When my son was growing up, I used to take great joy in treating him (and my husband) to home-baked goods. But even as someone who loves to bake, sometimes I just wanted something simple and fast that I could put together no matter how late is was or how tired I was. This gingerbread recipe comes from my trusty James Beard on Bread book. It is simple, delicious, makes the house smell the way houses should smell when you walk into them and did I say it was simple?? I’m sure that you can “tart” it up as everyone seems to feel a need to do today, but trust me when I say that it needs NOTHING except maybe some additional fresh, sweet butter. Serve it with dinner instead of a roll or as an afternoon snack with a glass of milk or with a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast. But serve it! And good news for those with egg allergies – there are no eggs in this recipe.
Yield: One 9 x 9-inch pan
1 cup light or dark, unsulphured molasses (I use dark)
1/2 cup boiling water
5 Tablespoons softened, unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups, all-purpose, unbleached flour
- Place the molasses and softened butter in a medium mixing bowl. (A trick for measuring out the molasses is to lightly spray a glass measuring cup with a spray like PAM and then add the molasses. The molasses will pour right out. This works with honey as well.)
- Add the boiling water and stir until well mixed and the butter has melted.
- Add the baking soda and stir lightly.
- Sift in the flour, ginger and salt only enough to moisten and mix the ingredients. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly smooth. Do not over mix!
- Turn into an ungreased 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and place in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes (ovens vary) or until the top springs back when lightly pressed and the bread begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Then inhale. This can be eaten immediately. Leftovers are also good but nothing beats it fresh from the oven.