First Catch Your Gingerbread by Sam Bilton


ISBN: 9781909248694
Full colour
Extent: 256pp
Trade paperback with flapped cover
Published: Autumn 2020


Gingerbread is a lovely treat which has played a part in almost everyone’s childhood. But what was gingerbread made of when it first arrived on our plates? When did treacle, dark and sticky, first become available? And why did the gingerbread man leap from the tin, and run so fast with a fox snapping at its heels?

Sam Bilton examines the history of gingerbread, from ancient times down to the present day, before introducing us to a range of delicious gingerbread and ginger cake recipes that bring the story of this spicy and much loved treat to life.

The Lady 4 November 2022 – ‘I go nuts for ginger’: “…a beautifully researched and illustrated book full of literary and folk anecdotes, and the history and heritage of gingerbread…50 recipes from Britain and beyond.” ¬†Reviewed by Dr Sue Bailey

Sam Bilton is a food historian, who runs¬†food events with a historical theme She is also a food and drink writer, with articles appearing in magazines and online, with English Heritage, and she works on historical recipes, recreating them for the modern day, including an eighteenth-century recipe for a Bride Cake. She regularly broadcasts on BBC radio, and gives talks at RHS Horticultural Shows, in Hampton Court, London, and Tatton Park, near Liverpool, runs events at The Garden Museum’and she blogs at’.

Annie Gray (food historian, The Kitchen Cabinet) ‘Well, this book is a real treat!’


Introduction: What Is It About Gingerbread?
Chapter One: Ancient Origins of Gingerbread
Chapter Two: Medieval Gingerbread
Chapter Three: Everyman’s Gingerbread
Chapter Four: Gingerbread Creations
Chapter Five: All the Fun of the Fair
Chapter Six: Decline and Rise of Gingerbread
Part II: The Recipes
Biscuits, Wafers & Griddle Cakes
Bread & Yeasted Cakes
Gingerbread Cakes
Desserts & Sweetmeats
Miscellaneous Recipes
Recipe Index
General Index