Tula Style Pryaniki #BakingBloggers
I have been fascinated with Russian Tula gingerbread, or pryanik, for a long time. Tula Russia, located a few hours south of Moscow, is home to the Tula Pryanik factory and has been since the 1600's. The dark colored confection they produce is intricately decorated with beautiful swirls and ornate cyrillic writing. It's interesting, it's pretty, and best of all it's edible.
The main part, the actual gingerbread is made from rye flour and lots of spices, Some of which I was skeptical about adding at first. Then a jam or fruit paste is the filling, and finally they are glazed to keep them fresh. Typically a mold is used to form them but in my case it's less intricate because it was all hand formed. The cyrilic I used was meant to say "joy" but in my haste I left off the "c". But despite not saying joy, that is indeed what it tasted like. The abundant spices and earthy rye flours make for a complex and delicious bite.
I happened to have triticale on hand and not rye flour so I went ahead and used that since it's a cross between rye and wheat flours. And the fruit paste I happened to find in the deli section at Wal-mart. It was great, but jam will work too.
3 1/4 c. triticale
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
7 Tbsp. butter
1 c. honey
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. mace
Fruit paste, I used pear
1 1/ c. powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
In a bowl combine the triticale, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and mace.
On the stove combine the butter, honey, and molasses and heat until it starts to bubble. reduce the heat and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Pour the hot honey mixture over the flour mixture. With a wooden spoon combine until about halfway combined and add the egg. keep mixing until completely combined. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Dough should be soft like playdough.
Heat the oven to 425
Divide the dough in half and roll each piece in to a 1/4" thick rectangle. Slice the fruit paste and place on top of one of the pieces of dough leaving room around the sides. Gently place the other rolled piece of dough on top of the first and press to secure. Trim the dough so it is an even rectangle. Use the trimmed dough to decorate the top of the cake.
Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Bake at 425 for 12 - 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
To Glaze: Place the lemon juice in a small bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes or until boiling. Combine the powdered sugar and salt and whisk in the hot lemon juice. Immediately drizzle over the gingerbread. Allow at least 2 hours to set.
Cut in to squares and enjoy!
This month the Baking Bloggers theme was Gingerbread. Click below to see other great gingerbread themed recipes!