Gingerbread Loaf-Europe

Although I am a lover of all things pumpkin-pumpkin chai lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli, once the Christmas season has begun, my loyalties transfer to gingerbread. A recipe that I have been making since I was a freshman in high school is for a gingerbread loaf. Nothing to me is more comforting or delicious than a slice of this and it’s something I could eat morning, noon, or night. It’s not overly rich or sweet so I don’t necessarily feel guilty when I have a slice of it for breakfast.

A dream of mine is to one day visit a famous Christmas market or two in Europe. I know that a variety of spectacular wares would be sold including freshly baked gingerbread. While I’ve been to Europe in the winter it’s always been post-Christmas and so I’m sure the chance to travel to Europe during the holiday season would be a trip to remember, colder weather and all.

Gingerbread Loaf
recipe from the November/December 1999 issue of Quick Cooking

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1-1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, syrup and oil. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be thin). Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in.  x 3-in. loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. 

Yield: 2 loaves

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