Gingerbread nativity scene in the Church of St. Matthew (“U Matěje”)
almost 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour (140 g)
almost 1 ¼ cup all rye flour (140 g)
1 cup and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (210 g)
3 ½ tablespoons honey (70 g) – preferably forest honey
a pinch of baking soda (about ½ tsp)
tablespoon gingerbread spice (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, clove)
Heat the honey, if there is foam, remove it. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients with the warm honey. Knead the dough and let it rest over night. Roll out the dough into a sheet about 0.2 in (5 mm) thick. Cut out figures with a cookie cutter. If you would like to create new shapes, you can cut stencils out of paper and trace them on the gingerbread and then cut them out. Place the figures on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or grease the sheet with beeswax. Bake in a preheated oven for 5-10 minutes at 350°F (180°C). Baking time will vary based on size of each individual gingerbread. After cooling the gingerbread, decorate.
Glaze for gingerbread decoration:
10 tablespoons of fine icing sugar
1 egg white
1 teaspoon potato starch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sift the sugar and starch through a fine sieve so that the glaze will not clog the tip of the decoration bag. Whisk sugar, starch and egg white together. Fill a piping bag with glaze and you are ready to decorate the gingerbread. If you want colored glaze on the whole surface, make it a little more runny, so that it spreads well on the surface of the gingerbread. To thin the icing, add drops of lemon juice or hot water. You can also add a drop of food coloring.