Which came first, wheat or honey?
History celebrates the battlefields whereon we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the plowed fields whereby we thrive. It knows the names of the king’s bastards but cannot tell us the origin of wheat. This is the way of human folly.
Jean Henry Fabre
Its interesting that we cannot really know the origin of two staples of our pantry. Wheat or honey. Both are essential to our baking delicious and rich sweets and both were discovered by us around the same time in history. Give or take thousand years 🙂
Well, technically honey came first, since it existed long before we discovered how to turn wheat into flour. But the truth is honey wasn’t part of our diets for thousands of years until we also added wheat into our food groups.
The earliest evidence of wheat used by humans is around 10000 BC and honey 9ooo BC.
But our ancestors knew that they couldn’t bake bread without adding a little sweetness to it any longer, until they discovered a great way to sweeten it up with honey.
That’s why, by taking a little inspiration from our ancestors, I try to substitute sugar for honey in most of my baking or cooking.
It is not only healthier, but I believe the taste is much richer with honey.
Using natural, organic honey also gives me peace of mind when it comes to eating well. It is not highly processed like sugar, it is naturally found in nature and because of that, it is much easier for our bodies to digest and use as nutrition.
But you have to be careful in substituting sugar for honey when you cook. Unless it has been tested many times, the result might not be as you might expect.
In my journey in substituting sugar for honey, there have been many…many trials and failures until I developed my recipes that can withstand almost any kitchen.
The other day, I really wanted to make something sweet with a very slight hint of tartness. I was thinking cinnamon, honey, lemon and the thing that could bring them all together light and airy cloud bun. I played around for a few hours and tested few batches until I came up with the delicious recipe which is a crossover between sweet bread and cinnamon rolls. They were all gone within 2 hours, devoured by my family. So I decided to share my delicious honey bun recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it.
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp organic honey
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup organicvanilla (unsweetened) almond milk
1/3 cup of honey
1/2 cup of butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of orange flower water
1 tsp of cinnamon
3/4 cups of raisins
5 to 5 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp of butter
1 lemon zest
1 orange zest
First, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of honey in lukewarm water. Make sure its not too hot or too cold. It has to be nice and warm so that yeast really foams.
Sprinkle yeast over the top of the sweet water and set aside for 10-15 minutes to foam. If it didn’t foam, then add a tablespoon of warmer water than you previously added.
In a saucepan, heat the vanilla, almond milk, honey and butter together until everything is nicely dissolved. Pour them into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Set aside to cool.
Beat in the eggs and orange flower water with a hand mixer. Add the yeast mixture slowly.
Separate flower into two halves. Combine one half with raisins and set aside. Slowly mix in the first half of the flour into your mixture. Stir in the second half of the flour with the raisins by hand. That way, dough will be nice and airy.
Take the dough to a nicely floured board and knead for at least 15 minutes. The dough needs to not be too sticky, it should have satiny texture. If its still sticky, go ahead and add 2 table spoons of flour until it gets to that texture. Once the dough gets to the texture you want, go ahead and place the dough into a well greased ball. Cover it with a towel or salaphane wrap.
One of my favorite tips to help the dough rise quickly is to put it in the oven with the oven light on. It gives the dough a perfect temperature to double in size within 1-2 hours. After 2 hours, go ahead and take the dough out of the oven and cut into pieces big enough to make small 3-3 1/2 inch balls.
Place them all in the bowl and cover again with a towel.
Take one ball at a time and make any shape you want out of them. You can use cookie cutters or just leave them as is.
Once you are satisfied the way they look, place them on the cookie sheet and let them rest for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, beat an egg in a small bowl. And brush the little beauties with the egg.
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 40-45 minutes or until golden.
As they are getting baked make the glaze.
Take honey and butter and heat them in a saucepan until well blended. Add the zest and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside to cool.
Once the buns are ready and cool, drizzle them with the icing. Ready to serve.