The National Honey Board recently welcomed 18 of the most influential bakers in the United States to its 9th annual Honey Baking Summit in Providence, Rhode Island. At the event, attendees received a comprehensive education on honey, honey bees and how to craft exceptional breads and pastries with honey.
Here’s a list of the top things we talked and learned about at our annual Honey Baking Summit.
1. Honey offers more than sweetness in baking. This is one of the most surprising things to convey to bakers and consumers about using the all-natural ingredient in baking. Although honey adds sweetness to breads and baked goods, the all-natural ingredient also extends the shelf life of baked goods, naturally coats, binds and thickens products, contributes natural color and so much more!
2. We love honey, and so do consumers. Consumer preferences and expectations for clean label products continue to drive innovation in the food industry, and it starts with ingredients. Kerry Group, a global flavor company, conducted a survey of more than 760 American consumers in the United States to understand their sweetener preferences, and honey was recognized as the #1 preference. You can learn more about the study and download the white paper here!
3. There is a honey varietal for everyone. Did you know there are more than 300 different varietals of honey in the United States? Each honey offers unique colors, flavors and viscosities based on the flowers bees forage for nectar. For this year’s summit, bakers tasted honeys from around the world, including lavender, blackberry, sage and meadowfoam honey. While tasting flights of honey, you could see the bakers reformulating recipes in their heads, developing ideas about how to maximize honey’s unique flavor in bakery foods!
4. You’ll always leave Providence with a full heart and stomach! This was our sixth year hosting the Honey Baking Summit in Providence, and the city never fails to amaze us. From its historic feel to its beautiful river walkways to streets filled with boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. On the last day of the Summit, attendees tasted their way through countless variations of honey brioche, honey seven-grain bread, honey pan forte, honey granola and more!
It always a pleasure to get to work with such influential members of the baking industry; we always come out of each summit just as inspired as our attendees (if not more so). Be sure to check out your local bakery for delicious made-with-honey goodies.