Better Baking with Honey
Why not try baking with honey this month? Irish Soda Bread, a traditional favorite around St. Patrick’s Day, lends itself beautifully to the benefits of baking with honey. Plus, because it is easy and quick to make—you can make it on a whim and eat it almost as quickly. A fresh, hot loaf takes only a little over one hour.
The basic soda bread recipe lends itself to different variations and additions, because it is so forgiving. You can change this classic to your own preferences by using different types of flour, sea salt, grated cheeses, or even garlic.
While tasty on its own with a pat of Irish butter, it pairs equally well with a hearty soup or stew for a satisfying dinner. Toast a slice the next day and spread with jam for a delicious breakfast.
And, the best part is that you will be baking it with delicious and beneficial honey instead of white, refined sugar. Baking with honey has many benefits including imbuing your baked goods with a lovely golden color and a crisp crust. It helps to enhance flavors and contributes to a satisfying crumb texture. Honey also aids in keeping baked goods moist and prolonging shelf life by inhibiting bacterial growth.
Honey is a versatile ingredient and easy adaptable to most baking recipes. When adding in a liquid sweetener like honey, you need to compensate for the additional moisture and remove liquid from other ingredients. Just decrease the water or other liquid by ¼ cup for every cup of honey used. If your recipe uses one cup of sugar, you need to use one cup of honey. Remember that for every cup of sugar used, increase the baking soda by ½ teaspoon to counteract the acidity of the honey and to allow your baked goods to rise properly. The final tip to remember is that honey bakes faster than sugar so lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent overbrowning.
Honey Irish Soda Bread Recipe
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 c buttermilk
1/3 c butter
1 tbl caraway seeds (optional)
1/2 c raisins
- Stir together the flour, baking soda and caraway seeds in large bowl
- Cut in butter using a pastry blender or knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
- Mix in raisins
- Add buttermilk and Bee America Orange Blossom Honey to flour mixture and gently stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a soft dough
- Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface to knead until smooth (no more than 2 minutes)
- Shape the dough into a round ball and gently flatten onto a baking sheet topped with parchment
- Brush the top of the ball with additional buttermilk and cut an "X" in the top with a sharp knife
- Bake at 375° F for 40 to 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and crusty
If the dough is too dry, add a little more buttermilk
If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour