A much-loved spicy bread, gingerbread was sold at fairs and markets, and given to children as a treat. There are many references to it in old cookery books — in fact, ground ginger was almost as popular as caraway seeds. This recipe is particularly delicious.
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Warm the milk gently with the bread soda and remove from the heat. Add the golden raisins and preserved ginger.
Cream the butter, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one by one. Stir in the molasses and fruit mixture, then add the flour and ground ginger. Mix well.
Pour into a large loaf pan which has been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees for 1–1 ½ hours. Cool on a wire rack. Gingerbread keeps well in an airtight tin.