Honey bees are now an established fact at Bramblestone Farm, and since honey is readily available and granulated sugar is not, the question is – what are the best practices for substituting honey for sugar in baking?
It turns out that you can substitute honey for granulated sugar, and honey absorbs and retains moisture which helps retard drying and staling of baked goods. It also adds a sweet, smooth and distinctive taste that makes many baked goods better when honey is substituted for at least some of the granulated sugar.
When substituting honey, you’re adding a liquid – so the recipe has to be adjusted to accommodate that liquid. The generally recommended rules for substitution are:
You can substitute honey for up to half the granulated sugar in a recipe, but for every cup of honey that’s used; the nonsweet liquid should be reduced by 1/4 cup, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda should be added, and the oven temperature should be lowered by 25°F.
When substituting honey, it’s a good idea to match the type of honey to the type of recipe you’re making. For example, it’s a good idea to use a mildly flavored honey (such as clover) for recipes with delicate flavors and use stronger flavored honeys where you definitely want a distinctive honey flavor.
We’ve found that the above recommendation works well, and that we like many recipes made partially with honey better than those made only with granulated sugar. We’ve also found that with experimentation, it’s possible to replace all the sugar with honey in some recipes. We’re starting to develop a little repertoire of recipes using honey that I’m planning to share here – do you have any honey substitution recipe favorites?