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To Make Red Gingerbread Another Way
Take 4 white loaves, let them be old so they will grate
very small, dry the crust and beat them and put all the crumbs of
bread together, setting them before the fire to dry.
Then take a quarter of an ounce of cinnamon, 1/4 pound
liquorice powder, 1/4 oz. of cloves, 1/4 oz. of nutmegs, 1/4 pound
of best ginger, and 1/4 pound of red sandalwood. Beat and
sieve all these spices very fine, and when you have
done so mix them all together. Save a little cinnamon
which you must keep for dusting your prints.
Then take 1 quart of ale and a pound and a half of
powdered sugar, and put them into an iron pott and set them
over the fire until the sugar be dissolved. Then take it off
and put in the aforementioned spices. Set it again
upon the fire and keep stirring it sometimes until you
can perceive it to boil. Then put in your bread by
handfulls until it be all spent. Be sure you keep
stirring it all the time you are putting in your bread.
And when you have so done, stir it strongly together
and so take it off the fire and have ready 1/2 gill of
cinnamon water wherein 1/2 grain of musk has been
infused, pour this upon it and stir it well together.
So take it out of the pot as quick as you can and have
ready a 1/4 lb of almonds being blanched, sliced, and bruised.
And work the paste [?] so sprinkle them upon it
so work it up well together, and cut it ito pieces as
you please for size. So dust your prints with cinnamon
and print it.

To Make Biscuits
Take a pound of eggs, break the yolks one way and whites
another. Beat the yolks very well, in the beating put in a little
rosewater, then put to it a pound and a quarter of finely beaten and
sieved sugar. Beat it again with your whisk very well, then beat
the whites and as the froth rises put it to the rest, beating still till
all the whites be beaten in. Then strew in 3 quarters of a pound fine flour
well dried, beat all together very well. Drop them on paper thin[?]
buttered; sift a little sugar upon them, so bake them. When they are baked
take them off with a knife.

Notes and Questions

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This style of gingerbread, made with grated bread and heavy on the spices, was an older style going out of fashion by the late seventeenth century. They seem to have remained more popular in northern England, which might be a clue about where Dorothea lived. For more information about this style of gingerbread, and to see some of the types of moulds she would have used to print her gingerbread, see


There's a very similar recipe on page 152 of The Complete English Cook published by Ann Peckham in 1790.