Last year I made hungarian honeybread two times. Both of them were total chaos. First pastry was runny after one day rest so it had been finished in the bin. One week later I got an other foolproof recipe, but as among the ingredients ammonium-bicarbonate had been used, all of my lovely kitchen was full of ammonia. This would have been the tinyest problem, my biggest trouble was with flavor that was also mixed with ammonium. Horrible! But this year I tried to find the perfect recipe in time: and I got it! There is a famous hungarian honeybread master Angela Milner
. She deals with these kind of biscuits for several years, so I decided to use her lovely recipe to make my homemade lebkuchen.
My boys are big fan of lebkuchen, and they are able to eat several dozen of them. Lebkuchen usually is less spicy than english gingerbread, but if You prefer that one, just add some more ground ginger to the batter. As we usually love chocolate biscuits I decided to stick two heart shape with lovely jam, and then cover with chocolate (I used only 200 gr dark chocolate.). All the rest was covered with white frosting. It was a big fun this year as well to bake with my boys they helped me a lot, we’ll do the same next year, too.
Ingredients fo cc 30-40 lebkuchen:
500 gr plain flour
100 gr icing sugar
25 gr baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon gorund cloves
pinch of ground ginger
250 gr runny honey
65 gr butter
for the assembling:
some good quality jam
for chocolate frosting:
cc 200 gr dark chocolate
150 gr icing sugar
1 egg white
Put the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and ginger into a bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Pour honey and butter in a glass bowl and warm up in a microwave oven. Mix well with a spoon until butter melts. Add to the flour mixture, but be careful, as the warm honey can easily burn your hands! So use a wooden spoon to set the mixture and add the egg as well. If the batter has been cooled, try to use your hands to knead the mixture. If it is too hard, add 1-2 tablesppon lukewarm water.
Put the dough into an airtight container dusted with flour, and keep in a cold place for one day.
Next day half the batter and on a floured surface knead well half of that. Then roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (usually I use plastic rolling surface) to 3 mm thick.
Preheat oven to 160-170 C. Cover a baking tray with baking sheet. Use a heart shape cutter and place the biscuits on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, just to be lightly golden. Meanwhile roll the remaining batter and cut the shape. It’s getting quick and easier if You use two baking tray and while one dose biscuits is in the oven prepare the next dose.
Leave the biscuits to cool, and then stick two with some lovely jam. Set aside. You can give them rest for a day as well.
For the coating, melt only 150 gr chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Be sure that the bottom of the bowl is not reached by water! If chocolate is melted, pull off the hob and add the remaining finely chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth.
( This process is chocolate tempering
. If You have digital thermometer You can easily manage this process. I don’t have but it was easy as I have made it sometimes before that.)
Use a little sized brush or a teaspoon to help cover the top and the sides of the biscuits. I left the bottom of them plain. When coating is ready, place them on a wire rack to set. If the chocolate firm, just put the bowl over the pan again, and melt the chocolate. If You have more reserved chocolate just add it as previously.
Well, obviously not all of the lebkuchen will be covered with chocolate. To cover the rest make the white icing.
Sift the icing sugar in a bowl. Put the egg white into an other bowl and mix with a wire whisk. Add gradually spoon by spoon the sugar and mix until smooth. Cover the biscuits with the help of a spoon and place on a wire rack.
Keep the lebkuchen in a biscuit tin, they will be soft after 1-2 days, and you can keep them 1-2 weeks.