Lebkuchen from “Gluten-free Baking at Christmas”
An article from the talented Samantha Stein with a recipe from her latest book, “Gluten-free Baking at Christmas”.
Growing up with a Danish mother, our Christmas treats had a distinctly Scandinavian and Germanic flavour. Lebkuchen is as German as they come, and something that I had enjoyed every year before being diagnosed with coeliac disease.
Although supermarkets in the UK have started to do some Christmas food, it’s usually only the traditional British treats: mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. The beloved recipes of my childhood are nowhere to be seen, so I took it upon myself to convert them to gluten-free, and before I knew it I had nearly a whole book! After a couple of months eating far too much cake, I had finished that book, “Gluten-free Baking at Christmas” in which this recipe is featured.
This chewy, spicy type of biscuit develops a deeper flavour if the dough is allowed to rest in the fridge overnight. These are totally addictive!
Makes 30 small biscuits
- 80g butter
- 100g honey
- 100g black treacle (molasses)
- 100g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2-3 tbsp mixed peel
- 300g gluten-free bread flour (one which includes xantham gum, but does not include raising agents – I used Dove’s Farm)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 80g ground almonds
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cloves
For the glaze
- 50g icing sugar, sifted
- 2-3 tsp water
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Sift the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and spices together in a large mixing bowl.
- Melt butter in a saucepan together with the honey, treacle and brown sugar. Leave on a low-medium heat until completely dissolved and then remove from the heat.
- Leave to cool a little then add a beaten egg and lemon juice, stirring until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix in. Add the lemon zest and mixed peel if desired.
- Spoon into a large freezer bag and refrigerate. The mixture will be soft and un-dough-like, but once it sets, it will make a proper dough that can be rolled out. Leave for several hours, or overnight for a deeper flavour.
- Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Lightly dust some baking paper with flour and roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper until about 1cm thick. Cut out your favourite shapes with cutters, re-rolling the dough until all is used up.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the tops of the biscuits start to crack slightly. Cool on a wire rack.
- When completely cooled, make up the glaze. Sift the icing sugar and add a little water (with a squeeze of lemon juice) until it resembles a thin paste. Using a clean pastry brush, glaze the lebkuchen and leave to dry.
Samantha Stein started “The Happy Coeliac” blog in 2011 to cheer herself up after diagnosis with coeliac disease. She blogs recipes, reviews and eating out gluten-free at thehappycoeliac.com. Her first book, “Gluten-free Baking at Christmas”, is available as an ebook or paperback to buy directly from her website.