Delicious Recipes with Honey

Recipes for honey wheat bread, chocolate cake, gingerbread and more.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
May/June 1976
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Honey adds delicious, natural sweetness to so many baked goods.
PHOTO: FOTOLIA/FROG 974


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A MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader was inspired to send in even more delicious recipes using honey after reading an article on cooking with the sweet stuff.

Regarding Margaret T. Hasse's article, "The Honey Trip", in MOTHER N0. 37: I think I can help out in some of the areas the author only partially covered.

First, Margaret's whole wheat honey bread recipe is a good one, but I believe the following formula is "better" simply because it [1] requires less work, [2] produces loaves rather than rounds, and [3] yields a higher-rising, lighter dough.

Whole Wheat Honey Bread

Mix together dry:

12 cups whole wheat flour
1-3/4 cups instant dry milk
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast

Mix together wet:

1/2 cup oil
2 beaten eggs
3 cups warm (110°—115° F) water
1/2 cup honey (dissolve thoroughly)

Add wet mix to dry and stir with a wooden spoon. If you like you can add bran, cornmeal, whole wheat, sesame, kelp, or other "extra" dry ingredients to taste . . . but—if you do—you may have to add up to one cup of additional water also. After the dough is well mixed, stir it a bit every ten minutes or so for an hour. (Don't worry if you forget once or twice . . . it won't hurt the bread.) Then knead slightly, just until the dough becomes elastic. Shape the sponge into two large loaves and one small one, and place it in greased bread pans. Let rise 1 hour, then bake at 370° F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F, and bake for 30 more minutes.

Margaret mentions that she's never tried making whole wheat honey cake, so I thought I'd pass on my recipe for that dessert too. The basic formula is for chocolate-flavored cake, and it can be varied somewhat to produce a good many other treats as well.

Honey Chocolate Cake

Mix with a fork in an ungreased 8" X 8" square cake pan:

1-1/2 cups flour (whole wheat or white)
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda

Add and mix:

2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar
6 tablespoons oil
3/4 cup water

Combine the ingredients well with the fork, and then bake them (in the same pan you used for mixing) at 350° F for 45 minutes. If you'd like to make a layer cake, increase each ingredient by 50%, and bake in two 8" layer pans.

Honey Spice Cake

Mix with a fork in an ungreased 8" X 8" square cake pan:

1-1/2 cups whole wheat (or white) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
dash of ginger
dash of nutmeg
dash of cloves

Add and mix:

2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons oil
3/4 cup water

Mix ingredients well, and bake at 350° F for 45 minutes. You may want to increase or decrease the spices used in subsequent batches, to suit your own family's tastes.

Applesauce Cake

Use spice cake recipe, with the following variations: Add 1 cup applesauce to wet ingredients and decrease amount of water to 1/2 cup. Use 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of cloves instead of the spices called for in the original formula. You may want to stir in a few raisins too.

Banana Cake

This is also a variation of the spice cake recipe. Add 1 cup mashed banana to wet ingredients, and decrease the amount of water to 2/3 cup. You may also want to cut back on certain spices (or even delete some altogether) according to your tastes.

Honey Gingerbread

Mix with a fork in an ungreased 8" X 8" square cake pan:

1-1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour (whole wheat or white)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons ginger

Add and mix:

3/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vinegar
6 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Combine ingredients thoroughly, and bake at 370° F for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut, and enjoy!

So there you have 'em, MOTHER: My own recipes for using nature's finest sweetener in everyday baking. Remember, all the cakes can be mixed right in the same pan they'll be baked in (unless, of course, you want to make an 8" layer cake by increasing the ingredient amounts by 50%. Then you have to use a separate bowl and pour an equal amount of batter into each layer pan.)

Happy bread and cake eating!

L. R.
Washington


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