“ Brand: Carrs Breadmaker / Type: Flour „
**Well a review on flour, probably one of the more difficult reviews I have written. I'm not sure how useful it will actually be, but I wanted to share my experience of it because I'm so impressed. Impressed with flour? Maybe I need to get out more?!!**
When I first bought my breadmaker I didn't really think about the type well actually the brand of the flour I was using. I knew from making bread by hand that I would need to use strong flour (Strong flour is used in bread making because it has a higher proportion of gluten in it than plain or self raising flour. It is the gluten that gives the dough its elasticity.), so I grabbed a couple of bags of supermarket own brand strong white flour and thought no more of it.
I used the flour and set the programme on my breadmaker and got reasonable loaves as the end result.
It was only after I'd being making bread for a few months that I started to learn more about flour and how the quality of it can effect the end result of the bread.
The quality of the wheat used in the milling process can effect how well the flour works when you use it to make bread. This means that you could get several good bags of flour from the same brand but the next time you buy it, the wheat used may be of a poorer quality so when you next bake a loaf it won't turn out as well as it has done previously. If you are using a breadmaker you might blame the machine for the poor loaf or even yourself. I know I have done in the past, thinking I've maybe not measured the ingredients accurately or put them in to the machine in the wrong order.
After reading about people's experiences on forums and the different flours they had been using Carrs Breadmaker Flour received good write ups. I took a look at Carrs website and discovered that their flour is designed specifically for use in breadmakers.
They use the finest quality varieties of wheat and when they mill the wheat they use a different technique which is gentler. This means that the flour is of a higher grade, which Carrs state is perfect to use in a breadmaker.
This sounded great and I was keen on trying it, but I had got used to spending around 70 pence on a 1.5kg bag of flour and the Carrs flour cost £1.35 for the same size. I wasn't sure whether the extra price would be worth it, would my bread be better because I'd spent more on flour? Eventually I decided that it was worth trying, after all I would still be saving money by making the bread myself instead of buying it. The cost of the flour was about the same as a white farmhouse loaf from the supermarket, and I would be able to make at least 3 loaves from one bag of flour so even after adding the cost of the other ingredients it would still be cheaper.
The flour comes in a white and blue bag; it has a picture of a delicious looking freshly baked loaf being tipped out of a bread pan on it. It also has their own recipe for bread on the packet too; the recipe (along with many other yummy recipes) is also available on their website. To my untrained eye the flour looks like any other bread flour I have seen.
When it came to making my bread I decided not to follow the recipe they provided as it would make a bigger loaf than we needed - home made bread doesn't stay fresh as long as shop bought bread because it doesn't have all the added nasties in it. I followed the recipe which came in the manual for my machine adjusting it slightly by not using as much salt or sugar as they suggest. I set the programme for a small basic white loaf and left it to do its work. Three hours later the smell of freshly baked bread was wafting nicely around the kitchen and I had a nice loaf of bread to eat.
The loaf looked fantastic, golden in colour and to my astonishment it had risen more than my previous loaves had done. Very appetising, but bread is more difficult to slice when it's warm so I let it cool before trying any.
When I sliced the bread it looked very nice, the bread was nice and fluffy looking. With other flours I have found that the bread can be quite dense and heavy tasting but this is very light but without being full of air bubbles.
Since I first tried this flour I have only bought Carrs flour and each loaf has been a success. I will continue to buy it for the great quality bread it makes.
You can buy Carrs Breadmaker Flour from Co-Op, Sainsbury & Tesco and independent food stores. It is also available in Strong Brown and Wholemeal varieties.