Ostara Gingerbread House - Gluten Free
Postpartum Food or Fun food Activity - Canberra Postpartum Doula Support
Using a slightly wonky kit that had no roof
Baking with the family is something we love to do in our house. My daughter Jade woke up early this morning (as we are on school holidays here in the Gold Coast) and her first words to me after good morning is “mum we need to get baking stuff from the shop today” she is in grade 1 so I get her to write up our shopping list which she really enjoys. If you have an academic kid always get them to help with lists and budgeting as it will help them in years to come. My boy is more of a doer. He’ll clean and cook but couldn’t give a rats about writing lists and working out the budget. So overall, they complement each other well although still enjoy a good fight over the mundane, but such as kid life!
This time last year we were all in Canberra ACT celebrating Ostara with our family hunting for eggs and cooking up a feast. We are celebrating solo this year and celebrating in our own ways.
Ostara gives us the opportunity to notice what it is we need to bring in for Spring and what needs to be let go of from winter. We do this in the garden with the little people. This morning we’ve noticed that the cherry tomatoes are growing out of control so we pulled them up to make space for planting the zucchini plants which will be ready come summer. Kids resonate with nature, they notice the flowers, the feeling of the warmer mornings as they ride their bikes. And they love to bake and make art so here’s our little gingerbread creation for Ostara. Its no Pinterest worthy house but we all had fun and that’s the main thing to remember with kids…let them decorate the cakes and gingerbread houses and enjoy the process. They will get better each year as our skills grow naturally.
Think you can’t make a gingerbread house with kids? I put it off for years, so I totally get it! It helps to break things down into easy steps when attempting a big task like the gingerbread house. In Cooking School this is called Mise en place which is a French culinary process meaning putting everything in its place.
6 Easy Steps to make a Gingerbread House
Purchase a cake board for the house 25cm x 26cm x 1cm thick. Cake boards can be purchased from a craft or kitchen bake store. We however just used a chopping board. As I really enjoy being frugal in all we do.
Make the dough mixture
Press the dough mixture into the mould and bake
Make the Royal Icing
Assemble the house
Decorate the House
NOTE: The only difference between making a gluten-free vs gluten house is when using gluten-free flour make the dough ball in the mixing bowl and don’t try to roll it out on the bench that will only make the dough stick to the bench. Instead, simply grab fingers full of the gluten-free dough and press it into your house mould, flattening and smoothing it out with your fingers.
Preparation time 20min, Cooking time 25-35min
125g brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
300g treacle or golden syrup
1 tablespoon ground ginger
500g plain gluten-free flour or gluten flour
½ teaspoon bicarb soda gluten-free or gluten depending on your diet
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius fan-forced
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, salt, treacle or golden syrup, ginger and butter together with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2min.
Add remaining ingredients and mix with hands or wooden spoon till dough forms into a big ball. Stop once the flour has all mixed in….the trick is to not over mix. The ball only has to form and not be worked like bread dough. Think shortcrust pastry if you’ve ever made it. or go watch this step n a youtube clip.
Grab finger fulls of dough and press into the mold and smooth out with your hands. Kids love this step but will need help sometimes to get a smooth even layout.
Place on a baking tray in the oven and bake for 25-35min until firm to touch (dough will crisp up as it cools)
Cool thoroughly before removing from mould.
Royal Icing (or simply use melted chocolate from betty crocker packs and follow directions for melting on the pack.)
500g Pure Icing sugar sifted
1 teaspoon cream of Tartar
3 egg whites
Place caster sugar and cream of tartar in a medium bowl. Gradually add egg whites, whisking constantly with an electric mixer until the mixture turns into a thick white paste. The whisk should be able to stand upright in the mixture. Also referred to as a stiff peak. Add more icing sugar if necessary. Spoon icing mixture into a piping bag, twist top and begin to assemble the house.
~ Blessings Anna (Neuro-linguistic Kinesiologist & Commercial Chef)
A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anna runs a Neuro-linguistic Kinesiology practice on the Gold Coast and is an experienced commercial chef who previously ran cooking classes. In addition, she has 2 children with additional needs and is qualified in a wide range of natural therapies so she is very health conscious. Anna's lives in a no-dairy, no-gluten household and she prefers vegan meals which may feature on our blog from time to time
We hope you have found this post informative and make sure you let us know if there is a topic you would like us to cover in our blogs. If you are interested in learning more and finding out about our Doula Services make sure you get in touch for a FREE initial meet – we’d love to meet you.
~ Blessings Lee your Canberra Doula