M&S Gluten Free Bread: Brown Seeded Loaf

When I first saw the M&S brown seeded loaf I actually thought it was a Mrs Crimbles seeded loaf in disguise.

Anyone know where Mrs Crimbles’ seeded loaf has disappeared to? Not seen one in some considerable time, which is a shame. Read my review of Mrs Crimbles here in case she is ever located again. To me, the brown seeded loaf looked the same and had the same weight density.

So how did it taste? Lovely. Just the sort of bread I like. Thick, dense, full of linseeds. Perfect for toast.
I managed to find this gluten free loaf on special for £1.24 (half price) randomly one evening in a smallish M&S in Canary Wharf. This was the first time I had managed to find it since M&S launched their gluten free range back in early June and I have looked in a number of their larger / flagship stores in Central London including Marble Arch. Not sure whether there are low stocks while M&S test the waters on consumption of their gluten free products or because there is high demand and it’s selling out faster than production.
If you see an M&S gluten free brown seeded loaf, buy it while you can!

M&S Gluten Free Bread: White Rolls

To much delight amongst the gluten free community, Marks and Spencer have finally got their act together and brought out some gluten free products.

The M&S gluten free range contains plenty of sweet treats which I’m not particularly taken with but they have two product lines that I was keen to try. White baps and a brown seeded loaf.

First up, the white baps (hard to type without thoughts of ‘Carry On’ films!)

I had the roll with gluten free sausages, onions slowly fried with balsamic vinegar and lashings of ketchup.

Sadly my initial overwhelming joy at being able to have sausages or burgers in a gluten free roll (just looking at that photo is making me hungry) began to fade as I ate. The bap was simply too crumbly. Regular readers will know I don’t usually like white bread but in this case a sugary flavour wasn’t the problem, the roll disintegrating in my hands was.

Would I buy them again? Probably, but this is more a reflection of a gap in the market for gluten free rolls than the quality of the M&S white baps.

Next up…M&S brown seeded loaf.

Gluten Free Mrs D

Genius Bread at Starbucks

I’ll start this with an apology, I have got way behind in my blog posts…which will be apparent when you see the photos in this post of the rainy and cold Oxfordshire countryside!

Back in May, long before the arrival of our current scorchio weather, Mr D and I set off in the car to Oxford to walk the next 14 mile section of the Thames towpath from Oxford to Newbridge.

We pulled into the service station at the Oxford junction to pick up some provisions for our walk. It was signposted with both a Waitrose and a Starbucks. Deep joy! I soon discovered the options in Waitrose for me were limited to apricots and packets of seeds and nuts. OK-ish but Mr D had selected himself a very tasty looking ham sandwich and I just knew I’d be really annoyed if we stopped half way along the walk and all I had to eat were some apricots while he tucked into that sarnie.

Luckily I knew Starbucks had started stocking Genius Bread gluten free / wheat free Tuna Mayonnaise sandwiches. Hmmm…would I be lucky enough to find one in this service station? You bet! I’m not exactly known for my good humour first thing in the morning but finding the Genius sandwich in Starbucks certainly cracked a smile!

We arrived in Oxford, parked the car and set off goretex-d up to protect us from the rain. Except for a minor incident with some charging cows on their way to be milked, the walk was lovely and full of gorgeous flowers and plants.

We stopped for lunch along the way at King’s Lock and the sandwich was released:

Here’s how it looked out of the packet:

So how did it taste? First of all the Genius bread tasted fresh and had that springy consistency of regular bread. I was really pleased the sandwiches were made with the brown version of Genius’s bread. There’s nothing wrong with the white version but personally I think the white is more suited to sweet toppings like jam or honey.

Starbucks / Genius sandwich had a generous sized portion of tuna mayo filling. The fresh basil in the tuna combined with roasted tomato was very flavoursome. Rocket leaves added a nice touch.

What I really liked about this sandwich (apart from the taste) was that it wasn’t marketed specifically as gluten free or wheat free and I think lots of Starbucks customers would buy it for its for taste, even non-coeliacs.

Here’s the view I enjoyed of the glorious Oxfordshire countryside (even in the rain) but you’ll have to imagine the sound of birdsong which surrounded us:

The Starbucks / Genius sandwich managed to fortify me sufficiently well for the rest of the walk. I was glad that for once I had a savoury lunch rather than sweet biscuit bars.

After more than 5 hours walking, we made it to Newbridge and found a great little village pub right on the banks of the Thames called The Rose Revived. While Mr D got a pint in of the local ale, I revived my rosy cheeks with a large glass of Shiraz…

Starbucks have just announced the arrival of a vegetarian gluten free sandwich made with Genius bread in their stores. Stay tuned for a review…

Gluten Free Mrs D