To make gluten-free gingerbread dough, you need a good substitute for gluten, which gives the dough its stretchy quality so you can roll it out. Xanthan gum is a natural substance that helps mimic this property. Choose a gluten-free flour mix that includes it, such as Cup4Cup gluten-free all-purpose flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour. Or, add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum to your own gluten-free flour mix.
Yield: 1 little house, or 3 tiny houses
- 2-1/4 cups [315 g] all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 cup [120 g] almond meal
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 6 Tbsp [85 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup [100 g] packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup [160 g] molasses
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Sift together the flour, almond meal, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves into a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until incorporated.
- Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. (If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.)
- Remove both dough disks from the refrigerator and let soften for 10 minutes before using. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
- On a floured work surface, roll out one disk to a thickness of about 1/4 in [6 mm]. Cut out the components you need for your house, using the templates called for in the recipe for guidance. Using a sharp knife, cut straight down–if you drag the knife through the dough, you may tear the edges. Repeat with the remaining disk.
- Transfer the dough pieces to the prepared baking sheets with a spatula, spacing them at least 1 in [2.5 cm] apart. Place larger pieces on one sheet and smaller ones on another. (Larger pieces take longer to bake, and smaller ones can burn quickly.) Gather any scraps, reroll, and cut more components as needed. (I always cut extras in case of breakage.) If the dough becomes too soft, rewrap it in plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Bake the gingerbread, one sheet at a time, until puffed and firm to the touch, 7 to 8 minutes for smaller shapes (1.5 in [4 cm] or less) and 12 to 15 minutes for larger ones. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before assembling your gingerbread house. If not using right away, store the pieces on a baking sheet at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week.
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