Unlocking the Secrets of Gingerbread Dough: Rolling Out Perfection

Gingerbread cookies, with their warm spices and festive charm, are a beloved holiday tradition. But the key to achieving perfectly shaped and evenly baked cookies lies in the art of rolling out the dough. This guide delves into the secrets of gingerbread dough rolling, ensuring you create beautiful and delicious treats that will impress your family and friends.

Preparing the Dough for Rolling:

  • Chilling is Key: Gingerbread dough is notoriously sticky, making it challenging to roll out. The solution? Chilling! Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight. This firms up the dough, making it easier to handle and less prone to sticking.
  • Divide and Conquer: Divide the chilled dough into two discs for easier rolling. This allows you to work with smaller portions, ensuring even thickness and consistent baking.
  • Generous Flouring: Generously flour your work surface, rolling pin, and hands to prevent the dough from sticking. Don’t be afraid to add more flour as needed, as excess flour will bake off, leaving you with perfectly shaped cookies.

Rolling Out the Dough:

  • Start with a Smooth Surface: Choose a clean, flat surface, such as a countertop or large cutting board, for rolling out the dough. Ensure the surface is free of crumbs or debris that could affect the dough’s texture.
  • Even Rolling: Begin rolling the dough from the center, working your way outwards in all directions. Use a rolling pin with even pressure to achieve a consistent thickness throughout the dough. Aim for a thickness of about 1/4 inch for classic gingerbread cookies.
  • Rotating and Checking Thickness: As you roll, rotate the dough frequently to ensure even thickness. Use a ruler or a toothpick to check the thickness in different areas, adjusting as needed.
  • Patching Cracks: If the dough cracks while rolling, don’t worry! Simply use your fingers to gently press the edges together, seamlessly rejoining the dough.

Transferring and Cutting Out the Cookies:

  • Using a Parchment Paper Trick: To easily transfer the rolled dough to a baking sheet without tearing, gently lift it with a piece of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper on the baking sheet and carefully flip the dough over, ensuring the floured side is facing up.
  • Cutting Out Shapes: Use your favorite gingerbread cookie cutters to cut out the desired shapes. Space the cookies about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet to allow for even baking and prevent spreading.
  • Re-rolling Scraps: Don’t discard the dough scraps! Gather them, form a ball, and re-roll the dough. You can use this dough to cut out additional cookies or create fun shapes using a knife.

Additional Tips for Rolling Gingerbread Dough:

  • Use a Silicone Rolling Mat: A silicone rolling mat provides a non-stick surface, further minimizing sticking and making the rolling process smoother.
  • Chill the Dough Between Rolling: If the dough becomes too soft or sticky while rolling, simply chill it again for 15-20 minutes before continuing.
  • Don’t Overwork the Dough: Avoid overworking the dough, as this can make the cookies tough. Roll it out just enough to achieve the desired thickness and shape.

By following these tips and techniques, you’ll master the art of rolling gingerbread dough, creating perfectly shaped and evenly baked cookies that are a delight to both the eye and the palate. Remember, chilling the dough, generous flouring, and even rolling are the keys to success. So, grab your rolling pin, embrace the festive spirit, and get ready to bake some unforgettable gingerbread creations!

Key Ingredients in Gingerbread Cookies

The written recipe is provided below, but first let’s go over a few essential ingredients. All gingerbread cookie recipes begin the same way, and mine is my mother’s. I increase the amount of spice flavors (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice) and add a little more molasses to her recipe. In order to help it all soak up, I add a little extra flour because molasses, a sticky sweetener, is added. Similar to how we make pinwheel cookies, adding a little extra flour to the dough helps the cookies maintain their shape.

  • Molasses + spices for flavor
  • Egg so the gingerbread cookies have structure and richness
  • Brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar. I always use brown sugar when its flavor fits.

how do you roll gingerbread dough

How to Make Gingerbread Cookies

Let’s go over the gingerbread cookie recipe so that you can bake with confidence.

Chill the dough: After everything is combined and beaten in your mixing bowl, the dough becomes sticky, so it MUST be refrigerated for at least three hours. Make the cookie dough and refrigerate it overnight, or allot enough time to spend in the kitchen. For the cookies to maintain their shape, your cookie dough needs to be firm, but it also needs to be manageable so that you can work with it. You won’t have either unless you have chilled cookie dough!.

Before chilling, it is most convenient to wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Half of the prepared cookie dough should be scooped out, placed onto a long piece of plastic wrap, wrapped, and flattened into a disc. Repeat with the other 1/2 of dough. Then chill. That’s what you’re doing in the picture above, but there will be two discs. Why are you doing this? Rolling out the chilled cookie dough in the shape of a disc makes it easier. Also, when there is less volume, the cookie dough chills more quickly. Additionally, rolling and shaping smaller portions is just simpler!

Roll it out: After the cookie dough has chilled, roll it out into discs that are about 1/4 inch thick. Flour your hands, a rolling pin, a work surface, and everything else in sight without fear. That is to say, as you work, the cookie dough may get sticky. Therefore, don’t be afraid to dust the work surface with more flour. When your shaped cookie dough bakes, the flour spots on top will disappear.

how do you roll gingerbread dough

how do you roll gingerbread dough

Arrange the cutout cookies about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet that has been lined. Though they won’t truly spread, you still want to make sure the cookies have adequate space to breathe. They are gingerbread people, after all. .

Rolling Dough for Gingerbread Man Cookies


What is the best way to roll gingerbread dough?

10 Tips to Make the Best Gingerbread Cookies Roll out the dough on a surface that’s lightly dusted with flour or a mixture of flour and confectioners’ sugar (aka powdered sugar). If the dough isn’t too sticky, you can roll it out between sheets of parchment paper.

How long should gingerbread dough sit out before rolling?

On the day you choose to bake your gingerbread, you will need to remove it from the fridge and let it rest between 1/2 an hour and an hour or so before you start rolling it out. It will feel quite hard but don’t worry a little bit of massaging will soften it up and make it an excellent dough to work with.

How to make cookie dough rollable?

Place slightly chilled cookie dough between the two pieces of parchment paper and form the dough into rectangle using your hands. Using a rolling pin, start at the center and begin to roll the dough away from your body, rotating the dough 90 degrees every few rolls to ensure even thickness.

How do you make gingerbread dough?

While the yeast is activating, whisk together the flour, gingerbread spices, and kosher salt. To a small bowl, mix together the eggs, molasses, and vanilla, and then add that to the yeast mixture. Add the flour mixture and mix everything up on low until mostly combined. Slowly add the cubes of butter until a smooth and elastic dough forms.

How do you roll out gingerbread cookie dough?

The most successful way to roll out this gingerbread cookie dough is between two sheets of parchment paper. It will stick to your counter no matter how much you flour it. Re-roll the scraps so you have enough dough for the entire house. Every house needs sturdy walls, right? Royal icing is the “glue” that holds the house together.

How do you make gingerbread dough sticky?

To make sticky gingerbread dough easier to work with, chill it for at least 1 hour before rolling it out. Roll out the dough on a surface that’s lightly dusted with flour or a mixture of flour and confectioners’ sugar (aka powdered sugar). If the dough isn’t too sticky, you can roll it out between sheets of parchment paper.

How do you bake gingerbread?

Use a template to cut the dough into the appropriate shapes for the house design you’re making. Bake the gingerbread at 375°F/190°C – exact baking times will vary based on the size and shape of your gingerbread, but look for the edges to be noticeably brown, and the surface to appear dry and set.

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