Monday, February 4, 2019

Medieval Gyngerbrede

Honey - a lot of honey - is boiled, foam removed, spices and dried bread crumbs incorporated, then pressed or rolled flat. Cut into hard (firm) slices. It's not cake-like.

This recipe does not have ginger among the many spices listed to make the gingerbread.  Think Apple Tansey recipes without the poisonous herb tansy.
Gyngerbrede.--Take a quart of hony, & sethe it [boil], & skeme [skim] it clene; take Safroun [saffron], pouder Pepir [pepper], & throw ther-on; take grayted Bred [bread crumbs], & make it so chargeaunt [stiff] that it wol be y-lechyd [cut in slices]; then take pouder Canelle [cinnamon], & straw [strew] ther-on y-now; then make yt [it] square, lyke [like] as thou wolt leche yt [cut it]; take when thou lechyst hyt [cut it], an caste Box leves [leaves] a-bouyn [above], y-stykyd ther-on, on clowys [stick there on cloves]. And if thou wolt haue it Red, coloure it with Saunderys [sandalwood] y-now [enough].   
Two 15th c. Cookery-Books by Thomas Austin, 1888
This can be messy at the hearth.  Many, many years ago I made some over the fire, with limited water for cleanup, and frankly said never again.  Since this batch was just for a local non-foodie group I belong to (historic honey recipes for the speaker on bees) I did not add the boxwood leaves and cloves to decorate the top (don't have boxwood, and there's the poison component which may make it unappetizing).

Honey posts HERE
Gingerbread posts HERE

©2019 Patricia Bixler Reber
Researching Food History HOME

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