14 September 2007

More Flavor

I've given myself a break on leavening agents for baking, but I'm trying to stick to the 100-mile diet for other ingredients.

This means substituting local honey for sugar. The Joy of Cooking advises:
As honey has greater sweetening power than sugar, we prefer to substitute 1 cup honey for 1 & 1/4 cups sugar and to reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.

I don't calculate my changes with much precision. I just use a little less honey and often forget to compensate for its liquid nature. For my loaves of white sandwich bread and rounds of herb foccacia, honey has turned out to be an easy swap.

Corn bread was a different story. "This smells yucky," said my 3 yo daughter as she stirred the batter. I smelled. The scent of olive oil and honey were strong, much more so than the generic vegetable oil and sugar I would normally use. (I also used local butter to grease the pan, rather than Crisco.)

But when I served the cornbread at dinner, it was liked by all. Once I mentioned using honey as the sweetener, my husband and son said they could taste it -- in a good way. The olive oil blended in to the point of being undetectable. (There's no good reason to use this more expensive oil. I was just trying to follow my own rules -- and I made an exception for olive oil, not any oil.)

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