Industrial-strength gingerbread dough

Time 20 minutes
Yields Makes about 2 1/2 pounds dough
Industrial-strength gingerbread dough
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut several sheets of parchment paper large enough to fit your baking sheets.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Beat to fully combine.


Add the water and molasses and beat over low speed until combined. With the mixer running at low speed, slowly add the flour, a spoonful at a time. The dough will become very thick as the flour is added. If desired, turn the dough out into a large bowl and add the last of the flour by hand, mixing until fully combined. If the dough feels too thick to work with, add water, a tablespoon or so at a time, until it becomes more pliable.


Roll a piece of dough between two sheets of parchment until it is 1/4-inch thick (if you roll the dough between parchment, you will not need to flour the dough). Cut the dough to size using cardboard cutouts but being sure to leave at least 1 inch between each of the pieces. Remove and save the excess dough to roll again.


Carefully grab the parchment and transfer it to a baking sheet. Bake until the pieces are fully set and there are no dark patches of underdone dough anywhere on the pieces. Remove the sheet to a cooling rack and set aside until completely cooled before removing from the sheets.

Even though there is no leavening in the dough, it might expand a little as it bakes. If needed, carefully sand the pieces before assembling your structure for a more exact fit. Step-by-step instructions on baking and creating gingerbread house.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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