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I really like the idea of being a domestic goddess and baking my own bread but I'm rather lazy and unmotivated so never get round to it. Bread kits are an easy way to get the delights of home baked bread without all the hassle of weighing and measuring, you simply add some water to the mix and after mixing and kneading and rising stick it in the oven and out comes a loaf of lovely warm bread.
Wright's mixed grain bread mix costs around 80p for a pack which will bake one loaf of bread so is cheaper than many ready baked breads but of course you could probably make a similar loaf yourself for less. It is handy to stick in the cupboard for any times that you run out of bread or there is bad weather and the inevitable panic buying means you can't buy any loaves from the shop.
It was easy enough to make, I don't own a breadmaker so had to mix in some tepid water and stir before kneading and sticking it in a loaf tin to rise before bunging it into the oven. It's not something I would like to do everyday but occasionally I'm happy to act domesticated like that.
As the bread baked, my kitchen was filled with the scent of freshly baking bread. When I took the loaf out of the oven it looked lovely, it had risen perfectly and looked really appetising. The loaf itself has a nice crispy crust and is a fairly dense and heavy bread which cuts nicely into big slices, it is really hard to slice thinly. The wholemeal loaf is a nice light brown and has the poppy, sunflower and linseeds spread through nice and evenly giving it a nice texture, it would have been nice to have some extra seeds to sprinkle on the top too. The bread is made with loads of different flours and has a nice malty and nutty taste, it is really delicious.
The bread keeps well for a day or two, freshly baked bread never keeps as long as store bought bread but wholemeal always lasts longer than white in my experience. The bread doesn't last very long anyway as it is so delicious, especially when it is still warm and dripping with butter.
I really like this bread mix, it's cheap and handy for emergency use and tastes great.
If you enjoy making bread then this product really is worth a try, a great quick fix that can get you fresh bread within the hour.
I had used the Wright's Cheese and Onion bread mix and was very impressed with the results and decided that now was the time to try a wholegrain loaf, something that I normally shy away from, especialy when using a breadmaker (adding the seeds can jus be a little bit too much hassle, even with a machine that automatically tips them in!)
As with the other Wright's mixes all that is needed is to add lukewarm water to volume of mix you require and leave the mixer to run. I found that the loaf produced by the whole packet was far too dense, the grain seemed to make the loaf ever so chewy. By reducing the amount of mix, however, the loaf kept a rustic chewy texture (athough it still not not become crusty) but was much lighter and less stodgy. When making rolls I was again able to bake 10 rolls and, by adding a few exta minutes in the oven, managed a slight crust too.
Baking By Hand or Food Mixer:
Mixing with the seeds by hand was, admittedly a little harder but if you have a food mixer you can pop the mix into this really isn't an issue. The grains bonded well with the rest of the mix after the addition of the water and kneading, resting and rising was a piece of cake (excuse the pun!). I felt that the mix needed a little longer in the oven compared to the instructions on the packet, and I will alwys leave a seeded dough to rise for a few minutes more than a normal mix, so the process on the whole was slightly more protracted than the other Wright's mixes I have tried.
In the bread maker the loaf seemed to be a little too sweet but this issue was not present when making by hand or using a mixer so this may well be an issue with my machine.
The texture was very soft but the grains did not go soggy, it was possible to tweak the instructions to get more rustic finish to the rolls if required but the standard texture was perfect for a sliced loaf.
Weight of product is 500g with 315ml of lukewarm water needed to make a full size loaf (or 10 rolls)
Price of product has varied when I have been shopping around but the best value I have found was Morrisons at 85p per pack. I found this to be marginally more expensive than buying separate ingredients but well worth the extra few pence.
*portions of this review also apply to my other reviews of Wright's bread products *