Recipes from old cookbooks published in the 1800s
SOFT MOLASSES GINGERBREAD
Melt a teacup of butter—mix it with a pint of molasses, a tablespoonful of ginger, a pint of flour, and a couple of beaten eggs. Fresh lemon peel, cut into small strips, improves it. Dissolve a couple of teaspoonsful of saleratus* in half a pint of milk, and stir it into the cake. Add flour to render it of the consistency of unbaked pound cake. Bake it in deep pans about half an hour.
* saleratus – sodium bicarbonate (or sometimes potassium bicarbonate)
Melt a piece of butter of the size of a hen’s egg and mix it with a pint of nice molasses, add a tablespoonful of ginger, and a quart of flour. Dissolve a heaping tablespoonful of saleratus* in half a pint of milk, strain and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Add sufficient flour to enable you to roll it out easily. Roll it out about half an inch thick, and bake it on flat tins in a quick oven. Gingerbread made in this manner will be light and spongy if baked quick, and made of nice molasses, but it will not keep good so long as hard gingerbread.
HARD MOLASSES GINGERBREAD
To a pint of molasses put half a teacup of melted butter, a tablespoonful of ginger, and a quart of flour. Dissolve a teaspoonful of saleratus* in half a pint of water, and stir it in, together with flour sufficient to enable you to roll it out. Bake it in a moderately warm oven.
Warm two cups of molasses, one half cup lard, one half cup butter, and two tablespoons ginger. Beat for ten minutes and then add one cup sour milk and two tablespoons soda dissolved in hot water. Thicken with flour to make a soft dough. Roll out, cut into shapes, and bake in a quick, but not too hot oven. Brush over with white of egg while hot. Keep in a tight tin box.
Carefully melt half a pound of butter, and stir it up in two pounds of treacle (molasses). Add an ounce of pounded ginger, two ounces of preserved lemon and orange peel, two ounces of preserved angelica cut small, one of coriander seed pounded, and the same of caraway whole. Mix them together, with two eggs, and as much flour as will bring it to a fine paste. Make it into nuts, put them on a tin plate, and bake them in a quick oven.
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