Friday, November 20, 2015

The Use of Honey in Home Cooking (1934)

As the holiday season approaches, thoughts of big baking sessions bubble to the surface even in households where baking is not a regular activity. As many folk, for all sorts of reasons, prefer honey as their sweetening agent, I though some information from a small booklet produced by the Dominion Experimental Farms (Bee Division) of the Ottowa Depatment of Agriculture in 1934 might be useful. The book is entitled Honey and Some of The Ways it May Be Used, and the section called The Use of Honey in Home Cooking contains advice as to the adaptations needed if it is desired to substitute it for sugar.  

“Honey may be used in home cooking as a substitute for sugar or molasses with delightful results, provided certain general rules are closely adhered to. Perhaps the chief advantage of using honey, especially in cakes, cookies, etc. is that they will remain moist for a much longer time than if sugar alone is used; bread, cakes, cookies, etc., in which honey is used in place of sugar will keep moist for long periods of time without any deterioration of flavour; in fact, the latter usually improves with a reasonable length of storage. A direct substitution of all honey for sugar may he made in cases where the amount of sweetening material is small, such as in muffins, bread, etc. In cakes, cookies, pies, etc.where greater sweetening is necessary, other things must be taken into consideration when using honey. Honey and sugar differ in their chemical composition. Sugar is a straight sweet containing no moisture or acid, while honey consists of different types of sugar in solution with water, and contains a certain degree of acidity. The following rules are based on experimental work that has been done with honey in cooked food-, and by following these general rules any recipe may be adapted to the use of honey: —"

1. Measure honey always in the liquid form. If it is granulated, heat over
warm water until liquid.

2. For every cup of honey used, reduce the liquid called for in the recipe
by one-fifth.

3. One cup of honey is as great in sweetening power as one cup of sugar.

4. Use ¼ to ½ teaspoon of soda to each cup of honey.

5. Increase the amount of salt by ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon.

6. When substituting honey for sugar in cake, reduce the liquid of the recipe
by one-fifth and use half honey and half sugar. Fruit cake is an exception to
this rule and all honey may be used.

7. In milk puddings, pie fillings, etc. add the honey with the thickening agent — e.g., flour, cornstarch, etc.

The following recipes have been thoroughly tested and proved by the writer
in the Central Experimental Farm kitchen at Ottawa: — [I have chosen two as the recipes for the day.]

2 cups boiling water                         ½ yeast cake dissolved in
2 tablespoons butter                        ¼ cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons honey                        6 cups sifted flour
2 ½ teaspoons salt

Put honey, butter and salt in a large bowl, pour on boiling water; when lukewarm add dissolved yeast cake and five cups of flour, then stir until thoroughly mixed, using a knife or mixing spoon. Add remaining flour, mix, and turn on a floured board, leaving a clean bowl; knead to mix ingredients until mixture is smooth, elastic to touch and bubbles may be seen under the surface. Some practice is required to knead quickly. Return to bowl, cover with a clean cloth and board or tin cover, let rise overnight in temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. In the morning cut down, toss on board slightly floured, knead to distribute air, shape into loaves or biscuits, place in greased pan, having pans nearly full. Cover, let rise again to double its bulk and bake in a hot oven.
This recipe will make a loaf of bread and a pan of biscuits.

Take six medium-sized, sweet navel oranges (skins only) and put through a meat grinder using the fine knife. To this add an equal quantity of carrot prepared in the same way. To each cup of the above combined ingredients add two cups of water and soak overnight Simmer for two hours, remove from stove and add the grated rind and juice of six lemons. Let stand overnight again and simmer until a good jelly test* is obtained. Then to each cup of the pulp mixture add one cup of honey and ½ cup of sugar, boil to 222 degrees Fahrenheit, let cool slightly, then pour into sterilized jars.

All honey may be used in place of part honey and part sugar, but this makes a sweeter marmalade.

*To make a jelly test and add one tablespoon of alcohol, mix and let stand for a few minutes. A thick jelly like substance will form, if the pulp has had sufficient

Take the juice from the oranges used in making orange and carrot marmalade. To each cup of unstrained juice add one cup of sugar and the grated rind of half an orange and half a lemon tied in a muslin bag. Boil all together at 217 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes. Remove from the stove and add ¾ cup liquid honey and the juice of half a lemon to each cup of unstrained juice used. Pour into sterile bottles and cap at once.

This makes a very delightful drink for children and should be used in the proportion of one to two tablespoons to a glass of cold water.

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