Friday Foodie: Cooking for a Crowd

Are you expecting a crowd for Christmas Dinner? Maybe this recipe for Gingerbread from the US Army’s official recipe book will help. After all, they are experts at feeding a crowd.

War Department Technical Manual TM-10-412, 1946  (WSA 641.5 W37)

War Department Technical Manual TM-10-412, 1946
(WSA 641.5 W37)

 

Army Recipe Book, TM 10-412, gingerbread deriv

Gingerbread

1 pound shortening
1 1/2 pounds sugar, granulated
5 eggs
1 3/4 quarts molasses
4 1/2 pounds flour, sifted
3/4 ounce baking powder (2 mess kit spoons)
1 1/2 ounces baking soda (2 1/2 mess kit spoons)
1/2 ounce salt (1 mess kit spoon)
1 1/4 ounces ginger (5 mess kit spoons)
1/2 ounce cinnamon (1 mess kit spoon)
1 1/2 quarts water

1. Stir shortening until soft and smooth.

2. Add sugar gradually; mix throughly.

3. Add unbeaten eggs a few at a time, beating after each addition until well mixed. Beat thoroughly at this stage to insure light, tender cake.

4. Add molasses and beat well.

5. Sift flour, baking powder, soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon together twice.

6. Add dry ingredients and water alternately to egg and sugar mixture, first adding about 1/3 dry ingredients, then 1/2 water, then another 1/3 dry ingredients and remaining water and dry ingredients.

7. Mix thoroughly but avoid over mixing.

8. Place in greased sheet pans. Bake in moderate oven (350 F) for 30-35 minutes or until done.

Note: This recipe makes 2 sheet pans (18 x 26 x 1 inches) or 7 loaf pans (9 7/8 x 4 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches) or 200 individual cakes 3 inches in diameter.

Yield: 100 servings, each 3 1/2 x 2 1/3 x 1 1/4 inches.

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