There aren't many flavours more Christmassy than gingerbread, and these sweet biscuits from the pros at Gail's Artisan bakery will whet your appetite for next week's feast. You’ll need to begin making these biscuits a day before you want to bake them to give their complex, richly spiced flavour time to develop.

Ingredients

  • 75g butter at room temperature

  • 75g caster sugar
  • 
35g treacle

  • 25g golden syrup
  • 3 tbsp whole milk

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 225g plain flour

  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 
½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ground cardamom

  • Pinch ground white pepper

  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

Method

  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together thoroughly until pale and fluffy.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the treacle, the golden syrup, the milk and the egg yolk until completely combined.
  3. In a third bowl, sift together 200g of the flour, along with all the other dry ingredients. Set the remaining 25g flour aside in case you need it later.
  4. Add roughly a quarter of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar and mix in briefly, then add around a third of the milk mixture and stir gently.
  5. Repeat, alternating dry and wet ingredients and mixing only gently each time and finishing with the dry ingredients, until everything is are combined and you have a slightly sticky dough.
  6. Avoid overworking the mixture. You can judge at this point whether you’ll need the reserved flour – the dough should be rather tacky, so try to add only as much flour as is necessary to make it relatively easy to handle. It will firm up once chilled.
  7. Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle, wrap well in cling film, and chill overnight (or for up to three days). Alternatively you can freeze the dough for up to two weeks and defrost it overnight in the fridge before using.

  8. When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 170C. Dust your work surface and a rolling pin very lightly with flour, and roll the chilled dough out to a thin sheet 3-5mm thick. Dip your chosen cutter lightly in flour and cut out as many shapes as possible, regrouping and re-using the dough as you go.
  9. Transfer the biscuits carefully to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and bake for 10-15 minutes – adjust the time depending on the size and shape of your biscuits, and how crisp you like your gingerbread.
  10. To make the icing, use three tablespoons of icing sugar and mix with enough lemon juice to make it sticky. Pipe onto your gingerbread with festive decorations, whether for an army of Santas or a Gingerbread house.

Gail's full Christmas range is available in Gail's bakeries in Hampstead and other locations across London and includes mince pies, Gail's boozy Christmas cakes and festive breads with a pecan & cranberry wreath and a fennel & fig bloomer; gailsbread.co.uk.

Gail's full Christmas range is available in Gail's bakeries in Hampstead and other locations across London and includes mince pies, Gail's boozy Christmas cakes and festive breads with a pecan & cranberry wreath and a fennel & fig bloomer; gailsbread.co.uk.