Reviewed by Darryl Ryznar
As we enter further into lockdown, I’ve been spurred on to take up new hobbies – everything from gardening to knitting to joining a virtual book club. I’ve also managed to get back into baking. I used to love baking but up until recently, I haven’t managed to find the time, and when I do, I always seem to be short of ingredients, which means a trip to the shop, which right now, is even more difficult than usual.
Enter Davina Steel’s baking kits – little boxes of baking fun!
For those of you unfamiliar with Davina Steel (admittedly, I was until this trial), she’s a scientist and nutritionist, who became gluten intolerant following cancer treatment. As a bread lover, she decided to take it upon herself to come up with a replacement for gluten that would allow her to eat the tasty treats she once could. After a lot of searching, and experimentation, she finally came up with a multi-award winning result, which she has lovingly decided to share with the masses.
I was kindly given the chance to try two of her baking kits – Garlic and Rosemary Gluten Free Focaccia Kit and Gluten Free Pizza Base Kit. The pastel kits look really enticing, and I couldn’t wait to give them a go!
First up was the Focaccia kit. Inside were three bags. One containing the baking mix, another for dried garlic, and the other containing rosemary. And all you need to add? Oil, yeast and water – so simple!
We mixed the ingredients according to the instructions on the box, then let the dough rise for 25 mins before adding the rosemary and baked it in the oven. We left the focaccia to cool before trying. The result was brilliant – fresh, fluffy, warm focaccia, which we served with oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum! A quick tip though: make sure to add salt to your dough before it rises. We only added a little bit and it could have done with a tiny bit more.
A couple of nights later, we tried the pizza base kit. Again, everything was in the one bag, taking the stress out of weighing ingredients, and making sure everything’s right. From a quick check on the website, they’ve noted this recipe has been developed by a Pizzaiolo (a proper pizza chef) so I had really high expectations.
I’ll admit, that at first I was sceptical of frying the dough, especially as our first attempt didn’t go too smoothly (top tip: use an oiled spoon to spread the wet mixture across the pan!), and then popping it in the oven, but I’d say that it really helped get the ‘woodfired’ effect. In the end, they were everything I enjoy about my pizza – a thin, crisp base, with rich tomato sauce and oozing mozzarella. What’s not to like!
At only £2.99 a kit, available in most big-name supermarkets, these are the perfect boredom buster during lockdown, and perfect for fun at home. They’re quick and the instructions are super easy to follow (there’s even YouTube videos on their website too!). I’d definitely recommend to anyone and everyone looking to get their hands dirty and bake some delicious fresh bread – especially if you’re gluten intolerant. The taste and experience was great. 4 stars.
RRP: £2.99 per kit
For more information please visit the Davina Steel website here.