cool in the pan a little, and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling until hard.

Special note: When the trees come out of the oven, immediately cut a slot in the top of half the trees as wide as the cookies are thick and half as tall. Then cut an identical slot in the other half of the tree cookies from the bottom to the center. This will make it possible to slide the cookies together to make a freestanding tree after they have cooled.

Royal Icing:

Project Name

Piping Royal Icing
Zabet Stewart (photo)
click image to enlarge

While the gingerbread is cooling, make the royal icing. Place the confectioners' sugar and the meringue powder in a bowl and add water 1 teaspoon at a time while stirring until all the sugar is moistened and the icing is very stiff. Keep stirring until the icing becomes smooth. If you cannot get the icing to smooth, add a scant teaspoon more water and keep stirring until it does.

Load the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a round tip, and you will be ready to start assembling the house and accessories. Any leftover royal icing needs to be covered with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent it from hardening in the bowl.

Baconcreme Frosting:

Cream the butter and bacon fat/lard together in a medium bowl. Add the sugar and meringue powder and mix on medium speed until the dry mixture is incorporated. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy. Fill halfway a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and the scroll tip. Cover the remaining frosting with plastic wrap pressed into the surface to prevent it from hardening in the bowl before you refill your pastry bag.

Assembly:

1. Put together walls with royal icing, let dry completely.

2. Pipe decorative royal icing onto molded decorations, let dry completely.

Project Name

Roof Construction Support
Zabet Stewart (photo)
click image to enlarge

3. Put roof on house with royal icing, let dry completely. You may need to rig a support to keep the roof pieces from sliding off the structure.

4. Pipe royal icing onto gingerbread men with small round tip, let dry completely.

5. Put chimney together with royal icing, let dry completely.

6. Pipe royal icing onto sheep, let dry completely.

7. Put chimney on house with royal icing, let dry completely.

8. Coat roof with baconcreme frosting, shingle with pancetta quarters.

9. Frost edges of roof and chimney to hide rough edges with baconcreme frosting and the scroll tip.

10. Frost edges of house and base with baconcreme frosting and the scroll tip.

11. Attach molded decorations to the house with royal icing, let dry completely.

12. Pipe door and windows out of royal icing onto the house with small round tip.

13. Pipe window shutters out of baconcreme frosting with the scroll tip.

14. Assemble trees with royal icing, let dry completely.

15. Frost edges of trees with baconcreme frosting.

16. Pipe baconcreme frosting to make gingerbread men stand up in yard.

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Edited by Raellyn Hatter and Zabet Setwart

       
 

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