what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

honey and ginger wafers

This is the second of May’s Mellow Bakers bakes from Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf. Guess what? No yeast! Not being sure that the family would think much of these I opted to do a half of the stated ingredients, although I did a whole lot for the spices as there wasn’t a lot to do. More anon.

So we have: spices – coriander seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, black peppercorns, ginger, cardamom and fennel seeds. Ground up with a mortar and pestle, on balance I think I’d just use ground coriander next time, (as an aside I have a carrot cake recipe that calls for coriander and doesn’t state what type – when given to a colleague at work to try she used live green coriander, I just use the ground powder stuff).¬†The recipe¬†for the wafers doesn’t say what to do with the cardamom pods so I just took out the black seeds and pounded them in.

Being a multi-tasker I left the honey and butter melting together while I did the pounding and added sorted out the dry goods and then added the cream to the honey and butter. On the subject of honey I must admit to using the cheapest I could find for this trial run, which was from Morrisons and barely tastes of honey or anything very much. I think if you could afford a decent, strong honey that tastes of flowers then this recipe would be absolutely fantastic.

Dry goods: plain white flour, light rye flour (from my stash of Shipton Mill), bicarbonate of soda and soft brown sugar (I used the light type, but I think using a darker type might also bring some extra depth to this.

Then it goes into the fridge for a bit. The recipe calls for 2 hours, I just gave it an hour at the bottom of mine in a plastic bag. Rolled out, cut with a 7.5cm cutter (the nearest to the 8cm required that I have). Placed on baking paper then glazed with beaten egg, again I diverted from the instructions here because it calls for one whole egg plus an egg yolk and as I was only doing a half I opted out of this and just did a single egg and a big pinch of salt. This made a total of 12 full size pieces plus a half sized bit of the final scraps.

Would I do this again? Definitely, even my son said they were delicious, although he was quite suspicious to start with. And my husband said that mine looked better than the ones in the book! He must be after something.

I think that it would be interesting to change the type of honey and the sugar and the flours because the results would be different every time. I also have my eye on a Hairy Bikers gingerbread recipe which I will trial for comparison at some point.

Here’s the pictures:

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7 thoughts on “honey and ginger wafers

  1. These look great! And it’s very helpful to have images of the dough made with light rye to compare the batches I’ve made with the whole rye flour (still haven’t found the light rye locally, may have to order some soon.) Would love to hear how the Hairy Bikers gingerbread recipe goes…

  2. Good work! They look delicious. I think these will go down well with my other half. I’ll have to try and get hold of some light rye though. Great to read your experience, should help when I (eventually) get around to them!

    Leavened Heaven: My Search for Sarnie Shangri-La

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  4. I’m wondering what edition of Handmade Loaf you’re using because I’ve just made these and they bore no relation to the picture in the book. They’re like giant tasty crisps – Tasty, but definitely very thin and very crisp no matter how thick I rolled them out and the fork marks completely disappeared. What’s making me a bit suspicious is that you put yours in the fridge. The recipe I have makes no mention of a fridge….

    • I am not sure it went through any ‘editions’ – I have the 2012 print though.- published 2004 and reprtinted 05, 08, 10, 11 and 12. It says to fridge it for about 2 hours after mixing ‘or until firm but still workable’. They puff up a bit during cooking and then collapse down again but are just like the pic in the book. Good luck x

      • christina tudor on said:

        Thanks for this. I have completely different instructions (leave overnight at room temperature!) but mine is a much earlier edition so I think it must be that. I’ll write to the publishers as Dan Lepard’s own website seems to have disappeared!

        thanks again

      • No worries – I guess he is allowed to change his mind. Most ‘normal’ gingerbread recipes include putting it in the fridge for a bit before rolling out. I suppose this allows the butter to reharden.

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