Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking is all about simple and tasty baking, a legacy from my Grandma's time as a cook-housekeeper in Edwardian times and a lifetime of baking.
As I was growing up, I watched her bake and cook, and acquired her expertise and passion for baking. Now I'm sharing Grandma Abson's traditional baking with baking devotees who remember it first time around and a whole generation new to baking. Enjoy!
This year marks 300 years
following the birth of James Paine, architect of The Mansion House Doncaster. A number of events are being held to commemorate this occasion and
it was a great delight to be able to try out some Georgian/Regency baking
recipes at an event earlier this month.
I adapted a recipe from the 1826 The Cook and Housewife’s
Manual: A practical System of Modern Domestic Cookery and Family Management by
Mistress Margaret Dods.
Gingerbread Two pounds of flour, a half pound of
brown sugar, a half pound of orange peel cut into bits, an ounce of ground
ginger, half an ounce of caraway seeds, cloves, mace, and some allspice. Mix
with these a pound and a half of treacle, and a half pound of melted butter.
Mix the ingredients well together, and let them stand for some hours before
rolling out the cakes. The paste will require a little additional flour in
rolling out. Cut the cakes, mark, the top in diamonds with a knife, and bake
them on tin plates.
Georgian Gingerbread proved popular with visitors today as
well as in the Georgian era. Here’s my version for a modern oven:
175g/6oz black treacle or molasses
50g/2oz light brown sugar
250g/9oz plain flour
50g/2oz orange peel/mixed peel
1-2 teaspoonsful ground ginger
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
½ teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan oven. Warm the
sugar, butter and black treacle/molasses in a pan until melted. In a separate
bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Make a well in the centre of the dry
ingredients and add the sugar/butter/molasses mix. Mix well, then leave in the
fridge to cool for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1 cm,
then cut into diamond shapes. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes.
black treacle made for a more intense flavour and a heavier texture than the
lighter Gingerbread we are more used to nowadays. What's your take on Georgian era baking?