James Beard’s Gingerbread Loaf Recipe
I was going through the cookbook collection the other day got tossed in the donate pile, James Beard on Bread. I bought it, yes, and now I was giving it away without a second glance, yes. NO! I’d had enough interest to buy the damn book, so I best look through it and see what piqued my interest enough to buy it. Two minutes in I was curled up on the couch reading each recipe and remembering exactly why every James Beard book is a gem, the blurb. Every single entry has a perfect note above it; a thought a memory, some history or just comments on changing it up a little bit. This man was a master in the kitchen, but the real treasure for me is always his little bits of storytelling, he must have been a real character.
I found no less than five recipes I wanted to make right off the bat. I started off with Cream Biscuits, and because I got shoddy pictures of them, they’ll have to wait until a day with better light. Thus I bring you real Gingerbread Cake which Mr. Beard assures us is a cake best served while warm, sliced thin and buttered. The warm loaf was tested by hungry teachers who groaned and told me how their grandmother used to make something similar. Cold sliced was well received at home as well. It was hard to stop eating it and snap a picture while the light was still good, but I got one. Then I sliced the rest of the loaf, buttered it and got out of the way, these people, they’re ALWAYS hungry.
I increased the cook time by 5 minutes because my loaf it needed it and I cut the butter into small pieces to make it easier to incorporate.
- 1 cup real molasses
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 5 Tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups flour
- grease and flour a loaf pan
- in a medium bowl whisk molasses, boiling water and butter, until butter is melted
- in a small bowl mix the salt, ginger and baking soda together
- add that to the molasses bowl
- stir in the flour just until everything is moistened and mixed well
- pour into the prepared pan
- bake for 30-40 minutes until the top springs back when you touch it
- cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then gently ease it out
- cool for another 20 minutes and slice if desired
- or wrap in plastic wrap while warm to preserve moisture
- slice and serve as desired
- use within two days
Gingerbread makes a perfect midwinter snack, serve it up with a cup of cold milk, hot tea or hot coffee. Oh, and it makes people happy to find it tucked in their lunch boxes for snack time.