Tuesday 2 November 2010


I absolutely love the concept of Doodlebread - you get everything you need to make a loaf of proper homemade bread with the kids that has a coloured shape all the way through it. How exciting is that ?! As they say on their website, "At Doodle Bread we think that baking should be fun and creative, that home baking kits don't have to be artificial, that the making is as good as the eating and that bread is a blank canvas for brilliance." Sounds great. But would it work ? Well, there's only one way to find out !

The packaging looked a bit cheap and cheerful but I did love the funny little drawings (or doodles !) all over the box. The girls said that it looked like a McDonalds' Happy Meal box and asked if they could colour it in ! The instructions are very kid-friendly but it took us a couple of reads to work out which bits of kit corresponded to which names and some instructions are a bit lacking in detail - for example, we weren't sure how long we were supposed to leave it to rise before putting it on the oven !

What is really handy is that the kit contains two bread mixes so there was no fighting because the girls got to make up one each. Sophie took the Big Doodle mix and Sophie got the Little Doodle mix. We followed the instructions, carefully measuring out the stated quantity of water to mix in with the flour.

As you can see, it was very very runny and sticky and I had to add lots of extra flour to get it to the right sort of consistency to allow us to make a dough ball. I think there may be a slight problem in the water/flour ratio so add the water bit by bit and play it by ear. The pink bread mix worked perfectly though and was just the right consistency. We were supposed to knead the dough for about 20 minutes but the girls got fed up with it sticking to their hands after about 5 minutes and gave up !

Then it was time for a Play-doh moment and the girls had great fun pushing the two different colours of dough into the mould and tin. The instructions say that you need to grease the star-shaped mould thoroughly so that it doesn't stick but that's easier said than done. It's very gooey and sticky but we got there in the end !

Ta da ! Not bad at all, if I say so myself ! The instructions then tell you to go and have a cup of tea to allow the yeast time to work its magic but don't give any idea of the time. The bread mix is supposed to double in size. I took the opportunity to wash up the bowls and wipe down the kitchen table, went to check and it hadn't really changed at all ! I decided the kitchen was maybe a bit cold and went to put it next to the TV (which gives off a bit of heat) to try to speed up the process.

It never really did double in size but the girls were too impatient to wait any longer so we carefully pulled out the plastic star-mould (it didn't stick !) and put the loaf in the oven. I forgot to set the timer or check the time when I put it in the oven - doh ! - so I waited what seemed like about half an hour and went to look. The top of the bread was crusty and breaking open and it looked and smelt ready. However, when I cut it into slices, it wasn't totally cooked all the way through. I got the impression the red star shape part took longer to cook than the white dough (although it could just be that the middle wasn't cooked through) so it was still gooey and undercooked in the middle. I put the cut slices under the grill for a few minutes and they came out lightly toasted and perfectly cooked through. 

 To be totally honest, we only got one perfect slice which Sophie claimed ...

... and a second slice with a slightly squashed star but still pretty good that Juliette took, but the rest was misshapen and only made two extra slices of bread. When I looked at the photos in the gallery on the Doodlebread website, it's easy to see that our loaf didn't rise properly because their loaves are much bigger (and more evenly shaped).

Nevertheless, the girls were really proud and excited to eat their star-patterned bread ! They're quite used to me making homemade bread in the bread machine but for anyone who has only ever eaten shop-bought bread, they'd be blown away by the idea that they can make their own bread from scratch.

Even Pierre wanted a taste, and he didn't mind getting a mis-shapen bit ! It tastes lovely, especially if you eat it warm straight out of the oven.

I still absolutely love the concept and, even if I feel the bread mix let us down a bit, we will definitely try again, probably using my normal bread mix and some food-colouring ! (I hasten to add, the Doodlebread mixes use natural colourings from spinach and beetroot.) The silicon bread "tin" makes it ridiculously easy to push out the loaf and the girls had huge amounts of fun, making and then eating their bread. Definitely one to do again !

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £16.50 (including postage)

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1 comment:

  1. I can see how exciting it could be for kids, and the makers should take all your kind advice on board. You've been very thorough, a perfect reviewer.


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