Monday, April 8, 2013

3 Tips on How to Use Honey Instead of Sugar

While honey and sugar have similar caloric content, honey has a lower glycemic index, more nutrients, and is considerably less processed. In addition, honey is sweeter than sugar, so the amount of honey required is less than you would use for sugar. For those who want to minimize their intake of processed foods, honey is the better bet, and raw honey is the best option. However, substituting honey for sugar in baking recipes does present a few challenges.
If you'd like to do some baking using honey in the place of sugar, you're probably wondering how to make the substitution, what amount to use, and what other alterations you need to make to your recipe to get the desired result.
The good news is there are only some minor changes to be made in order to pull off successful baking with honey. The resulting baked goods will look and taste just as good-if not better-than the same recipes made with ordinary sugar.
Below are three important tips you will need to follow if you plan on baking with honey:
1. Use Less Honey
Since honey is much sweeter than ordinary sugar, less is needed to get the same effect. I recommend using 2/3 of the amount of honey as you would sugar; so if your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar use 2/3 cup of honey in its place.
2. Reduce Liquids
Honey contains water, and if the amount of liquid in the recipe is not adjusted the final result will suffer. I have found that using 80% (or 4/5) of the liquid works out well, and sometimes I add a little extra flour of baking soda as well. This will ensure that your confections will rise correctly. Honey comes with the added benefit of keeping your cakes fresh and moist longer as well.
3. Adjust Your Oven Temperature
Breads and cakes made with honey will usually turn out better looking than those made with sugar. This is because the honey allows them to brown more easily and develop beautiful color. You will want to lower the oven temperature a bit to avoid over browning. If your recipe calls for 375 degrees, knock it down to 350.
Choosing Honey For Baking
For best results with baking choose a clear, mild honey like blossom. The clearer your honey is the better, since clear honey is more neutral in flavor, and will not overpower the other flavors in your recipe.
Working with Honey
There are a couple little things you can do to make the honey to sugar conversion easier. Start by greasing your spoons and measuring cups with a bit of butter to prevent sticking. Another option is to heat your utensils with hot water. This will also keep you from wasting honey!
With these simple tips you can create delicious baked goods without using processed sugar. Once you make a recipe with honey you will see just how easy it is, and you will never have to go back to using regular sugar again.
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