Reducing sugar in baked goods is often a convenient way to save calories. If you run a bakery, you know how popular low-calorie desserts are — they help customers rationalize their purchase and drive more revenue for your shop.
How can you work at reducing sugar without sacrificing the quality that has made you and your customers fall in love with your baked goods?
It starts with understanding why sugar adds so much goodness in the first place.
The Purpose of Sugar
Sugar is obviously sweet and makes many foods taste better. But sugar does a lot more than just sweeten — it affects the overall quality of the finished product because it adds moisture. It activates yeast, delivers smooth texture, prevents products from drying out and crumbling and makes baked goods last longer.
If you think reducing sugar will only affect the sweetness level, you’re wrong! It takes practice to make sure you don’t make your desserts unpalatable in your quest for a lower-calorie snack.
As a rule of thumb, it’s generally possible to cut back on sugar by about one-third before you will start to see drastic effects on the quality and taste of your baked goods. But it’s not a good idea to cut back by this much all at once.
Instead, start slowly by incrementally reducing sugar in your recipes by 5 to 10 percent at a time. Once you start to notice you and your fans aren’t enjoying the recipe quite as much as before, stop.
How to Keep the Sweetness
Now it’s time to work on replacing the lost sweetness with healthier alternatives. You could try adding stevia, maple syrup, honey or agave. You could also substitute spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg often mask a lack of sugar while providing a desirable taste. You can also add fresh or dried fruits like strawberries or blueberries.
How to Protect the Texture
If you take away too much sugar, your cookies will be dry and your muffins will be smaller. What can you add to replace the lost moisture?
First, try cutting out an egg white and adding an egg yolk. While egg whites dry out baked goods, yolks do the opposite.
Also check on the goods sooner when they’re baking. Taking the product out a bit early could help with moisture content.
What We Do
Dough Tech provides high-quality mixing equipment to bakers everywhere, but we also love offering baking tips. Whether you’re working on reducing sugar in your baking or building a new bakery kitchen, we can help.