Gingerbread is a dessert with lots of spices.
First gingerbreads appeared in the 11thcentury. Today they are known not only in all regions of Russia, but also far beyond its borders as a traditional Russian delicacy.
By itself gingerbread dough is nothing special. The taste and uniqueness of gingerbread depends on spices and other additives. Russian gingerbreads contain cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, lemon zest, nutmeg, mint, and ginger. When making gingerbread Russians always use molasses, caramelized sugar and honey. To some types of gingerbread you can add jam or marmalade.
To prepare the dough neither baking powder nor baking soda are used. Often instead of baking powder cooks use sour cream mixed with honey. The consistency of gingerbread dough is always dense and elastic.
Icing is not used only for Vyazemsky gingerbread and mint gingerbread cookies. All other kinds of Russian gingerbreads are always glazed with icing. Initiallygingerbreads are white, and occasionally pinkish or with a pattern. Icing is made from water, sugar and egg whites. Sugar syrup is reduced to the consistency of sour cream, and thenyou gradually add to it the beaten egg whites while continuing to beat the icing. In olden times, this process was always done by two people. Then, you glaze the prepared gingerbreads with a brush, and let them to dry slightly.
Different Kinds of Russian Gingerbread
By the Region
The most known are Tula gingerbreads (with jam), Moscow gingerbreads (small, with black molasses), Gorodets gingerbreads (huge ones), Vyazemsky gingerbreads (with starch syrup and jam) and Rzhev gingerbreads.
By the Type of Filling
There are many kinds of gingerbread filings in Russia. The most popular are honey, mint, raspberry and almond.
By their Appearance
Gingerbreads can be printed (the pattern is stamped with a special board), ornately shaped (molded in the form of figures, such as animals), written (with a pattern applied by hand), and zhemki(thin gingerbread cookies pressed by special forms).
Try Russian gingerbread!
To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev