14 December 2009

Christmas time is "Lebkuchen' Time

In Switzerland, "Lebkuchen' (ginger bread in English) is tradition at Christmas. For many years I have missed Lebkuchen, then I was thinking. It can't be too hard to bake my own after all it's just like a bread, so I went looking for recipes on the internet and found a few. The secret seems to be the spices which can be purchased in stores in Switzerland already mixed, called Lebkuchen-Spices. Again I did some research and found the names of the spices, which are all available in shops here. Armed with the recipe and the secret of the spices, I had a go:

First I placed 50g of brown sugar in a bowl

Then I added an egg

Then I added 50g of honey

Then I added 20g of margarine and whisked
it into a smooth sauce

Then I added the rind of an orange
and mixed that in as well

In a clean bowl I placed 200g of flour and added
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cocoa powder

Then I mixed the spices
(tk=tip of knife)
2 tk ground ginger
1 tk Allspice
1tk ground Nutmeg
1 tk ground Cinnamon
1 tk ground Cumin
1 tk ground Cardamom
1 tk ground Coriander
I then added these spices to the flour and sifted it several times

The liquid was then added quickly to the flour and
mixed into a playable dough

I then rolled the dough between 2 pieces of baking paper

And shaped it into the sizes required
In this case I made two about 18cm X 10cm
These were placed into a pre-heated oven and
baked at 180ºC for 18 Minutes

While the pies were baking, I mixed a solution of
icing sugar with a little water. This solution is then
painted onto the pies when they come out of the oven

I then beat an eggwhite stiff so that it won't run
if you turn the bowl upside down. To that I added
icing sugar to make a fairly thick paste

This paste I placed into a plastic bag and cut a very small
corner off the bag

I then used the bag as a piping tool decorating
the Lebkuchens

Here is one. The swiss cross and an S
as it is going to my daughter Sonya in

The other one I took to my mate Martin who is in hospital. Martin is a Swiss Master Pastry-chef and Diane thought I was very game, bringing an amateur Lebkuchen to a professional chef. That I am!


  1. Well Well!

    This calls for another get together at the Haus Bohlen in the New Year and certainly AFTER summer has finished. I look forward to trying this Swiss delicacy. They who boast - must reproduce for a decision of one's colleagues to decide on a epicurean marking.
    Looked quite great mate! Well done.


  2. They turned out fine and I love them too.

  3. Das gseht grossartig us! Ächt Schwyzerisch! Bill, du hesch vili Tälent...itz chasch de e eigeti Konditorei gschpannt uf dis nächschte Projekt! Grüessli us dr chalte Schwyz...Marianne Böhlen

  4. Looks good. Ship one over here! :)

  5. Wow Dad! They look great! I hope you'll be making one with a big C for CAROL on it!!!!! Brilliant!

    Oh I can't WAIT to come home now!!!
    mmmmmwah! See you in 5 weeks!

  6. Oooh I'd love to taste that. I remember seeing them many years ago in Biel, Switzerland!

  7. wow Bill.....I think that is going to taste so good....Hope you save a bit for us....Alma and Bill. now you are a pastry chef as well... try making Lancashire Parkin.. one of Davids favourites along with cherry bakewells....he he
    love from
    Alma and Bill

  8. Those look wonderful! Do you miss your native country? And look Anonymous wrote to you in Swiss/German!

    Ha! Now that is treat!


  9. You should go into business or open a coffee shop or something.
    All the best for Christmas,

  10. Great photos and recipe! They look so good. I look forward to trying this out. Thank you for a great post! Merry Christmas!

  11. *wow*mmmhhh* that reads and looks delicious indeed! actually, the home-made spice mixes are MUCH better than the ready-made ones ... you could also add ground cloves instead of the allspice.


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