Tag Archives: Sainsbury’s

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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Sainsbury’s Summer Fruit Punch


This post was made possible by Sainsbury’s, who sent me a bottle of their Summer Fruit Punch to try. The opinions in the post are, as ever, mine, and the review is honest.

 

If you’re a fellow dweller in the UK, you’ll know that our weather is changeable, to speak charitably and say the least. In fact, even if you live in sunnier climes, you probably know about our weather because we do talk about it more often than is sensible. Suffice to say that when Sainsbury’s sent me their Summer Fruit Punch, it was a fool’s errand to wait for the sun to come back out before I tried it. Fool I am, but after a couple of weeks of less than seasonal weather I gave in and mixed up a couple of cocktails to be consumed indoors

 

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The important thing to include in your fruit punch is, unsurprisingly, tons of fruit. The traditional inclusions are strawberries and cucumber, and for the drink on the right I used those plus some fresh mint, and topped the glass up with lemonade. For the drink on the left, I switched it up and used raspberries, orange segments and ginger ale.

 

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The Fruit Punch is sweet, summery and refreshing. It’s not too strong – 17.5% – so you can mix up a jug (or a jug-sized wine glass) without fear of being unable to stumble into the kitchen to pour a second batch.

 

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The bright colours in these drinks did a lot to brighten an otherwise grey afternoon.

 

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You can use any of your favourite fruits to make each pitcher unique – I think peaches, nectarines or blood orange might be particularly fine choices. You could also play with the mixer you used – but I’d encourage you to think fizzy. Maybe a Prosecco cocktail could be on the cards?

 

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To get the most from all the lovely flavours you’re putting in every glass, muddle the fruit up with plenty of ice before you pour in the punch and your mixer. If you like a strong mint flavour, muddle the leaves in, too. If you prefer just a hint, lightly bruise the mint by clapping between your palms, and gently stir in at the end.

 

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Cocktail umbrellas are optional, but recommended.

 

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Sainsbury’s Summer Fruit Punch is available for only £6 a bottle. Sunshine is available only through luck of geography. Some very basic maths will tell you that you’re smarter betting on the punch to bring a ray of light to your day.

 

Thanks, Sainsbury’s!


Sainsbury’s Easter Treats and Book Giveaway


This post was made possible by Sainsbury’s, who sent me some of their Easter range to try. The opinions in the post are, as ever, mine, and the review is honest. 

 

Well, Easter is upon us! The traditional time to consume enough chocolate to kill a horse and watch films on telly in the afternoon. Here’s a glance at some of the treats Sainsbury’s have on sale to round out your Easter weekend:

 

They have a Taste the Difference carrot cake, a bramble and vanilla flavoured rioja, pretty honeycomb decorations (can also double as background in photographs), and Belgian chocolate eggs AND egglets. Egglets! Meep!

You may remember when I was sent a heap of chocolate to try out – the Belgian chocolate in Sainsbury’s eggs is of an equally high quality – sweet and creamy, with a great snap when you crack into it. The praline in the egglets is a little nutty and extremely smooth, a lovely contrast to the crisp milk and white chocolate on the outside. Plus they’re called egglets and I’m pretty stuck on the cuteness of that.

The tea is strong and full of flavour, just the thing to kick start your day. I brewed up a single cup, rather than a pot, and it has a hefty tannic kick to it. I tend to dilute my tea with milk and sugar in a way that would surely curl any true tea enthusiast’s toes, but what can I say? That’s how I roll. Both the tea and chocolate are, admirably, Fair Trade products – many of Sainsbury’s products are now labelled Fair Trade, and you can find out more about this on their website.

As well as this huge stash of presents, Sainsbury’s sent me two books to give away! Yippee! I’ve only ever done one giveaway before so I’ll have to dust off my giveaway skills…

Here is the prize – a great cake decorating book, with recipes for a sponges and icings, loads of instuctions on how to bake, slice, ice and decorate, and three sections of fun and beautiful cake decorating ideas. Here are some pictures to give you a good idea of what to expect:

The book is hardback, and really full to bursting with great ideas and lovely colour photos, showing step by step instructions as well as the end results. It’s a thing of beauty, and I’m excited to send a copy out to two Rock Salt readers!

So, the rules:

  • this giveaway is open to UK residents only. I’m sorry, but it’s a heavy wee book!
  • to enter, either leave a comment on this post, write a tweet mentioning the giveaway and @ThisIsRockSalt, or leave a comment mentioning the giveaway on the Rock Salt Facebook page. Each one of these things counts as one entry, to a maximum of three per entrant
  • the giveaway will be open until Tuesday 29th April, when the winners will be drawn using random.org
  • winners will be contacted and announced on Wednesday 30th April
  • I think that is all

 

Good luck! I look forward to posting one of these beautiful books out to two of you very soon.


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