Tips on Gingerbread House Baking

Crucial in making gingerbread houses is to bake the parts so that they keep their form. I've given a recipe for a very good gingerbread dough earlier. It works really well for gingerbread houses.

Here are my tips to help you through the house making:

-Prepare the dough at least one day before you plan to roll the parts.
-Cut the parts from cardboard or baking paper and use them as a guide to cut the parts
from the dough. Be very precise with the measurements.
-If you haven't done any houses before, use readymade patterns.
-Roll the cold dough directly on the baking paper. You can put a couple drops of water
under the paper to help it cling to the table. Use some flour to prevent the dough from
-Cut the parts, move the baking paper on a baking tray. Brush off extra flour. Straighten
the edges, if they got distorted during the moving process.
-Bake the parts just until they start to get colour on the edges.
-The dough will be soft when you take the parts from the oven. If they haven't kept their
original form, you can use a knife to remodel them, but be quick as they'll get soon hard
and then crack easily.
-Try the parts together once they have hardened: if they don't fit, you can use a grater to
even their edges. But be careful to not break them.
-Decorate the parts as you wish (royal icing, streusels, candy,... the sky is the limit). Let
the decorations dry completely before the assembly.
-Use melted sugar to glue the pieces together. It's the best glue there is in my opinion.
It's a bit dangerous as the sugar gets so hot, so be careful! You have to be very quick also.
-Once the house is assembled, you can pipe more royal icing on the edges to hide cracks
or melted sugar strikes or sieve some powder sugar on top to mimic snow.

Actually I'm not sure, if I should be giving any tips. My latest gingerbread house building was full of problems from start to finish: The royal icing was too thin and I didn't like most of the pipings. I designed the house quite big and the assembling part was difficult. Some of the walls were bent from the start despite my best efforts. I broke the porch while assembling it. The roof parts didn't somehow fit properly and after assembly they started bending the walls even more. Despite the ugly appearance I got comments that I should finish it. So I had to make more dough in order to continue and make the porch parts again. I had also lost the patterns meanwhile so I had make them again too. I managed to straighten the roof and walls but the other roof part cracked a bit... I still got the house assembled and managed to hide some of the holes. Then when I was taking photos, I noticed that I had misspelled the name of the house (it's actually a real building quite near from where I live) LOL. That was the last seal to my misery haha.

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