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I want to make one of my favorite white bread sandwich loaves, but I'm out of sugar. What I do have is honey. How much honey should I use to replace 3 Tbs of granulated sugar? How much should I reduce the water in the recipe to compensate?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've never tried this in baking before, so I did some poking around. Here are a couple of the more helpful articles:


Ask the Experts...About Baking with Honey

These and others seem to agree on a couple major points:

  1. For larger quantities (not applicable here) you'll want to add only about 3/4 the volume of honey in place of sugar. You'll also need to reduce the water in the recipe to compensate.
  2. Lower the baking temp by about 25 degrees; honey seems to accelerate browning.
  3. Add a very small amount of baking soda (1/4 tsp per cup of honey) to compensate for the honey's natural acidity.

Since you have such a small amount, probably only #2 applies here, but you may want to exercise some caution if making a larger batch.

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I did the same poking around and saw the same things. Point 1 is interesting, because honey weighs more than the same volume of sugar. 50% more, to be exact. So, if you measure by weight, you're going to end up with same weight, but 3/4 of volume by using honey. I bake by weight anyway. I imagine the articles say to use less honey for larger amounts just for convenience, honey is a pain to measure volumetricly, I don't think anyone has ever used a spoon and accurately measured honey :) – Jolenealaska May 30 '14 at 19:25
Point 2 probably doesn't apply for this particular loaf, because I use a Pullman/Pain de Mie pan anyway, but it's good to know for other applications. – Jolenealaska May 30 '14 at 19:29
I agree that point 3 is probably totally unnecessary for such a small amount. I use honey in other bread recipes and they never call for soda. Again, it's good to know for other applications. – Jolenealaska May 30 '14 at 19:31
@Jolenealaska For volumetric measurement no matter the stickiness, google "Metric Wonder Cup". Absolutely amazing, works with anything you throw at (in?) it. – logophobe May 30 '14 at 20:13
Yeah, I've got one. I hardly ever use it though, I usually prefer using the scale. Since I don't have all weights memorized, the plunger style measuring devices work well too. I think I last used mine for peanut butter. – Jolenealaska May 30 '14 at 20:28

If it's real honey, not adulterated with corn syrup or anything, then you can probably substitute it 1:1 for sugar- I usually do so with my go-to white bread recipe. It does change the flavor somewhat, but it's an improvement in my taste.

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