Onions. Lots of onions. Worldwide favourite. Imagine cooking without them: you can’t, can you? I’d be lost without a pile of bulbs in the kitchen (in fact, I use onion powder when baking because it’s so easy to work with). You can probably tell, then where this review is going. Today’s loaf is Waitrose Rich & Savoury Onion Bread Mix…

Usually, I open the packet and tip the contents into a mixing bowl then read the instructions: and that’s what I did here, only this time I got an almighty whiff of onion (the sweetly scented fried onion). So far, Waitrose, so good. The on package instructions are as ever: water and fat…

  • 270ml water
  • 25g soft butter

270 millilitres of water added? 270?! To 500g of mix!? This dough is going to be under hydrated. However, I do as I’m told (of course) after rubbing the butter through the dry mix to the ‘breadcrumbs’ stage – another short measure as the butter vanishes almost immediately, leaving no visible trace of itself. Anyway, with the water addition I was right. The resulting dough was not coming together enough to be kneaded so another 40ml was added. After a few moments the dough was much easier to work (I think as much as 330ml could be used for a truly soft dough).Not bad at all, really. See the little pieces of onion in there?

The dough now weighs approximately 850g and smells lovely. In order to make the loaf I want it will need dividing in three pieces…

Yes, digital scales would take away the guess work but do you know what? I like mechanical scales.

Roll each piece into a long sausage shape equal to your baking sheet. It’s time to plait/braid them together…

I know they’re uneven but the final rise of the dough will plump everything up and make it good. Do you need me to tell you how to plait? Left over right, right over left to the middle (or something) – and don’t make it look like a nest of vipers if you can avoid it. 

There we are! Hardly a rhapsody in dough but WTH! Now cover it over and leave alone for as long as it takes to double in size. In this case 70 minutes. When you’re happy with the rise and your oven is @230°c, bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and fully baked (tap the bottom of the loaf: it will sound hollow if baked thoroughly).

Happy with the look and bowled over by the aroma and flavours. Well done Waitrose (and well done BBBB). This will be on my shopping list again.

Score 4.5/5

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