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Reducing sugar in baking recipes is a great way to keep yourself and your family healthy while satiating their cravings. While bread normally contains less sugar already, you can still reduce sugar or replace sugar with more natural options. It is not easy to reduce sugar in recipes but it is not impossible. I’ll help you in reducing sugar in your quick bread.
Bread usually contains less sugar, to begin with. Some bread recipes don’t even contain sugar at all. However, you need to note that there will be changes if you are reducing sugar in your bread. Some bread will even lose its lovely golden brown color.
But that won’t be a problem with a quick bread. Learn everything you need to know about sugar intake, the effects of added sugar, and how can you reduce the sugar in a quick bread.
Why add sugar to baked goods?
Adding more sugar to your baked goods doesn’t only make them sweet but also affects their texture, color, moisture, and flavors. When your recipe calls for too much sugar and you are planning to use less sugar, you need to prepare for the changes. Here are what sugar adds to baked goods.
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To make some baked goods, the creaming method is necessary. Creaming granulated sugar, egg yolks, egg whites, and eggs or fats like butter or oil, is important in doughs and batters. It makes baked goods rise or puff up.
When you use less sugar, the amount of air will also be reduced resulting in less puffy snacks.
When sugar melts during baking, it gives your treats their delicious golden brown color and flavor. Most recipe calls for sugar to help with the browning. If you are decreasing the amount of sugar in the baking recipes, don’t expect the golden brown color on your freshly-baked bread.
Brown sugar, white sugar, confectioners sugar, and other types of sugar aid in the fermentation of the bread. It helps bread rise. If you are reducing sugar, bread might not reach its maximum size and volume.
Sugar is responsible for keeping baked goods moist and soft. Hence, brown sugar will extend the shelf life of your bread and keep them from getting stale.
If you are baking with less sugar, check for the bread’s doneness earlier to avoid overbaking.
The more sugar you add, the more your bread spreads. You need to keep the ratios of your ingredients proportional to not affect the spreading. Use percentage math to help with your calculations.
Why is quick bread a good choice for sugar reduction?
Quick breads are perfect for reducing sugar. This is because they stay inside the oven to bake longer compared to other bread with yeast. Hence, the browning of your quick bread is not an issue.
Also, you transfer the dough or batter to a baking pan. So you won’t have to worry about spreading while baking inside the oven.
Added sugar also doesn’t affect fermentation or rising of the dough or batter in a quick bread. The chemical reaction will happen because of baking powder and baking soda. It rises inside the oven and doesn’t need time to rest like a yeast bread.
And if you have leftovers, you can wrap them and store them in the fridge or freezer.
You can cut your sugar intake by baking in quick bread, no-bake bars, or some cookie recipe, without any problems or worries.
How much sugar you can reduce?
You can start by reducing sugar content by about 10% to 15%. If it is still too sweet for your taste buds, you can continue to adjust sugar up to 1/3 of the total sugar content.
In general, you can reduce sugar up to 1/3 of the sugar content the baking recipe calls for without affecting the bread too much. Cutting sugar more than that will affect the baked goods’ texture and flavor.
For fruit desserts such as pies or galettes, sugar is used to add sweetness, not for keeping them moist. If the fruit dessert has too much sugar, you can reduce the amount of sugar up to 1/4 cup of sugar without many effects.
How to reduce sugar in baking quick breads
There is no need to skip your snacks and treats. You can satiate your sweet tooth and cravings when you reduce sugar in recipes. To help you cut the amount of sugar in your quick bread and baked goods, I list down a few tips and tricks.
- The easiest way to reduce added sugar in baking is to use fresh fruit or fruit juice. This is very practical if you are making grapefruit pound cake, quick breads, and cakes. Fresh fruit and fruit juice will add sugar and flavor to the baked good.
- Add naturally sweet spices such as cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice while cutting the sugar in your baked sweet treats.
- You can also use sugar substitutes such as maple syrup, pancake syrup, agave syrup, honey (natural sweeteners), demerara, brown sugar, etc. These alternatives are tasty and sweet. But remember, using liquid sugar substitutes like maple syrup, adjust the wet ingredients to avoid too wet dough or batter.
When reducing or replacing sugar, the sweetness of your pastry cream, chocolate chip cookies, quick bread, and other baked goods is the least of your priorities. You need to note the changes it will give to your sweet treats.
But you don’t have to be scared of adjusting the sugar based on your taste, preferences, and health conditions. Trying something new and experimenting with ingredients is what makes baking fun and exciting.