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| Words: 735 | Submitted: 20-Apr-2011
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Honey, the world’s oldest sweetener, was the major sweetener until sugar cane was cultivated on a large scale in the New World. In ancient literature honey and honey bees are mentioned with much feeling and gratitude for their bounty.
Many people are looking at honey with interest to use as a cough suppressant or making wound dressings to using as a way to beat allergies or to try in recipes as an alternative to sugar and other sweeteners.
Honey is one of nature’s wonders. Honey has been around for a long time and yet we know little about it. It is nothing more than nectar gathered from the blossoms of many flowers by bees. It is then taken into the beehive and changed by the worker bees. Worker bees remove the liquid from the nectar. The finished product is heavy syrup with 12 to 20 percent moisture and 80 to 85 percent sugar. It is a good source of quick energy for the human body.
Honey comes in many flavors depending on from which flower the bees gather the nectar. Milder flavors of honey include Mesquite and Cotton. Orange honey comes from citrus areas. There are many flavors of wild flower honey. The flavors vary from year to year. Not only are the flavors varied but honey also comes in many different forms. Comb, chunk, fine textured, liquid, and even solid honey that is sometimes called granulated are all forms of honey. In the United States, we are most familiar with liquid and fine textured forms. Liquid and fine textured honey are recommended for baking.
Baking with honey works well with a few helpful techniques. Measuring honey can be a problem because of its thickness. A non-stick cooking spray works best to rectify this problem. Just lightly spray on the cup, spoon, or container being used to measure the honey. Lightly buttering or greasing will also work. Using honey instead of sugar can easily be done by reducing the amount of liquid in your recipe by ¼ cup for each cup of honey that you use. A pinch of salt will help to bring out the sweetness of honey. You will also need to use 1/12 to 1/15 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey you use in addition to the baking powder already in the recipe. This helps to neutralize the acidity of the honey.
An excellent reason to use honey in baking is that goods baked with it are noted for not drying out as easily as those baked using sugar. Honey absorbs and retains moisture. The flavor and moisture retention is best when the baked goods are stored in tightly covered containers ...
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