Honey for bread

Delicious thixotropic blackberry honey from the Smoky Mountains.

I always use honey — and only honey — when I make bread (dinner rolls or slicing loaves — any kind of normal bread except baguettes*). Though not essential to bread-making, honey is important because it rounds out or deepens the flavour (on the rare occasion when I’ve forgotten to put the honey in, the bread retains loft and a nice texture, but I miss it all the same). The wholesomeness of bees’ food is well expressed by Hattie Ellis when she says:

‘Yes, honey is sugar — natural glucose and fructose, but sugar nonetheless. But it also contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and beneficial enzymes. …When people object that honey is “just sugar”, it is worth considering how [little] of it is used.’

*According to the French — and they should know — baguettes should contain only four ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt.