“Пряники русские, сладкие, мятные. К чаю ароматному угощенье знатное…” (Russian gingerbread, sweet gingerbread, peppermint gingerbread. With an aromatic tea, what a noble feast…) So goes a popular merry song.
In Austria, they have the strudel, in Turkey, the baklava, and in Russia we have gingerbread, our favourite snack with honey, syrup and different kind of spices: mint, vanilla, coriander, cinnamon, etc.
Our gingerbread comes with honey, sugar, glazing, in the form of bunnies, birds, Christmas trees, mushrooms, with a printed text or drawing (before baking the gingerbread, the baker stamps on the dough some text or drawing with the help of different accessories). It was with such a gingerbread the old lady regale herself in the tale of A. Pushkin “О рыбаке и рыбке” (The fisherman and the fish):
“…За столом сидит она царицей,
Служат ей бояре да дворяне,
Наливают ей заморские вина,
Заедает она пряником печатным…”
“… At the table she sat, a Tsaritsa,
Attended by nobles and boyards;
They were pouring choice wines in her goblet,
She was nibbling sweet gingerbread wafers… “
Gingerbread are baked all over Russia but the most famous place is considered to be the town of Tula. From here come the name of “Tula Gingerbread.” Usually it comes with different fruit fillings, and now you can even buy it with condensed milk inside.
Do you want to bake a real Russian gingerbread? Just follow our recipe:
- 500 g. flour
- 4 tablespoons of honey
- 100 g. of butter
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of spices (according to your taste)
- 50 ml. of water
Put the honey and water in a bowl and wait until it boils. Then add the butter, the flour and baking soda. Stir, knead well. When the dough has cooled a bit, add the egg and knead well one more time. Roll out the paste (about 8 mm. thick) and cut out the forms you want.
Bake in the oven (180°) for 10-15 minutes.
Then, when the cake is cooked, it’s time to decorate it to your liking with icing or melted chocolate.
Before baking, you can also sprinkle them with nuts, poppy seeds, raisins. Be creative, and every time you have a new treat.
Do not like honey, replace it with sugar (300g.) It’s also very tasty. Enjoy your tea!