September is National Honey Month, and bakeries everywhere will be celebrating this natural sweetener. Honey has a diverse range of varietals, with over 300 available in the United State and over 3,000 worldwide.

Artisan bread bakers and pastry chefs can use honey both as a sweetener and to impart specific flavor profiles based on the varietal of honey used. It gives them 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.

Several of these retail and wholesale bakers are working with the National Honey Board during September to promote honey and the importance of honey bees to our ecosystem. Each participating bakery will feature specially-made honey products over the course of the month to showcase the all-natural sweetener's versatility. Products such as breads, rolls, pastries, pies, and much more will be highlighted.

“Honey has always been a part of people’s morning routines through its use to enhance a cup of hot tea or top an English muffin,” says Catherine Barry, National Honey Board’s director of marketing. “This National Honey Month, we’re celebrating how honey is the perfect way to start the day, whether it’s topping a piece of toast or included in the formulation of a honey granola or honey muffin.”

Bakeries participating in the event include:

  • Born & Bread Bakehouse, Lakeland, Florida
  • Gracious Bakery, New Orleans
  • Floriole Café and Bakery, Chicago
  • Back in the Day Bakery, Savannah, Georgia
  • Baker Miller, Chicago
  • Companion Bakery, St. Louis
  • Cornerstone Baking, Indianapolis
  • Good Cakes & Bakes, Detroit
  • La Baguette Magique, West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Little Tart Bakeshop, Atlanta
  • Essen Bakery, Philadelphia

Born & Bread Bakehouse in Lakeland, Florida is offering sausage and hot honey biscuits, milk and honey cruffins, and caramel macchiato cruffins made with honey. La Baguette Magique in West Chester, Pennsylvania will have several breads flavored with honey, such as multigrain and French sourdough.

Other bakeries across the country celebrate honey in unique ways. As part of the lead-up to the Jewish High Holiday of Rosh Hashanah, New York City’s Breads Bakery is going above and beyond to sweeten its products. The bakery has installed hives on its Manhattan rooftop to create its own honey that will be used in its baked goods.

Andrew’s Honey in New York City helped to install the hives and train staffers in beekeeping. Breads Bakery expects that each hive could produce 60kg of honey over the season, providing a new level of authenticity to a variety of products.

Breads co-founder Gadi Peleg says that the bakery harvesting its own honey feels more in line with the spirit of Rosh Hashanah. “It’s nothing short of a miracle how these bees work together, communicate, defend their hive, and survive through difficult times. To me, it’s much closer to what the tradition is and what it means,” Peleg says.