Historian Gerard Baker delves into the history of childhood favourite gingerbread and revives a fifteenth century recipe on today’s episode of James Martin: Home Comforts.
Gingerbread made an appearance in Europe when 11th-century crusaders brought the spice back from the Middle East for the rich folks’ cooks to experiment with.
As ginger and other spices became more affordable to the masses, gingerbread caught on. An early European recipe consisted of ground almonds, stale breadcrumbs, rosewater, sugar and, naturally, ginger.
For the fifteenth century gingerbread, Gerard used three simple ingredients, honey, bread crumbs and ground ginger.