On Wednesday afternoon - my afternoon off - I had a sudden urge to get baking and decided to have a look in my baking cupboard to see what I could try out. The Madhouse Mini-testers wanted to get involved so I decided to try out one of the kits hiding in there, which always make it much easier because there is no hanging around impatiently while I weigh out ingredients.
The Pao de Queijo Kids Cheesebread Mix looked ideal, especially as the only ingredients that I needed to add were water, oil, an egg and some grated cheese - all things I had in the cupboard.
The kit is designed with kids in mind so the instructions are very simple and are also accompanied by photos showing the different stages.
The box contains just one sachet of bread mix - you can't get simpler than that ! - so Juliette snipped the top off the bag and tipped the contents in a bowl while I put the oven on to preheat.
The rest of the ingredients need to be mixed in at the same time, which again is nice and simple. I did need to add a little more water than suggested because the mix was too dry and wouldn't hold together. After some initial stirring with a spoon, it was the fun part - time to get your hands in ! A quick bit of moulding and kneading and we had a ball of rather stinky cheesy dough that we then ripped into small pieces and rolled into 3cm diameter balls.
The packaging seems to suggest you can make 26 but we couldn't get any more than 18. The box also shows big rolls filled with ham but they actually come out as small profiterole sized dough balls. You could make fewer larger ones though, but you'd need to adjust the cooking time.
After about 20 minutes, they'd puffed up and turned a deeper yellow colour, although they didn't get as golden-brown as I expected. Breaking one apart showed a really airy interior, which I was very impressed with, particularly as they are gluten-free.
We waited for them to cool and have kept them in a selaed Tupperware box for the past few days which has kept them in perfect condition. The rather strange stinky cheese smell of the uncooked dough has mellowed into a cheese straw smell and they have a lovely flavour. The kids like eating them as they are or with a Dairylea triangle or piece of ham stuffed inside. I have also tried them with a bowl of tomato soup which was delicious.
We're quite used to making our own bread with the bread machine but any kids who have never eaten homemade bread will be very impressed at making their own mini rolls from scratch. For convenience, you can even make them and freeze them before cooking so they are ready to be baked from frozen as and when required.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £2.99 for 250g
for more information : http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Isabels-Kids-Cheesebread-Pao-de-Queijo-Mix/71273011
Disclosure : I received a selection of goodies from the Ocado Free-From Shop to see some of what is on offer. I'll be posting honest reviews of these products over the coming weeks.
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