Sourdough gingerbread? This might sound like an odd combination of flavors, but you don’t taste anything sour in this new take on a holiday baking classic. This is a simply delicious, satisfying and nutritious gingerbread recipe. Adding a sourdough starter to the dough and letting it sit for several hours allows the starter to begin breaking down or “pre-digesting” the grains, making the nutrients in these wholesome ingredients more bioavailable (meaning it’s easier for our bodies to actually absorb and utilize them) and making it easier on our digestive systems. Consider trying Einkorn flour, especially for those with GI problems that the more conventional wheats might exacerbate. (Please take note, however that we're not doctors, and our suggestions are in no way meant to replace the advice of your trained medical professional).
Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies
adapted from King Arthur Flour
¾ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
¾ cup molasses
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp allspice
1 egg, beaten
⅓ cup sourdough starter
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
3-4 cups organic flour (we use Einkorn, but any will do)
- In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter. Add molasses, sugar, salt and spices, remove from heat, and let the mixture cool completely.
- When cool, transfer to a medium bowl and add in the egg and the sourdough starter
- In a separate, large bowl, mix the baking powder into 3 cups of the flour
- Combine the molasses/sourdough mixture with the dry ingredients. Add flour until the dough won’t take any more and it forms a cookie dough ball - pliable, but not too sticky.
- Let the dough sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours.
- Knead the dough a few times and then refrigerate it for 3-4 hours or overnight.
- When you're ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- On a floured surface, roll out chilled dough and cut into the shapes of your choice.
- Space cookies evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, removing before the edges get too brown.
For an easy, nutritious icing, simply add maple syrup to softened coconut oil and combine thoroughly. Spread it on with a knife while it’s still soft. This is a delicious combination with the gingerbread!