Gingerbread today is nothing like its ancestor. Originally, in Medieval England, the term gingerbread simply referred to preserved ginger, a corruption of the Old French word gingebras which was in turn derived from the Latin name of the spice, Zingebar.
It was later that ginger was discovered to have a preservative effect when added to bread and pastries and this is most likely what led to the development of recipes for ginger cakes, cookies, and spice-rich bread.
This recipe goes great with Sichuan peppercorn ice cream.
Gingerbread recipes spread through Europe around the 11th century and ever since has been a fairly common staple during winter holiday gatherings.
Combine 1/2 cup of flour with the spices, salt, baking soda and crystallized ginger in a food processor and process until ginger is finely chopped. Set aside.
In mixer, beat together the butter, sugars and molasses until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time to the sugar and butter mixture and beat until they are fully incorporated.
Alternating between the flour/spice mixture and the remaining flour, combine with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Combine this mixture with the butter/sugar mixture.
Place batter int a well greased 8 x 4 loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean from the center.
Allow bread to cool at least 10 minutes before turning out on a rack.
ITEMS WE USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE