Bread, Old Salem Way: Smell the YUM!!!

When we were passing Winston-Salem last weekend, I glanced over  and looked at the skyline.  It’s been a long time since I had been there, particularly Old Salem , which was the most intriguing part of the place. It’s  great day trip in case someone out there has never been but if you’re into cooking, they make  THE BEST wafer thin cookies and ginger bread. I know these things are more popular at Christmas time but gosh darned, gingerbread is just so darned GOOD!!!

I spotted the recipe of another blog site, which is definitely worth checking out.

Moravian Gingerbread

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter, slightly softened (no substitute)
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup molasses (not too dark)
1/2 cup finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift the flour before you measure it even if the bag says “pre-sifted”)
1 cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 13x9x2-inch baking pan well. Tap out the excess flour and set the pan aside.
2. Cream the butter in the large electric mixer bowl at moderate speed about 1 minute or until fluffy, then gradually beat in the sugar.
3. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Now mix in the molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
4. Combine the soda and vinegar and beat into the butter mixture. By hand, add the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour and stirring after each addition only enough to combine.
Note: The soda will foam way up when you add the vinegar. This is an old-fashioned way to leaven cakes and breads, used before there were reliable baking powders.
5. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake on the middle oven shelf for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the gingerbread comes out clean.
6. Transfer the pan of gingerbread to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before serving.
7. Cut into squares and top, if you like, with drifts of whipped cream, scoops of vanilla ice cream, or better yet, scoops of dulce de leche ice cream.

This recipe is a family-sized version of the gingerbread served at Salem Tavern in Old Salem. What makes this gingerbread different is that the ginger is freshly chopped.You may want to do the ginger chopping in a food processor, a short-cut those efficiency-minded Moravians would have surely welcomed.