So, I had promised to bring yummy treats in order to bribe my co-workers into coming to Groupwise training this afternoon. (Yes, our library runs on food.)
Fortunately, Juergen kindly put in the air conditioner so it was doable.
Last night I made a batch of Anise Bizcochos, from Brighid ni Chairain's redaction, just to make sure I still know how to do it. http://members.tripod.com/~breadbaker/sweets.html
The answer is yes, but I need not to let the dough sit as long between batches.
And then I made gingerbread, using the recipe from Form of Cury:
Curye on Inglysch p. 154
To make gingerbrede. Take goode honey & clarifie it on + e fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into + e boylenge hony, & stere it well togyder faste with a sklyse + at it bren not to + e vessell. & + anne take it doun and put + erin ginger, longe pepper & saundres, & tempere it vp with + in handes; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe + eron suger, & pick + erin clowes rounde aboute by + e egge and in + e mydes, yf it plece you, &c.
This time I think I got the proportions as I like them and had them written down:
1 cup honey
2.5 cups breadcrumbs
1 rounded tsp ginger
1/2 a medium long pepper
1/3 tsp saunders
Sugar to roll in
Heat the honey to a simmer. Stir in the breadcrumbs with a silicone spatula (heavy duty) or wooden spoon. Add the ginger, grate in the long pepper and add the saunders. Mix in. Get yourself set up with pot of gingerbread, bowl of sugar to roll in, container of whole cloves, plate to put gingerbread in. This will allow the mixture to cool off enough to be handled.
Take handfuls of the mixture and knead with your fingers. When it forms a cohesive paste, pull off an amount the size of a superball and roll it into a firm ball. Insert a clove; roll in sugar, and set aside. Repeat. When the mixture is hottest, do one ball at a time; as it cools down, you can do larger quantities and roll them into ropes to pinch off from.
You MUST firmly incorporate the bread crumbs with the honey to get a good flavor and texture. If the balls crack or don't hold together you need to knead the mixture more. You can tell when a ball is ready when you roll it between your hands and it pulls away from your skin slightly as you roll.
The longer these sit, the spicier they are.