I am a huge fan of silicone bakeware. Non-stick, pretty much indestructible, versatile and squashable for easy storage it ticks many of my Fuss Free boxes. It does not do for everything, but for muffins, and bite sized bakes it is my preferred bakeware. I also regularly use my silicone muffin trays to freeze egg whites, and individual portions of strewed fruit, pasta sauce, herb oil etc.
We were recently sent a selection of items from Lékué who offer a massive range of silicone items; including a bread maker, silicone mat, bite sized brownie and sticks moulds.
The Lékué Bread maker (£29) is a multi-purpose silicone mixing bowl and cooking container. Ingredients are weighed directly into the bowl for initial mixing, but once the dough comes together kneading is more effective on the counter top. The dough is returned to the bowl for the initial rise and proofing after knocking back and shaping. Finally, the loaf can be baked in the bowl: either in its round shape for a boule, or with the top clipped together for a longer loaf. The accompanying recipe book suggests doughs using between 250 and 400 grams of flour.
The advantages of the bread maker are that it’s an all-in-one piece of cookware, reducing washing up and storage requirements. I found that mixing the dough in the flexible bowl was a little less straightforward than in the more usual mixing bowl, but I did like the way that the bread maker produced a nicely shaped loaf without the need for a proving basket and baking stone.
- 100 g strong white flour
- 100 g strong wholemeal flour
- 50 g rye flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 166 ml water
Place all the dry ingredients into the bread maker and mix well. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together.
Hand knead the dough on the counter top for about ten minutes until smooth and pliable, and then return to the bowl, clip the top together and leave for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Take the bread out, stretch and fold in thirds, then repeat. Return the shaped loaf to the bowl to prove for about half an hour, again with the top clipped closed.
Bake for about 40 minutes at 220C / GM7, opening the bowl for the last 10 minutes of cooking. When done the bread will sound hollow when tapped.
We also loved the Lékué sticks maker (£15) – simply whisk a batter together of flour, egg, yoghurt, olive oil and pipe into the mould with the Decomax (£18.30), pop into the microwave and within minutes you have golden crunchy sticks perfect for snacks and dipping. We’ll be experimenting lots more with these one.
We feel that all of the Lékué range is well made, robust (unlike some very thin and flimsy items on the market and of good quality, we are fans and have bought items in the past. They seem relatively expensive compared to other silicone items, but you do get what you pay for and the items do last (I have had my muffin trays for well over 6 or 7 years now). All items come with recipes and full instructions.
Many thanks to Lékué for the samples. All opinions are our own and we were not obliged to write a positive review.