“ Brand: Asda / Type: Mix „
~~~ Introduction ~~~
We go through a lot of bread in our house ... I think everyone does. We also cook a lot of Italian food and I make soup quite often too. A while back my dad brought us round a loaf he had cooked ... it was still warm from the oven and tasted divine. It inspired me to have a go at baking my own bread. I have tried several different recipes and packet mixes with a range of results from "wow" to "what the hell is that?"
One of the "wow" results came from ASDA's Ciabatta Bread Mix ... and it has now become one of those products we now buy on a regular basis. It's easy to make, easy to bake and the results are impressive in terms of both texture and taste.
~~~ ASDA Ciabatta Bread Mix ~~~
This 500g olive green packet of Ciabatta Bread Mix from ASDA is part of the "Wholefoods" range and has the phrase "just add water and olive oil" on the front. To be honest olive oil isn't actually essential as this can be made by just adding water. I have made it both with and without olive oil and the results have both been pleasing !!!
~~~ How to make your own Ciabatta Bread ~~~
ASDA recommends that for the best results you make this bread by hand but it can also be made in a bread making machine. I do not own a bread making machine but to be honest it isn't that difficult to make at all ... and making bread by hand is extremely rewarding too !!!
1) The first thing you do is pour the contents of the packet into a large bowl.
2) Next, you add 350ml of warm water and mix for 5 minutes (by hand or using a food mixer with a dough hook).
3) Then you add 15ml of olive oil and mix for another 5 minutes until a sticky dough is produced.
4) Make the dough into a ball and then cover the bowl with a damp cloth or clingfilm and leave the dough to rise in a warm environment for 45 minutes.
5) After the dough has risen sprinkle flour onto a flat surface and shape the dough into 2 long rectangular loaves or 8 rolls and then place onto a greased baking tray.
6) Then, dust the top with a sprinkle of flour and once again cover with a damp cloth or clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm environment for another 30 minutes (at this stage the bread actually doubles in size !!!)
7) Pre-heat your oven to 220 C / 425 F / Gas Mark 7 and if making two loaves bake for 25-30 minutes. (rolls take around 20 minutes as they are smaller).
8) You'll be able to tell when the loaves are ready as they will look golden brown in colour ... you can also tap the loaves on the bottom and they should sound hollow.
~~~ Something to try ~~~
I often add a generous handful of sun-dried tomatoes to my dough at the mixing stage ... the end results is a loaf (or rolls) that have a lovely Mediterranean feel. Not only do they look very rustic but the taste is pretty good too ;)
~~~ Price ~~~
A 500g packet of ASDA Ciabatta Bread Mix costs JUST 65p. At the moment, however, it is part of ASDA's 2 for £1 offer !
~~~ Ingredients ~~~
Wheat Flour, Salt, Dried Yeast, Malted Barley Flour, Emulsifier (Mono- and Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids), Vegetable Fat, Flour Treatment Agent (Ascorbic Acid).
~~~ Nutritional Information ~~~
Typical Values (per 100g)
* Energy >>> 973kj/229kcal
* Protein >>> 8.8g
* Carbohydrate >>> 44.5g
* Of which sugars >>> 2.6g
* Fat >>> 1.8g
* Of which saturates >>> 0.4g
* Fibre >>> 1.9g
* Sodium >>> 0.19g
* Equivalent as salt >>> 0.5g
~~~ Allergy Advice ~~~
This product does contain gluten, wheat and barley.
~~~ Final Thoughts ~~~
I would highly recommend this bread mix to anyone as it's quick, easy to make and the end results are well worth the effort. If you have never made bread before this would be an ideal starting point as you can't really go wrong !!!
I've been trying to save money on my food shopping bill, and most things I am more than happy to buy the budget brands as I find they're mostly just as good as the expensive ones, however one thing I don't compromise on is bread. I don't know why, but I can no longer eat very cheap bread, so I always buy the premium brands. None of the supermarkets near to me have in-store bakeries any more, the local bakers has shut and although I buy a couple of fresh loaves on my online shopping order, I only shop online once a month, so I have to go to my local shops where it can cost as much as £1.40 for a loaf of Kingsmill.
In a bid to save money, I decided I would try making my own bread. I hadn't done it since school, so wasn't particularly confident about my bread making abilities, but when I saw that you can buy bread packet mixes from ASDA I decided to try one of those first. I purchased a pack of Ciabatta mix, and at just 65p for a pack that would make two loaves or eight rolls, it was certainly cheaper than the stuff I normally go for.
The mix comes in a olive green paper bag, and looks just like a little bag of flour. There are clear instructions on the back of the pack and it can be made either by hand or in a bread machine. It says that the preferred method is by hand, and in the absence of a bread machine, that's the way I made it. The only things you need to supply yourself are water and olive oil.
Making the bread up is very easy. Well perhaps easy isn't the right word, simple would probably be better, because if you don't have a hand mixer with a dough hook, you will find your arms get very tired mixing this!
You tip the mix (which just looks like white flour) into a bowl, add 350ml of warm water and mix for five minutes. As I said, if you have a mixer with a dough hook, then use it, because by hand it can get painful! When you're five minutes are up, then add a tablespoon of olive oil and mix for another five minutes. The dough comes together easily and after the oil has been added it will begin to take on a sort of glossy appearance. It says on the pack that the dough should be very sticky, and that's how it was - a glossy ball of gooey dough.
The next step is to shape into a ball, cover with cling film and leave for 45 minutes. Once this has been done, you need to either shape into two loaves or eight rolls. I chose to make rolls, and you then place them on a greased baking tray and dust with flour. You then need to cover with cling film for another 30 minutes and leave to rise. I forgot how time consuming bread making could be!
Once the bread has doubled in size you can put it in the oven. Loaves take 25-30 min to cook, whereas rolls just take 20.
After 20 minutes I opened the oven, not quite sure what to expect if I'm honest. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The rolls, looked really good, lightly browned on the top, and although some of them appeared a little misshapen where I hadn't shaped them into perfect balls, I was still impressed. Oh, and there was a lovely smell of baking bread too!
The real test though, was in the taste. I can't eat warm bread- I know some people like it straight from the oven, but I can't eat it like that for some reason - so once it had cooled I cut one of the rolls and made a sandwich. The bread was lovely. As it's ciabatta rather than your standard white roll, it's a little bit heavier than normal bread, but in a good way, and it was floury and airy and tasted as good as any shop bought ones I have tried. I surprised even myself with this as I was pretty convinced it would come out rubbish!
Overall, I was very pleased with this product and would buy it again. The bread was very simple to make, tasted lovely and was cheaper than my normal loaves. The main downside is that it is very time consuming - otherwise though I'd recommend it.