We've gathered the ingredients needed for the gingerbread dough recipe, so we're ready to roll. First step: Mix up a batch or two of dough. Scoop dough into plastic bags, seal the bags and refrigerate for a few hours or (better) overnight.
Meanwhile, get busy preparing your pattern. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I either grab a free house plan from the web (see the easy-to-use Bob Vila gingerbread patterns here) or spend a couple hours measuring, drawing and double-checking an idea I've developed myself. Use the backside of a cereal box for your pattern. It's the right thickness and pretty easy to tape together for a quick check before cutting the gingerbread ... the point of no return!
Once the pattern's done, go for it! Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit a while to get closer to room temperature. It should not crack when you roll it and if it does, work the dough in your hands to get it a bit warmer. I like to roll dough on a piece of parchment paper. Makes it easy to transfer the piece to a cookie sheet for baking. Or, just roll it directly onto the back of a cookie sheet and you won't have to move it at all.
Next step: Easy windows from melted cough drops!