I was making a roast dinner the other week as a special treat for my other half and decided to try some bread sauce as an accompaniment to the meat and vegetables.
Whilst in Tesco, I was perusing the various sauces and packets to see which one I thought looked the best, and eventually opted to buy Colman's bread sauce mix (around 35p) as I hadn't tried it before, and after reading the back of the packet I realised it would be rather quick and easy (!) to make.... How wrong I was... sigh...!
We headed home to set about making a traditional Sunday roast with all the usual trimmings... Yorkshire puddings, carrots, other veg, potato gratin, stuffing, you name it. After seeing to the other elements of the meal, I decided to set about making the bread sauce.
The packet stated that all I had to do was empty the powder into a pot and add a little of the required milk (half pint in total) and mix it in. Once this was done, I had to add the remainder of the milk and bring it to the boil slowly, stirring all the time. (Which we did... N.B at no point did we leave the pot unattended).
After a few minutes, the sauce/milk mixture did indeed come to the boil, but I was rather alarmed at this stage as it was still an absolute mass of huge gloopy lumps. Assuring myself that this must surely be the way the sauce thickens itself, I continued to stir the mixture furiously for another few minutes.
When the lumps seemed reluctant to disappear, I decided to whisk the mixture to see if this would help to remove them, but to no avail. The outcome was that the sauce was whisked, beaten, stirred, all rather furiously until I was left with a mixture that resembled a sort of baby sick/porridgey looking mess.... Hmm... not good.
My other half, bless him, peered into the pot and made a sort of sympathetic "awww..." noise before retrieving a sieve from the drawer and attempting to sieve the mixture to remove the worst of the lumps, and I dished up the rest of the meal whilst complaining about how the sauce formed lumps by itself and nothing that I did would remove them. I'm not sure he believed me, but he knew better to comment further and spooned the (now sieved) sauce over the meat.
The colour of the sauce was akin to porridge and the taste? Well it tasted of........ nothing! The texture wasn't unpleasant but it didn't do much for me either. I certainly didn't feel that it complimented what was otherwise a great meal.
I wouldn't recommend this product and I probably won't buy it again. I regularly make my own sauces and cook with milk and flour successfully, so I'm 100% certain that the lumps in the sauce weren't down to me. I know that bread sauce always has a kind of thick goopy texture to it but these were actual lumps.... The proof was there in the sieve..!