Day 7, Friday
Royal Icing and Gingerbread Houses
Today we began by preparing the royal icing that serves as the mortar for our gingerbread houses. The recipe is from pg. 34 of Friberg:
1 cup egg whites
2 lbs 8 oz sifted powdered sugar
Keep the icing wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and a wet towel directly on top because it will dry out very quickly.
Our gingerbread dough from the day before was ready for rolling into thin sheets for us to cut using the house templates we made. Using the large dough sheeter we were able to roll all the dough to the same thickness, very quickly. It has finger guards at both ends and will not start if they are not down. The dough should be shorter than the guard or else it won’t pass smoothly underneath. The dough sits on a piece of canvas that goes around like a conveyor belt or treadmill. There is a lever for the direction of the canvas, towards or away from you, and multiple speeds. On top is a flour bin with bread flour for dusting of the top and bottom of the dough. There is a wheel with the varying levels of thickness and a lock to make sure the dough doesn't get rolled below that point. Today we were rolling to a 4. This made the dough thin enough to cook quickly and appear delicate, but still strong enough to hold up a roof and candy decorations.
The roof panels are finished and drying and the base of the house is setting up.
In attempting to attach the roof we found it was too heavy and the thin walls of the house could not support it! The icing was not drying fast enough and eventually the roof began to collapse and cracked one of the structural supporting walls.