Help The Honeybee Spelt Sourdough Pancakes

Help The Honeybee Spelt Sourdough Pancakes

Taken from Food For Thought: Changing The World One Bite at a Time by Vanessa Kimbell, founder of The Sourdough School  Every year, I find some local honey for the children to give to their father, and rather like Pooh Bear, he stashes it away. I get him to share it on Sunday mornings though, because honey is perfect for drizzling on pancakes.

Using honey also makes me think about the effort that local beekeepers put into looking after their hives. But our bees are in trouble; and if the bees are, then so are we. We need bees: it’s estimated that they pollinate as much as 30 per cent of humanity’s food crops, everything from figs, apples and avocados through to broccoli, onions and pumpkins and berries,
nuts and spices. The sudden decline in their numbers seems to be caused by two factors: contamination of the pollen on which the bees feed by pesticides and fungicides; and then pests and parasites such as aethina, verroa and nosema attacking weakened bee populations. What we know is that if we lose our bees, we will lose a lot more than just honey: we will lose
much of the world’s food.

So here are five things you can do to help the honeybee. Let a corner of your garden go wild: weeds are often a food source for bees. Plant more bee-friendly flowers and herbs: the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) publishes a list that you can find online. Don’t use chemical sprays in your garden because they get carried back to the hive in pollen. Provide fresh water in a shallow container with some stones for bees to land on: bees need to drink. And find a local beekeeper who sells natural honey and buy two jars: one for you and one for a friend.


250g unrefreshed 1-week-old sourdough starter (you can find all the information you need to get going here on The Sourdough School's website)
2 medium eggs
75g caster sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon sea salt
175ml whole milk
200g spelt flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
honey, soured cream and sliced
bananas, to serve

1. Put the sourdough starter, eggs, sugar, mixed
spice, salt and milk in a mixing bowl and whisk
2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cream
of tartar together into the sourdough mixture,
stirring as you do so, just enough for the
ingredients to be mixed to a consistent batter
with no lumps.
3. Heat a little of the oil in a heavy-based frying
pan over a medium heat for about 1 minute:
not too hot. Add a ladleful of the batter to the
centre of the pan and cook for about 1 minute.
4. Once the bottom is cooked to a light golden
colour, flip the pancake over with a spatula and
cook the other side. Watch what you are doing,
as pancakes can burn really quickly. Transfer
to a warm plate, covered with a clean tea towel,
and continue to cook the remaining mixture in
the same way, using the remaining oil to keep
the pan lightly greased. Serve warm, drizzled
with honey and soured cream, and topped with
sliced bananas.