Sweeteners Used in Bread Making
Sweeteners feed the yeast and give character to the finished loaf of bread. The amount of sweetening used in a bread will determine how much of a rich brown color you will achieve. Sugar also helps delay the bread from becoming stale because it attracts moisture. However, too much sugar can cause the dough to over-rise and then collapse. Do not substitute confectioners (powdered) sugar unless indicated in the recipe. Artificial sweeteners cannot be used as a substitute for sugar as the yeast will not react properly with them.
Refined white sugar, most commonly used in bread recipes, enhances the action of the yeast. Too much sugar, however, slows down yeast and reduces bread volume.
This is granulated sugar processed with molasses. Light brown sugar has less molasses flavor and a lighter color, dark brown sugar has more molasses flavor and a darker color. Light and dark brown sugars are interchangeable.
Powdered or confectioners sugar
This is pulverized refined white sugar. It is used when a very fine consistency is needed, such as in frostings and glazes.
A liquid form of sugar produced by bees from flower nectar. Honey can be substituted for molasses in recipes, but should never be substituted for granulated or brown sugar in bread recipes, since honey is a liquid ingredient.
A thick brown syrup made from the juices of refined sugarcane. The flavor has been concentrated, or boiled down, to produce a rich, heavy, sweet flavor. Light and dark varieties of molasses are available and are interchangeable.
A natural syrup refined from the sap of maple trees, maple syrup can add a distinctive, caramel-maple flavor to breads. It can be used in place of honey or molasses, but it will produce a more delicate sweet flavor.