Honey Bread

Honey bread is not just for the queen who was in her parlour.

The nectar from the honeybee is both delicious and nutritious. As a beekeeper of some 50 years of experience, taught by my grandfather, please indulge me. I have a passion for this subject!

"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,

And live alone in the beeloud glade."


The difference between raw honey and the crap you buy in the supermarket is absolutely vast. Yes, I'll be crude; it's that important to me as a beekeeper.

However, when baking your bread, use supermarket honey. You're going to heat it anyway.

Here's an aside that may interest you; Grandad, what are you teaching the little ones? Mom and Dad don't have enough time, but you do. There's no greater privilege than handing on our love of carpentry, or bees, or gardening, or music to the next generation; the list is endless.

Baking, sewing, making sundials, building a solar array are skills that grandparents can be handing on to the little people; stripping an engine and rebuilding an old classic would be awesome.

The number one complaint of teenagers today is that life is boring; how can that be?

Grandparents can make such a difference to the lives of their little ones. Mine did, and I still bless them for the rich life I enjoy. Their input made all the difference. My parents were far too busy bringing home the bacon; mind you, my mother did try introducing the Philistine to a little poetry, and some of it stuck. That gem by Yeats is a beauty, not so?

It's an awesome privilege to hand on the family traditions to your grand kids be it sailing, or gliding, or just hiking and camping. That's where relationships are built and they learn the value of the great outdoors too.

So, it is time to arise and go now to find a small local beekeeper. In the season you could take your own glass bottles, if he will allow it, and buy a year's stock.

Take him or her a loaf of your honey bread, and you will have a friend for life; yes, there are plenty of lady beekeepers. Anything a man can do, a woman can do just as well; and often better.

Varicose ulcers

Honey keeps because of a very important enzyme that releases small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which kills any bugs. That incidentally is why raw honey is so good for burns, wounds, varicose ulcers, scar formation and tummy troubles.

Raw honey for your baby remains vaguely controversial. Some paediatricians find it the treatment of choice for diarrhoea, but others claim that babies can get botulism from it.

Personally I don't buy into that; botulism is in the soil all around little kids where they probably caught it, and my kids all had raw honey, but you be the judge.

Interestingly, beekeeping is becoming the rage in some countries. Whether it's because of environmental issues, or one of the prime ways to relax or a love of raw honey, some folk are taking to this ancient hobby.

In fact, if you love nature, and aren't afraid of hard work and a few stings, beekeeping makes a wonderful lifetime hobby or profession. You work very hard for about six months, and then have the other half of the year to go fishing! I could just as easily been a professional beekeeper as a chiropractor; and you can make honey bread several times a week, as I do.

Honey bread needs honey and healthy flour

The bread machine is reputedly the most underused appliance in the kitchen. It's time to wipe it down, dust it off and put it to good use. It takes me literally six minutes to make our honeyed loaf, if you include grinding the one hundred percent wholemeal flour.

Loaves of one sort or another are daily on the agenda; more usually our panera bread recipe, which we bake at least five times a week. Often it might be sourdough which is easier to digest if you have gluten intolerance.

Six minutes of your time and another five hours for the yeast to do its thing; don't use a shorter time option. And then you have healthy whole grain bread without the chemicals and extra salt the food companies add to their dough.

Five minutes when I'm doing it, but six when my granddaughter is measuring and adding the ingredients; she's only seven. That's why she already knows about millilitres and cups, and is getting the gram story down.

Could you teach your grandchild to tell the time? It's quite complicated but good practice in counting first up in fives, and then down again.

This is my simple bread machine recipe; it takes literally five or six minutes.

  • One and half teaspoons dried baking yeast
  • 700 ml unrefined and unbleached wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp supermarket honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp powdered or fresh ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 350 ml milk and water mixture

1 cup of flour is 240 ml, which is equal to 8 fluid ounces.

First the dried yeast goes in the bottom of the baking tin; then the flour, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Beat the egg and milk together, and pour the mixture in. Figure the settings and in five hours you have delicious honey bread.

Cinnamon incidentally is immensely healthy stuff. Lots of research showing that it helps reduce the glycemic index of foods, which is quite high in bread; one Danish researcher showed that, together with raw honey, cinnamon enabled disabled people with arthritic joints to be able to walk again within a month, and it lowers the bad cholesterol.

Or, if you have the time and energy for doing it the old fashioned kneading, but immensely rewarding way, here is another recipe.

Baking with yeast and kneading the bread is not for the faint hearted. Having personally done it for years, I would recommend the beginner start with this easy recipe.

  • 4 cups healthy flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup supermarket honey

Oddly, in South Africa, it's the price of electricity that's killing baking in the oven. So I changed to the bread machine, not just because of the time saving, but because I can run it off our solar generator.

Even now I can smell the wonderful aroma of our honey bread drifting up the stairs from the kitchen.

Do it!

  1. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the milk and honey to the eggs and beat them together.
  3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and beat well for at least 15 minutes but preferably 30.
  5. Butter two 8 inch loaf pans and divide the batter between them.
  6. Bake for 40 50 minutes. The honey bread loaves will be puffed and golden when done.

Be a queen and make sure the king gets some of the royal food too.

The king was in his counting house,

counting out his money;

The queen was in her parlour,

eating bread and honey.

Watch out for the blackbirds!

Beekeepers have a good working relationship usually with a local chiropractor. Honey is heavy stuff and most often lifting whilst bending and twisting is what does the back in.

As when lifting pails of honey from the extractor, or supers full of the sticky stuff.

Good chiropractic will sort it out, but an ounce of prevention with exercise and sensible ergonomics makes a lot more sense.

For more about back exercises, sign up for our chiropractic tips, or look in the navigation bar.

Wounds in general, and varicose ulcers on the lower legs in particular, respond very well to a proprietary gel called Melladerm that is largely raw honey.

Honey has the capacity by osmosis, due to its very high flower sugar content, to extract water from the wound and promote healing.

Remember, if you are going to eat honey regularly, and you should but in small quantities, then find a local beekeeper and ask for the raw, unheated stuff straight from the drum. The taste alone will tell you the difference.

Why should we enjoy it only in small quantities? Because refined bread flour has a high glycemic index.

Do you know what that is? You should if you have a weight problem. Understanding glycemic index is the simpler way to get your weight under control. There is no easy way; if your BMI is over 35 then I'm afraid you have to cut out honey bread completely. Otherwise death will be knocking at the door; literally.

Healthy flour

The bread machine certainly makes baking honey bread a cinch, and it's good healthy food. But if you want to step to the next level of baking, then you really need healthy flour and that's more schlep; a little more, but some expense as it means purchasing your own wheat grinder, and they're not cheap. $200 and up, and if you want fine healthy flour, then it's best to buy the best. My Havo is twenty years old and perfect, and used almost every day.

Don't be fooled by the "wholemeal flour" in the supermarket. Millers are allowed to remove up to 40 percent of the bran and germ, the best part, and still describe it as whole grain.

Look for 100% wholemeal flour, or grind your own.

How to start beekeeping

If you want good quality honey, and one of the finest escapes from the stresses of life, then how to start beekeeping should be one of the items in the to do jar. Live in beeloud glade!

Then you can enjoy the wonders of honey bread every day.

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

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Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.