Honey provides a natural sweetness and offers bakers an alternative to white refined sugar and other processed sweeteners. Today’s consumer will appreciate the effort of a baker offering high quality products that taste great, but do not contain large amounts of processed sugars.
Many people think of honey as a drizzle in desserts or a topping for toast. But now more than ever, honey’s being recognized as a versatile ingredient. All-natural honey gives your recipes unbeatable flavor and unmatched functional benefits. From balancing flavors to providing moisture to baked goods, one-ingredient honey performs a slew of tasks, all from one little bottle.
Honey possesses uses that transcend its rich and sweet flavor. The natural traits contained within honey give it high standing among staple ingredients in the retail bakery.
Sweetener: Honey is slightly sweeter than sugar, so less can be used to achieve the same sweetness intensity.
Flavor: Honey not only imparts a unique flavor to any dish, but it also balances and enhances the flavor profiles of other ingredients used in a recipe.
Emulsifier: Honey acts as a binder and thickener for sauces, dressings, marinades and dips.
Humectant: Honey provides and retains moisture to a variety of dishes and can even extend the shelf life of baked goods.
Store honey at room temperature – your kitchen counter or pantry shelf is ideal. Storing honey in the refrigerator accelerates the honey’s crystallization. Crystallization is the natural process of glucose sugar molecules aligning into orderly arrangements known as crystals. It is not an indicator of spoilage, impurity, age or quality.
If your honey crystallizes, simply place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve, or place the honey container into near boiling water that has been removed from the heat:
1. Bring a pan of water to a boil
2. Turn off the heat
3. Place the honey container in the water with cap open
4. Leave until both have cooled
5. Repeat as needed
Substituting for sugar
When you substitute honey for granulated sugar in recipes, begin by substituting honey for up to half of the sugar called for in the recipe.
With experimentation, honey can be substituted for all the sugar in some recipes.
When substituting honey for sugar in baked goods:
- Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used.
- Add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used.
- Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over-browning.
- For easy measuring and clean-up, coat measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray before adding honey.
- A 12-ounce jar of honey equals a standard measuring cup.