Gyngerbrede (or Ginger Bread) was a popular medieval recipe made with breadcrumbs and fresh ginger.

Medieval portable pie oven 1465-1475 Illumination; wood fired baking oven from 1465-1475, "A pie-baker", Konzil von Konstanz ÖNB 3044, fol. 48v.


  • 1 loaf of wheat bread, grounded into breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ginger



“Gyngerbrede. Take a quart of hony, & sethe it, & skeme it clene; take Safroun, pouder Pepir, & þrow þer-on; take gratyd Brede, & make it so chargeaunt þat it wol be y-lechyd; þen take pouder Canelle, & straw þer-on y-now; þen make yt square, lyke as þou wolt leche yt; take when þou lechyst hyt, an caste Box leves a-bouyn, y-stykyd þer-on, on clowys. And 3if þou wolt haue it Red, coloure it with Saunderys y-now.” (Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin ed.)

Boil the honey, reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove any scum that forms on the surface and add pepper, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the bread crumbs one cup at a time and mix and knead thoroughly. Divide the mixture into quarters and roll out, then cut into 1-inch squares. You can dust with a mix of one part cinnamon to two parts sandalwood. The bread can also be molded. 

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