am stocking up to make mince pies and stollen. I can halve the cost if I go for value brand rather than the regular, but don't understand what's the difference between the two -apart from the obvious half the price! - is there any difference in the quality? TIA.
looking at the dried fruit, i tend to get the flour already - as you say I can't work out what difference there would be. just wondered if there would be a compromise with currants/raisins etc. thanks for replying
we use value dried frui, it is fine but I make my own candied peel because I hate the dried up excuse for candied peel you get in bags. That said it is fine for things like hot cross buns just not where peel is part of the main event like florentines for example.
The difference is in the grade of the wheat used for milling. It will affect the consistency of performance (this is the biggest issue), liquid absorbtion ability, protein content, and flavour of the flour. I have a friend who spent ten years as a flour technician for one of the biggest milling companies in the UK and she says she would only ever use a premium brand flour (McDougalls or Homepride are her favourites) for most baking. Given that I can get McDougalls for £1 per 1.5kg bag in Iceland, I follow her example.
The difference with dried fruit will be in the grade of fruit used for drying, and how dry they are made, both of which will affect taste, texture, and liquid absorbtion. That said I use value dried fruit for mincemeat, which I make to my MIL's recipe and use plenty of (cheap) brandy, grated apples, dark brown sugar, and orange juice to make it really lucious.