Sugar substitute in bread, agave.

pmiker

Has anyone tried to use agave syrup in making bread instead of sugar. I've read it works, that you can use 2/3's the amount compared to sugar, that it's low on the glycemic index and would be better for those watching their sugar intake. IT all sounds nice.

BUT, does the bread taste the same, better or worse? My main concern is the quality of the bread.

I'll have to revisit the math on using liquid sweetener vs. dry but I've got that in a book here somewhere. Then I can figure costs.
Mike

badge posted by: pmiker on December 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm in Q & A
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reply by: dachshundlady on December 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm
dachshundlady

I have used it with whole grains and it was just fine. I also incorporated oatmeal and barley to help reduce the glycemic index. but you have to go easy on the barley. It seems to have less gluten than regular wheat. Could be my imagination.

reply by: pmiker on December 12, 2012 at 9:56 pm
pmiker

Soon I will be increasing my experiments with alternate flours that I mill myself. In addition, I plan to play with other ingredients. My DW is hypoglycemic and so I try to create breads that don't mess her up. I've seen an ad for xagave syrup and it got me curious.

I may get some to see how it tastes on it's own. If it has a different taste than sugar then it may lend itself to certain types of flours.

Thanks for the feedback.

reply by: jsraiona on December 13, 2012 at 5:39 am
jsraiona

I have not used agave to bake with,but have used it for sweetening beverages such as iced tea. My wife is diabetic so we do try to keep to items low on the glycemic index. In my baking I have been using Sucanat which is an unprocessed sugar low on the GI. the flavor profile is between white and brown sugars leaning a little more toward the latter. It has done well in my baked goods.

reply by: jsraiona on December 13, 2012 at 5:39 am
jsraiona

I have not used agave to bake with,but have used it for sweetening beverages such as iced tea. My wife is diabetic so we do try to keep to items low on the glycemic index. In my baking I have been using Sucanat which is an unprocessed sugar low on the GI. the flavor profile is between white and brown sugars leaning a little more toward the latter. It has done well in my baked goods.

reply by: Cindy Leigh on December 13, 2012 at 5:45 am
Cindy Leigh

I have used it for a variety of things, but not baking. I find it to be slightly more "floral" than brown sugar, if that makes sense. Fine for tea, BBQ sauce, etc. if you add maple and honey flavorings (Lorann) it's good on pancakes as a stand-in for maple syrup, if you don't like the Splenda stuff.

reply by: MangoChutney - Sandra Too on December 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm
MangoChutney - Sandra Too

An alternative is stevia. I use stevia in glycerol, a different natural low-calorie sweetener, in our morning oatcake which is leavened with baking powder. We like it fine. Right out of the bottle, it tastes a little minty to us. I have read that some people find it bitter, especially if they also find licorice to be bitter. I've never baked bread with stevia because I don't put sweetener in my bread, so I don't know how it would respond to prolonged cooking. Otherwise, I use it in sweet beverages, frozen desserts, and homemade spreads.

reply by: DeliaDee on March 07, 2014 at 10:43 am
DeliaDee

I know this is an old post but I just thought I'd throw this out there for those still interested. I thought I'd play with substituting agave for sugar in chocolate chili yeast rolls. It completely threw off the dry to wet ratio and I had to improvise amounts of the dry ingredients to compensate. The rolls ended up looking questionable but tasting just as yummy as I'd hoped. Basically, it works great but you will probably have to experiment a little depending on what you are baking. Breads are a little more exacting than most desserts in my opinion.

reply by: Mike Nolan on March 07, 2014 at 11:39 am
Mike Nolan

There are many bread recipes that don't call for any kind of sugar or sweetener.
,
Personally, I'm not yet convinced that agave or stevia are either better or safer than cane or beet sugar.

reply by: janiebakes on March 07, 2014 at 12:50 pm
janiebakes

I had wondered about the healthfulness of agave syrup too. I wondered particularly how anything that is 70-90% fructose could raise your blood sugar so little. I went back to my college biochem book and (re)learned that fructose has a different metabolic pathway. It goes directly to the liver where it is converted into triglycerides. Elevated triglycerides can increase your risk of heart disease and lead to metabolic syndrome which can cause insulin resistance. Since diabetics are already prone to heart disease, maybe agave syrup is not a great thing to add to the diet. Of course, the quantities consumed make all the difference.

reply by: frick on March 07, 2014 at 7:46 pm
frick

I read something negative regarding the liver about agave a few months back but it didn't stick in my little brain since my DD uses not very much and us not at all. And yes, it all had to do with how much a person consumed.

reply by: Mike Nolan on March 07, 2014 at 8:02 pm
Mike Nolan

If you google 'agave liver', you'll get a bunch of hits, but I don't know how accurate they are.

reply by: dachshundlady on March 08, 2014 at 6:18 am
dachshundlady

Like frick, I read something bad about agave but can't remember. I don't use it anymore.

reply by: sarahh on March 08, 2014 at 11:06 am
sarahh

I don't think there is anything "magic" about agave in terms of it being better for you than other sugar sources. And I believe it is a highly processed product. Of course, sugar is too, if you really think about it. Unless we are all going to switch to honey. But, in a way, that is processed too, just by bees. Switch to flower nectar? Grow our own sugar cane and squeeze it? Sorry, got off on a silly tangent there. :)
.

I think we are all better off using whatever sweetener we like, but in smaller quantities. And, as someone said, bread really doesn't need any sugar at all, except for taste preferences.

reply by: frick on March 08, 2014 at 2:01 pm
frick

That's right. Then we can load it down with delectable preserves and jams!

reply by: sarahh on March 08, 2014 at 3:42 pm
sarahh

And butter!

reply by: Cymas on May 20, 2014 at 8:29 am
Cymas

I've been using agave in a few things simply because I have a bottle of it that I want to use up. I've used it as a replacement for honey with no issues when making Peter Reinhart's Lavash crackers recipe from the Bread Baker's Apprentice. I find the taste to be on the neutral side given that it's not a main flavor component for what I use it for.

If you're using it in place of straight sugar you will need to adjust your liquid accordingly. Use a bit less water; the amount will vary based on the recipe, the humidity in the environment, etc.