I have made gingerbread houses before, but it was all done with kits or cut up graham crackers, fun but leaves little to the imagination. So when the idea came to make a gingerbread village as a surprise Christmas centerpiece for the family dinner, we knew we needed more than those supermarket kits. I needed help in every gingerbread way. I needed a dough recipe that is simple, that doesn't expand, and sturdy for structurally sound buildings. I found it and more in this book - Gingerbread: Things to Make and Bake. The recipe was the only one out of many that do not contain any rising agents, it baked up the same size as the template, and super easy to make. The boring and tedious part was indeed boring and tedious - cutting templates and baking, but the fun part turned out to be super fun! So in the end it was all worth it.