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Honey from the Pantry


Honey has recently been considered a “substitution” ingredient, an easy way for modern bakers to sidestep refined sugars like corn syrup and granulated sugar. Honey is a complex compound and should be treated as such. Honey adds moisture to recipes, which is one of the biggest differences between it and sugar. Honey contains between 15% and 18% water. This increases the moisture in baked goods. As a rule of thumb, for every 1 cup (336 grams) honey you substitute in a given recipe, subtract 1⁄4 cup (60 grams) liquid (milk, water, etc.). Honey is sweeter than sugar granulated. In fact, honey is roughly twice as sweet, so a recipe that calls for 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar should receive equal sweetness from 1⁄2 cup (170 grams) honey. Honey also bakes faster. Honey’s main sugar, fructose, caramelizes faster than sugar (granulated). A number of the amino acids found in honey speed up caramelization, which makes honey-based baked goods more susceptible to burn. But this doesn’t mean that a recipe made with honey will need less time in the oven. The recipe needs to bake for more time, but the temperature is lower.

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