Tag Archives: Sainsbury’s blogger network

Sainsbury’s Golden Multiseed Bread Mix


This post was made possible by Sainsbury’s, who sent me a pack of their Golden Multiseed Bread Mix to try. The opinions in the post are, as ever, mine, and the review is honest.

 

They say you should always start with a positive. I do have lots of positive things to say about this product, but I think it’s important to come right out and be honest up front.

I don’t use a lot of bread mixes.

There, I said it.

I feel like they don’t really reduce the amount of work you do, and you may as well go ahead and make a loaf from absolute scratch. However, I will concede that with a seeded loaf, it’s nice not to be weighing and measuring . With this particular mix, the colour of the loaf is really striking, and took a balance of different flours to achieve that but also retain the lovely, soft, good-for-sandwiches texture. So, in those senses, the bread mix does some work for you, and leaves you with only the basics to contend with.

 

 

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The packet comes with instructions, of course, but I felt they could use a little tweaking. So, here is the recipe (copied from the Sainsbury’s website) with my annotations:

 

You will need:

  • 500g Sainsbury’s TTD Golden Multiseed Bread Mix,
  • 320ml Water – Use caution here: I needed less than this. More later.
  • 25g Butter/15ml Olive Oil – I used olive oil

 

To bake by hand:

  • Rub the bread mix with the butter or oil in a bowl with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add the water to form a soft dough

 

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This part is like making scones, though the fat to flour ratio is much lower than in a scone recipe. I think the idea of adding butter or oil is to add moisture, and to enhance the flavour of the finished bread. 

I only added around 270ml water – definitely take heed of the word ‘gradually’ in the instruction. Add a little at a time. 

My dough was soft but also a bit sticky. In making lots of bread I’ve learned that more moisture means a stickier dough, but also means a lighter finished loaf. 

 

  • Knead well on a floured surface for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, then place it back in the bowl, cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave the dough in a warm place for one hour to rise and double in size.

 

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Having wet hands makes it easier to handle the dough without it sticking so much. Oiling your work surface means the dough won’t stick as much, and you won’t dry out the dough by adding extra flour.

I kneaded the dough for a full ten minutes, and it definitely required the full time to be ready. It never got to be completely smooth but it was very stretchy, and formed a taut skin when I shaped it into a ball.

I didn’t have any clingfilm, and simply oiled the bowl, put the dough in, then covered with tea towels. 

 

  • Knead well again on a floured surface for a few minutes, place in a greased 2lb loaf tin. Cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave the dough in a warm place for half an hour to rise again and increase in size. Preheated oven 230oC/450oF/Gas mark 8

 

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I didn’t exactly follow the directions here – I thought that ‘knead well’ was kind of an unfocused instruction, in terms of then getting your well-kneaded (well-kned…?) dough into the right shape for the loaf pan. I tipped the dough onto the surface, then pressed all the air out with my knuckles and palms, until I had a flat rectangle. I then folded the rectangle to fit my loaf pan, pressed gently but firmly so that I didn’t have any pockets of air trapped in the middle, and put into the tin.

Again, I covered with tea towels instead of cling film, and there was no problem with the dough sticking to them. 

I left it to rise for about an hour, since I got caught up doing something else. It suffered no ill effects from this extended rise.

I love the colour of the bread – it almost looks baked already!

 

  • Remove cling film and bake in the top of the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

 

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This was the colour of my loaf after 20 minutes, and it was perfectly baked inside. 230C is a very high temperature to bake something, uncovered, for half an hour. I was concerned that the crust would taste burnt, but my worries were needless. It tasted great. Keep an eye, and a nose, on the baking bread. It is cooked when it is browned on top, and (once you take it out the tin…) sounds hollow when tapped.

 

Thus ends my tale of bread mix baking – it was a success! Something else that I found interesting was that the loaf lasted a week, sitting in a tupperware at room temperature. Freshly baked bread is usually more prone to drying out than shop-bought, but this loaf kept really well. It also sliced beautifully, which is something I have struggled with in home baked bread, and had a soft crust that was spot on for sandwiches.

 

 

What I’m saying is, this bread mix made a gosh-darned fine loaf.

 

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Will I change permanently to bread mixes? No.

 

Would I recommend this one? Yes.

 

You do still have to put in almost as much work, but if you’re a little nervous of bread baking, or you’re not sure about dealing with yeast, this is a great place to start. You get practise in kneading, and you get the satisfaction of seeing your bread dough rise, which I think is still my favourite kitchen magic of all. Also, this bread mix contains no preservatives, colourings, emulsifiers or any of that carry on. In fact, its ingredient list is shorter than your average shop-bought loaf.

 

Plus, just look at that crumb:

 

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Pre-Holiday Champagne and Post-Holiday Disorganisation


So, I’ve been away for the last three weeks – the magic of the internet let me fool you all into thinking I was still here, blogging away diligently AHAHAHAhahahaha… ahem…

I came home with a not-tan (as I expressed in a  recent comment reply, I look like someone’s been dabbing me with a used, used again, wrung out and used again teabag), almost 1000 photos and a sense of confusion regarding what day, time or country it currently is. You may say that the country doesn’t change when you turn your back, but let me tell you that this is exactly what happened to me at the weekend. I was hoist into the air in a metal tube, someone below spun the planet while I was trying to doze and the next thing I knew, I’d lost twelve hours of my life and I was on a different continent. The resulting confusion led to me not being ready with a blog post for this week, despite my best intentions, and so here is a tiny short post to tell you about a rather lovely pre-holiday surprise from Sainsbury’s.

 

As part of the Sainsbury’s Blogger Network, I am sometimes offered some products to try.  When an offer of Sainsbury’s Blanc de Noir Brut popped up in my inbox, I would have been a fool to say no. A fool, I tell you! By and large, I’m not a wine drinker, but now and again everyone likes a wee splash of fizz, don’t they?

 

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It arrived soon afterwards, wrapped in some lovely orange paper that made for an excellent background when I wanted to take a quick photo.

 

The night before we flew off on our three week extravaganza, we sat down to enjoy a glass or two, by way of starting the holiday off in good style. I couldn’t resist fancying it up just a little, and served it with strawberries and a sprinkling of sugar, in a martini glass.

 

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A quick swirl after pouring distributes the granulated sugar round the inside of the glass, the strawberry adds a summery elegance and the remaining sugar at the bottom of the glass sweetens every sip. A sugar cube would be a more classic addition, soaked in bitters for preference, but you have to work with what you’ve got, you know?

 

The champagne would have been perfectly pleasant on its own, of course – it has a light, dry flavour with that classic ‘biscuity’ aftertaste (the G-man educated me on this term). The bubbles, as you can see, are fine and delicate. I’m not the only person who enjoyed this particular fizz, either – in 2009 it was voted second place in a Which? blind taste test, beating Moet & Chandon Brut and 12 others. Impressive for an own-brand product, no?

 

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Thank you Sainsbury’s for the pre-flight treat – it was beautifully timed, and started us off on the right foot.

If you’d like to see what else I’ve been lucky enough to snag, check out my flavoured sugar recipes plum and lavender jam and dairy free rice pudding gelato.

 

Sainsbury’s sent me this champagne free of charge, but did not ask me to write a review, and the opinions in this post are my own. 


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