Crusty bread mix by Well&Good allows to make two gluten, dairy and nut free loaves from one box, or even better, to make one loaf, and use the second portion to make variety of sweet or savoury scrolls.
Ingredients: from the box
Corn starch, rice flour, modified starch (tapioca, corn), yeast, thickeners (466, 464, 461), psyllium husk, dextrose monohydrate, iodised salt, vegetable gum (xanthan, carrageenan, tara), emulsifier (mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids). I specifically contacted the company to clarify the country of manufacturing. Crusty bread mix is manufactured in Melbourne, Australia from local and imported ingredients.
The box contained 3 sachets: bread mix itself, yeast and separate flour sachet for dusting.
Instructions on the box are step by step and very clear. They also contain several valuable and helpful tips for baking and freezing. The instructions are very easy to follow. I divided the contents of the box in two equal portions, and used both methods to make the dough: using electric mixer and mixing by hand. I have to say, that I consider hand mix method of dough preparation better and easier. I also switched baking regime to new conditions, following the mistake I made, when I baked Chia bread mix at lower temperatures for longer time. Individual ovens behave differently, so for my fan forced oven, 215 degrees and 40 min baking time, were optimal conditions for baking. I used maximum time advised in the instruction to prove the dough.
Texture: The loaf had a nice crust, that did not go softer the next day, or after freezing and defrosting in a toaster. The inside of the loaf was light and soft. With my new regime for temperature and timing, I used to bake the bread, it was also dry. In my oven, when using conditions on the box, the crust was a bit too hard, while the insides had the same texture, but still with some moisture. It was perfect after toasting, but somewhat wet, to use straight from the oven. However, I want to point out, that not every oven is the same, and I would advice use manufactures conditions for baking from the box. Crusty bread was very easy to slice in thin slices, even when still warm from the oven. Altogether I had 29 slices from one loaf, using half of the ingredients.
Taste: Crusty bread had the taste of regular white bread, baked from wheat flour. I did not notice any typical limitations of gluten free bread neither in texture, nor in taste. Fresh crusty bread is excellent for sandwiches and to accompany hearty soups. The taste does nor change after freezing, if anything, the bread becomes even tastier. It freezes well and needs very little time for toasting when defrosted. We aware of that, because it can burn fast.
Conclusions: Gluten free bread, made from crusty bread mix by Well&Good is an excellent quality product, having pleasant taste and good texture. I would favour this freshly baked and toasted bread, compared to commercially available gluten free bread loaves from supermarkets. It, however, does not have the deep and more flavourful taste and wonderful chewy texture of another Well&Good bread – Chia, Linseed and Sunflower Bread, which I reviewed earlier, and which has better nutritional value. It has higher protein and fibre content. The difference in pricing of these two breads reflects that accordingly.
I also want to make additional, very positive and encouraging point, about crusty bread mix. The simplicity of ingredients and preparation process makes this mix an ideal starting point for creating different products of your own. I have found out that 3 very simple changes to the ingredients when mixing the dough (changing oil for melted butter, adding minimal amount of sugar and substituting some water with an egg), allowed me to make 2 types of delicious sweet scrolls. I used the second portion of all ingredients from the box to make a dough with melted butter, sugar and an egg. I have divided the dough in two portions again, and made 2 types of sweet scrolls. I am going to publish how I made, step by step, cinnamon and sultana scrolls and poppy seed scrolls with chocolate icing later. But I included their images in this post.
Personally, I prefer the taste and texture of Chia bread, if I have to compare two yeast bread mixes manufactured by Well&Good. But I will use crusty bread mix on regular basis to make scrolls, buns, brioches with sweet and savoury fillings. The mix is very adaptable and allows to create anything you want. The scroll below is simply unbelievable, with its ground poppy seed paste and finely chopped orange peel inside, and soft dark chocolate icing on the top.
This is the fourth excellent product from Well&Good I have discovered, after magnificent Chia, Linseed and Sunflower Bread Mix, Gluten Free Plain Flour making perfect crepes and Gluten Free Pastry Flour for easy to make, delicious gluten free fresh pasta.