Video guide to making a gingerbread house
Hello, I'm Kate and I'm going to show you how to make a gingerbread house.
It's going to look amazing as a centrepiece on any Christmas table and it's going to be something the kids are going to love getting involved in.
Make the gingerbread dough
So, first of all I need to make the dough for the gingerbread house and for that, in this pan I've melted 250g of butter, 200g of muscovado sugar, I've got four tablespoons of golden syrup and two tablespoons of treacle and I'm melting them very slowly on the heat and what I want to do is melt all that butter, mix it together and allow it to cool slightly.
So while that's melting in the pan, what I've got here is 600g of plain flour and to that I'm going to add two teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda. I've got two teaspoons of freshly-ground ginger and two teaspoons of mixed spice. So I'll just give these a little stir to mix all those lovely spices together.
I'm going to turn the heat off this and just give it a little stir because it's melted and I need to allow it to cool slightly before I add it to my flour mixture. I just want to make sure all that sugar's dissolved and all those ingredients are mixed together. The smell of the muscovado sugar and the treacle together with that butter, it smells really Christmassy already. What I'm going to do is allow that to cool down ever so slightly while I just mix the spices and the bicarbonate of soda into this plain flour. What I need to do is pour that liquid mixture over the flour and mix it together to make a dough.
I'm ready to add this to my flour, just give it an extra stir to make sure it's all mixed together. I can lose that spoon and then we can pour this liquid mixture over our flour very carefully. Make sure it all goes in. There we go. And give it a good stir.
Now, I've got an extra 25g of flour weighed out in this bowl here because I want to make sure that my dough isn't too sticky or too dry, so it's always a good idea to hold a little bit of the flour back. So it could require a total of 625g of flour in total. But I think this might be enough. So just using your wooden spoon, make sure all that flour is incorporated and then when we're nearly there, I'll get my hands in.
The best way to test if you need more flour or not is to get your hands in and squeeze the dough together. It should be quite smooth and if it's too sticky, you just add a little bit more flour, but that's just right.
Roll the dough
Now, a really useful tip when you're rolling out your dough is to have a piece of greaseproof paper. I'm actually going to roll the dough straight out onto here. So I take a piece of the dough, give it a good squeeze together and then lay it onto my paper. So I shouldn't need any extra flour at this stage because this is going to stop it sticking to my worktop. Move these out the way. Then using my rolling pin, very carefully roll out the dough just a little bit thicker than a £1 coin and that looks about right.
Create the template to the gingerbread house
What I've got here are the templates that I'm going to use to cut out the panels for my house. It's a really good idea to use cardboard because it's nice and sturdy. What I've done is I've measured out the side panel, and I'll need to cut out two of these. I've got my gable ends, which are here, and, again, I'll need to cut out two, and these larger pieces are for the roof, so I'll need to cut out two roof panels as well.
So if I use the side panel here, I place it on top of my dough and then, using a knife, I'm going to cut round the edge, like so. You need to be quite accurate because you want these panels to all stick together when they're baked. There we go. I'll remove these extra pieces. Remember, when you've got all your panels, which will be six in total, any extra dough that you have, it's great for making Christmas trees, like I've done on this one here, perhaps a chimney, a door, windows. Just use the dough to cut out shapes for baking after.
Cut out the windows
So I'll take off my template carefully here. And then at this stage, before the dough is cooked, what I'm going to do is cut out two windows. You can use a template for this or you can just do it freehand. I'll cut one window out here and one here. And just remove those little squares. You can cut out a hole for the front door or you can just make a front door to stick on. It's entirely up to you, be as creative as you like.
So what I'm going to do with this panel, put it on a baking sheet, and it's easy to transfer, as you can see. I need to cut out the rest of my panels and bake them in the oven at 180 degrees for about eight to 10 minutes, so we'll come back to these when they're done.
So the house smells of gingerbread, it actually smells fantastic. I've allowed these panels to cool completely on a cooling rack. The next stage is to assemble the house. This is definitely the fun bit. So what I'm going to do is start off with one of my gable ends, which are the ones with the pointy roof, and it's going to sit on the board and I'm going to add one of the side panels. So what I'm going to use to stick the panels down is royal icing and this has been made with 500g of icing sugar and just a little water to make a really thick paste and it's going to act as the glue.
Stick together with royal icing
So what I need to do first of all is pipe some of this royal icing underneath so it will stick to my board and be quite generous, because you want it to stick really well. There we go, we're going to stick that down there. And then we're going to put some up the side of the house here so we can stick the side panel in place. I'm going to put some extra icing, just to make sure there's plenty of icing on this panel here. And then some along the base where I'm going to stick the next panel of my house. There we go.
I'm going to put this pot here because what I'm hoping it's going to do is support the walls. Put it there. This is when an extra pair of hands would be really useful, so it's the time to get the kids involved. We're going to stick this one here along the base and just match up.
Be quite generous with the icing, it doesn't have to look neat. Don't worry, it's all meant to look like snow, so you can be quite generous and it will help keep the house secure.
So I'm ready to add the front of the house, which has had the door cut out. Just make sure I get the position right and then I'm going to put plenty of icing on to make sure it stays in place. So it's going to need across the bottom and down the two sides here, not the pointed roof. There we go, little bit fiddly but rather a lot of fun. There we go. And then we'll just very carefully put this one in place. I can always tidy up here where I've got a little bit too much icing.
Allow to dry before adding the roof
I'm going to allow this to dry for an hour before I put the roof panels on but I mustn't forget to remove the jar before I do that.
So I've allowed the house to dry for an hour to make sure that it was really sturdy before I do the final decoration. So there's a little seam along the roof that I just need to pipe some icing along, so it looks like it's been snowing hard. And as you can probably see, I went a bit crazy and covered the board in icing as well because I wanted it to look like a real winter wonderland scene, and it also covers up the foil board and looks a little bit more realistic.
So the next thing I'm going to do is add the little extra bits that I've got here. Now I made these with the leftover dough that I had so I've got a little welcome home doormat that I'm going to put in front of my house. A bit of this wonderful sticky icing there and we can stick that on there. Stick that in place there, slightly open. And I think a couple of trees in the garden would be nice. Some icing underneath so it's going to stick in the snow. We'll put on here and just put that one there.
Decorate the gingerbread house
I've got some cinnamon sticks here, that I've broken in half, to look like logs outside the front door of my house. So I've got that nice rough edge on top so it looks like real firewood.
Now I've made some little piping bags here just out of greaseproof paper and it's icing sugar and water. If you want to add a little bit of food colouring, that's really great. So what I need to do is just snip the end of, perfect. This is going to be great for the finer details and also sticking the sweets on. One thing which is really nice to do is roof tiles. Doesn't have to be perfect and you can repeat the process on this side of the house as well. Just do a couple of windows on the front. Little bit more white.
And I've got a really nice selection of fun sweets here and this is when the kids really would go mad and have some fun. So the next thing I'm going to do is use some of these jellybeans here to do Christmas lights round the gable end of the house. Just put that in place there. At this stage, you can really let your imagination run wild. I'm going to spend some time on this house and really make it look fantastic.
Right, that's it. Time to reveal what I've been doing. There we go. And just a final detail, got a little sign here for the front garden, put that outside the house. Maybe just a little bit more icing sugar just over the roof and the chimney here, so it looks like it just snowed. So I'm very pleased with that, as I'm sure you can tell.
And that's how you make a gingerbread house.