The Bottom Line
- Flavor: Hearty whole-grain flavor sure to please lovers of rustic, "hearth"-style breads.
- Texture: This is the perfect "soup" bread, dense and chewy.
- Ease of Preparation: Simply follow package instructions.
- Availability: You can always find the mix at IKEA.
- Faulty advertising: Lingonberries? Only if you use a magnifying glass to spot them.
- Availability: IKEA's about the only place you can find this product.
- Where to buy it: IKEA.
- Would I buy it?: If I were at IKEA anyway. I wouldn't make a special trip for it.
- Package Description: Finax Lingonberry Bread Mix: "Just Add Water." Made in Denmark.
Guide Review - Finax Lingonberry Bread Mix
There are a lot of reasons to praise Finax's Lingonberry Bread Mix. Homemade yeasted bread doesn't get much easier than this, short of dumping a prepared mix into a bread machine. Any guesswork is taken out of the bread baking – all you have to do is combine the mix and yeast packet, stir in water, knead the batter (a stand-up mixer works well for this), allow it to rise, punch it down, form into loaves, and bake. I used a baking stone for the free-form loaves, but they would bake almost equally as well on a cookie sheet.
The two substantial loaves rise like a charm (no warm water or proofing required) and smell glorious as they cook in the oven – with a slight fragrance of honey, even though there's no honey in the ingredients (my guess is that the aroma comes both from the barley malt and the whole grain wheat and rye flours).
The finished loaves are dense and flavorful – perfect for dark bread lovers, but possibly an acquired taste for children (or adults) used to bland, boring white bread. The presence of lingonberries, however, is negligible. They appear only as tiny red flakes in the bread and contribute little, if any, flavor (which tells me that they're more of a marketing gimmick than anything. Too bad – it's a waste of perfectly good Scandinavia-grown lingonberries).
Despite the false advertising, this is a nice bread mix to have on hand for those days when you want to throw together a comforting peasant-style loaf without a lot of effort. Eat immediately or freeze for later use; like most good home-made country bread, these loaves will become hard as rocks if you allow them to sit out for long.