Melt margarine, add honey, cinnamon and cloves, lemon zest (all ingredients from Group A) in a huge pot. Let this mixture cool; mix well. Chill, but do not put in the fridge overnight as the mixture would harden. If this is the case, warm it on the stove and let the mixture cool again.
Your mixture will be a dark golden brown colour.
You definitely want your mixture cool to prevent scrambling your eggs!
Add the beaten eggs to the pot.
Dissolve the Hirschhornsaltz (Ammonium Carbonate) and Pottasche (Potassium Carbonate) in 3 to 4 tsps of water. (Do not breathe directly. The mixture will be stinky from the reaction of the ammonium carbonate.)
Add directly to your pot.
Add flour, one cup at a time, in your pot. Knead to stiff dough consistency. It must be well mixed to avoid lumps. When it becomes almost impossible to stir with a wooden spoon, go to step 5.
Dust a little flour to the bottom of a large mixing bowl (a 5 to 6 quart bowl would work). Transfer your dough batter over.
Fold half of your lebkuchen dough over to one side, lightly dust some flour (but not too much at once — do not dump your flour) and continue kneading it. Alternate folding the other half of the dough batter and continue dusting and kneading. Keep dusting flour and kneading the dough on alternate half-sides until the dough batter stops being too sticky to the touch.
Cover your lebkuchen dough with cling wrap. Let the lebkuchen dough rest for 2 to 4 days. Once the dough (flat on top) has domed between 3 to 4 days, the dough is ready.
When your lebkuchen dough is ready to be rolled out to 1/8″ to 1/4″ thickness, use your favourite cookie cutters to cut them out. Make sure to place the same sized cookies on the same baking or cookie sheets as baking times would vary by the size of each cookie dough cut-out.
Preheat 350°F oven (my oven was set to 340°F since mine is an electric fan convection oven) Note: You do not want to over-cook your cookies; the bottom of the cookie should be slightly golden brown, but the top of your cookie would not be golden brown.
– mini cookies take about 6 to 7 minutes to finish baking.
– 1.5 inch gingerbread men and stars took 8 minutes to cook.
– 3 inch cookies took about 9 to 10 minutes to cook. After baking them, be sure to leave them on the cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring them to cool on cookie racks — your cookie will continue ‘baking’ slightly on the sheet.