DATE Sunday 19th August
Studio Local’s very first Bread Studies welcomes culinary creative Boris Portnoy of All Are Welcome Bakery with local beekeeper Nic Dowse of Honey Fingers to cast light on the new and exciting concept of Bee Bread. Honeybees are known primarily for their honey however throughout this class Nic will unveil the fascinating uses for fermented pollen and the microbial energy of bees in baking. You will come away from the class with your own bee bread culture and an understanding of how to nurture it from home as well as some very generous gifts. You will learn to mix, knead, shape, ferment and score dough in preparation for baking. Accompanied by a lavish local grazing table in collaboration with All Are Welcome and of course, as always, there will be wine.
A note from Nic & Boris:
‘Bee Bread’ is a celebration and investigation of the intersection between honeybee and human food technologies.
Learn to how to mix and weigh a sourdough loaf and why baker’s percentages, and shaping, are so important when baking bread. Learn about various sourdough cultures and how to feed and maintain these living things. And learn about how we have created a human bread sourdough culture from honeybee ‘bee bread’.
When humans have a surplus of fruits we make jam. We do this by increasing the sugar content and reducing the water content of stewed fruit. We then store this jam in an airtight container and put a lid on it. Honeybees use a similar technology when making honey: they reduce the water content to about 18%. The bees then place a wax lid on the airtight honeycomb cell the honey is stored in. So--honey is kind of like nectar jam. And humans and honeybees use the same tricks.
Most people know about honey-- but may not know that bees also ferment food!
Honeybees and humans both use fermentation to control the rate of decay of foods they want to preserve. Bees use fermentation to control and slow down the rate of decay of pollen. Beekeepers call this bee product ‘Bee Bread’. Bee Bread is pollen that honeybees collect in the field and activate with saliva, gut enzymes, honey and wild yeast in the hive.
We have created a sourdough starter made from the yeasts and microbes in fermented pollen or ‘bee bread’-- we have made human bread using bee bread. This ‘bee bread’ starter will be used to make your own sourdough bread, and is yours to keep, for as long as you keep this ‘mother’ alive.