Waitrose ciabatta, sliced bread, English fruited muffins and hot cross buns
We snuck into Waitrose last week to investigate their LOVE life freefrom bread products, and bought some sliced bread, ciabatta and fruited breads, with surprisingly mixed results!
Their brown and white ciabattas, made using olive oil, have a very soft crumb, not that like a traditional ciabatta but very tasty, easy to slice and fill, and make a good lunchtime sandwich. Made using egg, they also contain tapioca, potato, corn and rice. We aren't sure why you would need a brown ciabatta - would it not be better to make one with olives or tomatoes in it? However, they are an unusual and extremely useful gluten free product. £1.99 for a pack of two.
The brown and white sliced breads we sampled spread with mustard and topped with melted cheese and tomato. The breads did hold together well, and the brown was nice and tasty and crunchy as it was full of seeds including millet, linseed, quinoa, sunflower and poppy. The white was almost better unrefreshed, though we all felt it was a little sweet and milky – a poor man's chollah? – but it did toast well. The brown seeded sliced loaf costs £2.39 for a 400g loaf, and the white sliced loaf costs £2.29.
The hot cross buns were lovely - fruity, spicy and light, with a big thick white cross on top. They are lightly zesty with lemon and lime, and contain egg. There was some disagreement as to the better of the the two (the buns or the muffins), but it really doesn't matter since hot cross buns are for Easter and English fruited muffins are for the rest of the year! The muffins are chewier, less spiced and, with cranberries and raisins, have more fruit than their sisters. Waitrose seem to have given these two products a little thought, with their unusual additions to standard products, which we feel sets these two apart. Four hot cross buns cost £2.49 and three muffins cost £2.49.