It’s early Saturday morning and there’s a long queue in Central Florida. Kids, millennials, 40-somethings and baby boomers all wait patiently. However, they’re not waiting for the gates to swing open at Disney World. They’re waiting for the doors to open at Born & Bread Bakehouse. They’re waiting for cruffins, croissants, artisan breads, pastries and other assorted sweet goods. They’re waiting to catch a glimpse of Jennifer Smurr and her team crafting excellence.
A Lakelander, lover of all things food and owner of Born & Bread Bakehouse, Jenn bakes honest breads, uses the word quality with emotion and believes in community, because bread is better broken together. Since starting her bakery at the end of 2015, Born and Bread Bakehouse has established a reputation for quality and excellence in breads and pastries.
Jennifer’s Favorite Honey Varietal: Palmetto
As a native Floridian, Jennifer loves this varietal derived from palmetto trees in Florida and South Carolina. These short palm trees bloom April through July and are a good source of nectar for honey bees.
“It’s rich and caramel like. The flavor is strong and pairs well with many breads and pastries and the color is a medium amber.”
What is your favorite product you make using palmetto honey?
“One of our customer favorites is the Milk & Honey cruffin. It’s filled with a vanilla bean cream and drizzled with our house made honey syrup. The syrup is infused with lemon and cardamom. Ooooooof!”
“There is something unexplainably nostalgic in this flavor combo. Unlike what you may think, the honey balances the sweetness of the pastry cream. We rely more on the natural sugar in the syrup than cream, leaving you ultimately wanting more after your last bite. For me, leaving a person satisfied, but not overwhelmed is important. Balance.”
Specific Flavor Profiles
With more than 300 varietals available in the United States, and 3,000 available worldwide, honey allows artisan bread bakers and pastry chefs to use honey both as a sweetener and to impart specific flavor profiles based on the varietal of honey used.
Each varietal of honey has its own unique flavor, color and aroma, all dependent on where honey bees forage for nectar. If you put a hive of honey bees near a field of buckwheat, you’ll get buckwheat honey. Place a hive in a citrus grove and you’ll get orange blossom honey.
This diverse range of honeys gives bakers the ability to express their local terroir through recipe development, or provide a unique flavor component to complement the overall taste of a sweet pastry or hearty loaf.