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Jan 23, 2007 06:48 AM

Blackstrap molasses?

I want to make an oatmeal sandwich bread recipe that calls for "unsulphered molasses." I went to the store and they only had Blackstrap, the ingredient for which read "Unsulphered molasses" so I bought that. I seem to recall recipes usually specifically call for Blackstrap. Can I use the Blackstrap in any recipe that calls for just "molasses"? Am I confused and they are indeed one and the same?

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  1. Blackstrap molasses is a lot more flavorful/potent than regular molasses. If the recipes states regular molasses, I'd stick to that. If blackstrap is all you have... I would try cutting it by 1/2. The taste won't be exactly the same, but it will be close.

    1. As a follow-up question - I've seen lots of recipes specify "not blackstrap". Is it strictly a flavor thing, or are the cooking properties any different? Myself, I am a huge fan of the more complex blackstrap taste, and tend to substitute with abandon. But always with some worry in the back of my head.

      1. Blackstrap is the final residual "tar" left after sugar refining. It's the strongest.

        Unsulfered molasses is less strong, and is boiled sugarcane that is reduced just to yield molasses. "Grandma's" brand is nationally available, I think.

        The same company does Brer Rabbit, which has blackstrap.

        1. Blackstrap molasses is a byproduct of sugar cane processing and is usually sold as cattle feed. It is extremely strong flavored and has long been sold in health food stores.
          There are more refined versions sold in standard groceries which are the products that you can generally use in recipes. Grandma's is a common brand.
          Blackstrap and other types vary in the moisture content so they may effect the outcome in baking especially if you cut back the volume of blackstrap to reduce the strong flavor.

          Molasses is added to refined white sugar to produce light and dark brown sugar for the commercial market. You can do this at home to produce your own brown sugar. You should develop a standard formula to retain consistency in your baked goods as the molasses will affect the moisture content of the sugar and therefore the final outcome of your baked goods.

          1. Speaking from experience (I get to eat what my wife bakes), blackstrap molasses brown bread is very good. I can easily taste it working quite well in an oatmeal bread.

            The difference in moisture content isn't going to affect things much. There are already so many variables in play that have a greater impact, such as the type and brand of flour you use. Experiment fearlessly! As my mother said, "Homemade bread is always better, no matter what happens."