Review- The Box Bakery

Having survived all 732 days of January, we are now in the midst of days on end of soggy, breezy weather ( Thank you Ciara for the tree that came down) . It’s cold, wet and a bit dismal- so what better excuse did I need to stay in the warm and do some baking.

Now I’m ok at baking, apart from bread. Even before my Coeliac diagnosis bread was never my strong point ( one loaf even the birds refused to eat). It has always been my nemesis, and I’m determined to sort this issue out. The lovely people over at The Box Bakery got in contact with me and sent some products to try. I was very optimistic…. surely this is one loaf that I couldn’t mess up?

Anyway this clever product it called so because you bake the bread ( or cake) in the box the mix is packaged in. No mess either, this is surely a good thing.

You peel back the top cover, that says “Lift here” to reveal a stopper. Remove this and pour water in to the box, add the stopper and give it all a good shake. Next remove the top layer completely and give everything a good mix with a fork, this will stop any dry bits of bread mix which will alter the appearance and texture of your loaf. Brush oil over the surface of the bread mixture and place it in the oven. ( follow the instructions on the pack).

Fast forward a couple of hours for cooking and cooling and look what I baked. It’s crusty, and smells divine and cuts like a dream.

It was no good, I had to try it. It doesn’t disappoint. Unlike some gluten free breads, this loaf doesn’t have a dense cardboard like texture, and unlike my usual attempts, this loaf is very much edible. I like the seeds it gives a lovely taste and slight crunch to the loaf. It also lends itself well to both toast and as a sandwich etc.

I can honestly say I’m so impressed with this bread. It’s the first time I’ve successfully accomplished and edible loaf or bread. With these results it won’t be the last loaf either.

I was sent these products as a gift to review, however all opinions are my own and honest.

Rana’s Ingenious Flatbreads 

It’s busy busy busy here at the moment, wedding preparations are into the final few stages, wedding is in T-5 weeks!  I’m still trying to convince mini me her flower girl dress is the way forward ( she’s having none of it in case you were wondering) I needed a happy distraction, and it came in the form of Rana’s Ingenious  Flatbread Mix. 

  
The lovely peeps from Rana’s sent me this, and as I was peckish the other lunch time, it was time to give it a go. The mixture is adaptable, you can make many things including pizza bases, and cheese crackers, but to start I gave actual flat breads a go. 

The instructions are super easy, weigh out your mixture, add warm water, mix leave for 5 minutes, then mix vigorously ( I love that word) for a minute. The next step is to shape on parchment paper, but do flour the surface your dough is put on, and using a wet spatula is so much easier. Leave to prove for thirty minutes. 

Cooking is easy to, even for me. On a heated frying pan place the bread dough side down, and leave the paper on, it took about 5 minutes but as the bread is getting ready the paper starts to ballon a bit, and it’s then easy to peel off, and flip over to cook the other side. 

  
  They really are delicious, I had to bake more, mini me stole the first one. Even better the mix is both gluten and nut free, as well as egg, dairy and soya free so can be enjoyed by everyone. 

I served them simply with a balsamic and olive oil dip which worked wonderfully. My next mission is cheese crackers- I’ll keep you posted on how I get on. 

Review Newburn BakeHouse Crumpets

It’s fair to say that this year has seen the launch of a whole host of new free from products. I’m not complaining, more choice is always a good thing. I was quite excited to hear the Newburn BakeHouse ( the gluten free side of Warburtons) were launching a new crumpet. 

  
Now along with trying to perfect my own, I’m not there yet but bear with me, the other crumpets out there are M&S (horrid) and Genius ( taste ok but funny texture) so I was wondering what are these going to be like. I mean in my head the bar was fairly high as I love Newburns artisan loaves so I’d assumed these would be the same high standard. The texture is very similar to their ordinary crumpets, and they toasted well, I personally like my crumpet crispy ( no puns please) so double toasted it, and went old school with just butter on. They are hands down the best I’ve tasted. They are like actually proper crumpets, no crumbly texture or stodgy mass but a proper tasty breakfast or teatime treat. 

  
  My only fault is they are expensive £2 for 4 crumpets but it’s matched with genius and given the choice between the two I’d be picking these. So would I buy them again- too right but I’ll be hiding them from the other half or he’d scoff them all in an instant. I should add they are available from Tesco and Sainsburys stores. 

Disclaimer: I purchased these myself, all views are my own and honest. 

Rana’s Artisan Bread 

  
Psst… See the loaf in the picture? Well I (Mrs usually bakes doorstops) baked it. I’ll get back to the beginning. I have the honour of becoming a brand representative for Ranas’ Artisan Bakery.  If you haven’t heard about them, they offer both baked goods and bread mixes to bake at home. The added bonus is that not only are these all gluten free, but free from the dairy, eggs, nuts and soya to. 

 So anyway I was sent a bread mix to play with- Bold Buckwheat. I’ve never been fantastic with bread making, and gluten free versions even less so, however I was optimistic as the packaging stated “just add water”. Easy enough I thought, although the funny porridge like texture of the dough I was left with did have me wondering, but never the less carry on I did ( the very clear instruction sheet helped a great deal) 

Next step is to leave the dough for 5 minutes, then stir for 1 minute before shaping your loaf on the grease proof paper provided ( a wet spatula helps). 

  
Once shaped, pop your loaf into the bag and seal, then leave to prove for an hour. Now I was worried, you can’t see through the bag and it didn’t seem to rise much , again back to the instructions which reassured me to not expectd too much of a rise, -panick averted. 
Then pop into the oven and bake for 90 minutes. It said best results with non fan oven. I’ve only got a fan oven so I thought I’d give it a go anyway. It was fine, but I’d be interested to hijack my mums aga and try in there to compare. 

  
You then have to left it Cool completely on a wire rack and bat off little (and big) hands until it does so but believe me it’s worth the wait. I was very impressed with the first attempt. It has a strong tang to it, which I loved ( even tiny tot went in for seconds) and toasted either for breakfast or as bruschetta is is delicious. I can even see it going well with our Christmas cheese board. 

 So my over all verdict is that I’m very impressed with this mix. My only slightly negative comment is the £3.99  Price tag, which does put them at the top end of gluten free artisan loaves but you do get what you pay for, it tastes lovely, has the best crust on any gluten free loaf I’ve tasted, and free from multiple allergens.

Keep reading as I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeves to incorporate these loaves.