The Fresh Loaf

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Anyone ever substituted honey for molasses in this recipe?

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gringogigante's picture

Anyone ever substituted honey for molasses in this recipe?

In Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice" on pg. 108, there's a cool looking recipe for Anadama Bread that calls for 6T's of molasses. Honey  I have plenty of..... but the molasses I have is pretty bitter, and we're iced in here. Has anyone ever substituted honey for molasses for this recipe (or any other, I guess)?

MadAboutB8's picture

I made Anadama bread (Reinhart's) with honey and it was fine. The bread tasted nice, beautiful crust and color, and good open crumbs. I never used molasses so I can't really say what the differences are, but honey works fine for me.


gringogigante's picture

Thanks! I've already got the soaker soakin'!

mrfrost's picture

Consider using some of the molasses and honey. Part of the character of molasses is it's bitter note(when tasted straight). Not that you must use molasses, but is it really "Anadama bread" without molasses?


gringogigante's picture

because (according to the story) the bread is named after the old timer that was left with nothing but a few ingredients and made the best of a bad situation.

In this case, the only sweet ingredient I have is honey.....kinda like the fella in the story. :-)

I don't know....maybe I'm stretching a bit. :-)

Yumarma's picture

... is to freeze a few slices of your honey based loaf and later on, make Anadama with molasses when you can get to the store and pick up a bit of less bitter stuff.

Then compare the two side by side and see which one you like best.

I wasn't expecting to like that loaf much when I made it but I was surprised how yummy it was and made it again shortly after.

At the very least, you'll have an excuse to make this tasty bread again. 

Happy baking,

RockyRocket's picture

I recently made a whole wheat bread from Ojakanga's "The Great Scandinavian Baking Book" with honey instead of molasses because I wanted to use what I already had. It was my first time using that recipe & it turned out very nice. I wondered if it might be a little sweeter than intended but we enjoyed it...

BakerBen's picture

The discussion thus far makes me think that molasses has one taste and honey has a different taste.  I am not trying to over simplify but that is what I am hearing. 

The point I think is interesting here is that there are basically six different combinations of mollases - light, dark and black strap and each could be suffered or non-sulfured.  All have their own unique characteristics with regard to both taste and use in baking or cooking.  And when you look at the flavor range of honey it also has an extremely wide gammet - flavors that are dependent on what the bees that produced it were eating.  So the bottom line is when you are using molasses or honey the resulting flavor, and character, of the bread can vary even if one does not substitute honey for molasses or not.

I love to use both in my baking and find for specific bread the flavors can be very nice.


Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I have a recipe on my site for a 100% whole wheat bread at  It was a conversion to sourdough from another recipe.   The original called for molasses.

A number of people who tried it complained that it tasted too salty.  Since then, I've made it with honey and agave nectar.  The overall flavor is very similar, but without the excess salty taste or bitterness.

Asking if one is better than the other is like asking if chocolate, vanilla or coconut ice cream is best.  It's a matter of taste and preference.  And, for that matter, mood.





ehanner's picture


I have made this bread often since I first started baking with a natural starter. It's a great recipe and was the first successful WW loaf I made. Your helpful step by step instructions are what helped me become interested in baking. Thanks!


gringogigante's picture

And here it is........ tastes awesome, btw!

MadAboutB8's picture

I made this too weeks was yummy with the home-made strawbery jam:)