Put the sugar, syrup, treacle, water and spices into a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil stirring continuously.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until its melted.
Gradually add the flour a couple of tablespoons at a time stirring as you go until you have a smooth dough. You can add more flour if it looks and feels very sticky.
Knead the dough until it's in a smooth round ball then wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180ºC / 160ºC Fan / 350 F / Gas 4
Cut or mould the gingerbread dough into your desired shapes and transfer to a lined baking tray leaving a 1/2cm gap in between each biscuit. You will likely have to bake in batches.
Bake for approximately 8 minutes for smaller biscuits and 12-14 minutes for larger biscuits (houses, gingerbread men)
Biscuits are baked when the edges are starting to brown slightly. They will still feel soft to the touch but will harden as they cool.
Leave the biscuits on the baking tray for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
Leave until completely cool before you decorate.