Gyngerbrede

This recipe is a modified version of the Gyngerbrede recipe found on Daniel Myers' website.


Country: England
Century: 14-17th



  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 loaf wheat bread, ground into bread crumbs
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • cinnamon and red sandalwood to coat

Bring the honey to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer for 5 or 10 minutes, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface. Remove from heat and add pepper, cinnamon, and ginger. Add bread crumbs to honey one cup at a time. Mix until honey and bread crumbs are thoroughly mixed (this should require some kneading). Divide mixture into quarters and roll out on wax paper. Cut into 1 inch squares, and dust with mixture of one part cinnamon to two parts sandalwood.

The gingerbread squares can also be stamped or molded, if you desire.


Original Recipe Sources

Source [ Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.)]: .iiij. Gyngerbrede. Take a quart of hony, & sethe it, & skeme it clene; take Safroun, pouder Pepir, & þrow þer-on; take gratyd Brede, & make it so chargeaunt þat it wol be y-lechyd; þen take pouder Canelle, & straw þer-on y-now; þen make yt square, lyke as þou wolt leche yt; take when þou lechyst hyt, an caste Box leves a-bouyn, y-stykyd þer-on, on clowys. And 3if þou wolt haue it Red, coloure it with Saunderys y-now.

Source [Curye on Inglysch, C. Hieatt, C. Butler (eds.)]: To make gingerbrede. Take goode honye & clarefie it on þe fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into þe boylenge hony, & stere it well togyder faste with a sklyse þat it bren not to þe vessell. & þanne take it doun and put þerin ginger, longe pepere & saundres, & tempere it vp with þin handes; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe þereon suger & pick þerin clowes rounde aboute by þe egge and in þe mydes yf it plece you &c.

Source [The English Housewife, Michael R. Best (ed.)]: To make gingerbread. Take claret wine and colour it with turnsole, and put in sugar and set it to the fire; then take wheat bread finely grated and sifted, and liquorice, aniseeds, ginger, and cinnamon beaten very small and searced; and put your bread and your spice all together, and put them into the wine and boil it and stir it till it be thick; then mould it and print it at your pleasure, and let it stand neither too moist nor too warm.

Source [The English Housewife, Michael R. Best (ed.)]: How to make a coarse ginger bread. To make a coarse ginger bread, take a quart of honey and set it on the coals and refine it: then take a pennyworth of ginger, as much pepper, as much liquorice; and a quarter of a pound of aniseeds, and a pennyworth of sanders: all these must be beaten and searced, and so put it into the honey: then put in a quarter of a pint of claret wine or old ale: then take three penny manchets finely grated and strew it amongst the rest, and stir it till it come to a stiff paste, and them make it into cakes and dry them gently.

Source [The English Housewife, Michael R. Best (ed.)]: Coarse gingerbread. Take a quart of honey clarified, and seethe it till it be brown, and if it be thick put to it a dish of water: then take fine crumbs of white bread grated, and put to it, and stir it well, and when it is almost cold, put to it the powder of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and a little liquorice and aniseeds; then knead it, and put it into moulds and print it: some use to put to it also a little pepper, but that is according unto taste and pleasure.


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