Goodman Fielder- give us our daily bread!

if you visit New Zealand you must have a taste of the best bread I’ve ever eaten. It’s called Mackenzie High Country Bread and honestly, I wish I could bring it here to Australia. It is full of grain, nice and thick and very satisfying. Don’t I sound like a commercial?

When I returned to Australia I contacted Goodman Fielder who own Mackenzie and asked them where I can buy it here. Sorry, it’s not available in Australia. When you are dealing with a large company like Goodman Fielder you can be sure that its call centres don’t give out proper information. They had never heard of Mackenzie Bread.

I wasn’t going to give up just yet, however, so I phoned Woolworths in Sydney and manged to find one person who told me that my description of the bread and its packaging sound very much like her favourite bread. It’s called Lawson’s Traditional Bread and is identical to Mackenzie’s.

Encouraged by that information I phoned Woolworths in Brisbane, only to be told that while Sydney has Lawson’s it is only sold in N.S.W. I am pursuing this trail.

So why am I keen to find Mackenzie Bread? Sure, there are other bakeries but quite frankly Australian bread is not up to standard. I suspect that the Aussies adopted English recipes and English bread is not famous for its quality.

When we first came to Australia in the Fifties, bread was white and doughy and had no flavour. I even remember one of the brands- an awful stuff called Procera which shredded into gooey bits when you tried to butter it.

Things have progressed a little since then with immigration. Italians, French and Germans bake tasty bread and they are very good. But if you want a genuine wholegrain, thick and healthy bread then none of the Aussie bakeries provide it. Not even those pretend independent bakeries which I try from time to time.

If anyone out there can speed up the process of getting Lawson’s Traditional Bread to Queensland, I would be eternally grateful. I’ve got a good book, some verse, and a flask of wine. I’ve even got a precious thou beside me, mercifully not singing in the wilderness. All that’s missing is the loaf of bread beneath the bough. (with apologies to Omar Khayyam)

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39 thoughts on “Goodman Fielder- give us our daily bread!

  1. Here here!

    I came across Lawson’s whilst on holiday in Sydney recently. Now, back in Brisbane I just can’t find anything to come even close to it. It’s just one more reason to add to the list of reasons to book another flight to Sydney… it’s the simple things in life.

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  2. How right you are, Natalie, about the simple things in life! I have been phoning Goodman Fielder about the bread but it will take more than my begging to bring it to Brisbane. If you have the time, it would be great if you asked them as well????

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  3. Thanks for telling me about the new Noble Rise bread, Zippo. I’ll buy it when it comes out.
    By the way, Natalie I did try the Lawson’s bread in N.S.W when I passed through there. It is identical to Mackenzie’s and so I bought three loaves of it to take home. Sadly, they have all been devoured by a hungry blogger.

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  4. I am so depressed! I have tried the new Noble Rise products and want the old ones back. My favourite was the wholemeal.Coincidentally it has reduced in weight and increased in price. Why try to fix something that isn’t broken. My experience of the UK bread of this type is better than mentioned previously on this blog. There are fewer fluffy breads in the UK than there are here. There is a website in Western Aussie who still offer theold Noble rise but won’t deliver outside of Perth.

    Help!!!!!!

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  5. Kevin,
    I feel for you. Bread is so important, especially in sandwiches lol. Since writing this post on bread, I have left Queensland for Victoria. It would be lying to say that I did it because of lousy bread, but so far I can’t find Lawson’s bread here either. We live in hope. The new Noble Rise, as you say, is no improvement.
    I wish Goodman Fielder would listen to our pleas, don’t you?

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  6. I have just tried the new Noble Rise sunflower & Basil it is really nice for a white bread. Have not tried the Lawsons yet but I will, just cannot go past the sourdough bread made by a small bakery in Glenbrook Blue Mountains not cheap but Oh so nice .

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  7. Pam,
    Thanks for your comment.I tried the Noble Rise you mention and I agree with you that it’s nice too. I like the one with grains in it, but it’s still not as good as Lawson’s. Where you live you can get Lawson’s. I’m still waiting for it to come to Melbourne in a few days’ time. Hope I haven’t built up my expectations too much or I’ll be disappointed. Memory can play tricks on us and perhaps I’m exaggerating how good it was. We’ll see… I’d be interested in your opinion of it.

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  8. Thanks for the tip about Lawson’s. I hope we can get it in Newcastle.
    It is a shame the Noble Rise people had to delete their best breads (850g, good size and texture, and not gluey like the Burgen stuff) when they brought in their new range. That was surely the decision of someone in the marketing department, not a breadmaker: a victory of form over substance. They’re OK for a piggy in a blanket, and that’s about it.
    What about the twee names – Mountain pepper…..? Sigh.
    Gwen

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  9. Gwen, that Mountain Pepper name is a direct response to Lawson’s “Homestead Seed and Grain” and the other variety of Lawson’s, “Settler’s Grain”. They are all about conjuring up a spirit of Outback Tradition and pioneering. As you say, so twee… In this world of impressions I guess it’s imperative to persuade you that somehow yiu are fighting in the Eureka stockade. By the way, Gwen, I bought Lawson’s in Maitland so it should be available in Newcastle.

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  10. I was told it would be in both Safeways and Coles. You can always buy some during your stay in Sydney if you can’t wait. That should make your visit tolerable. lol

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  11. Aaron, let me know whether you like the bread after all that long wait. Perhaps I praised it too much. I bought two loaves today and hope I still like it. Still, the anticipation was fun, wasn’t it?

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  12. we got the lawson’s and it’s not bad: the settlers grain is the better of the ones available for my taste.
    but it doesn’t fit in the toaster…
    call me a creature of habit, but i’d rather have had the old noble rise back.
    looks like this old bird will have to learn some new tricks – like cutting lawson’s in two and using the pearl handled knife to get the bits out of the toaster.
    famous last words?
    gwen

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  13. Gwen,
    That’s why I went in search of a new toaster that can fit the Lawson’s. My new toaster is a four slice Ikon by Breville and so far it is easy to use. I have settled for the Homestead Seed and Grain, but I agree with you that the Settler’s is excellenet as well.
    Famous last words, Gwen. Please turn the toaster off before inserting your pearl handled knife into it. I enjoy your comments too much to see you shocked. lol

    regards

    Lili

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  14. I have the same plea as Gwen and Kevin, I want the old Noble Rise bread back badly, especially the wholemeal one.
    After reading your blog and all the comments, I’m going to buy a loaf of Lawson tomorrow (I’m in Sydney!). Will have to be the wholemeal one, as I don’t eat white bread if I can help it.
    Hope I can find something new to help me forget the old noble rise. Is there anything we can do to make it back on the market?

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  15. Lilian,
    Write to Noble Rise and tell them what you have told me. As I warned in a blog, Noble Rise were preempting the introduction of Lawson’s by copying the packaging and imitating those wholesome names as well. Noble Rise does not even come close to Lawson’s now.
    The only way that Tip Top will listen to you is if you stop buying Noble Rise and tell them that’s what you are doing. You and Gwen can’t be the only ones who don’t think this is an improvement. Perhaps then they will agree to bring it back.

    By the way, there is only one white variety made by Lawson’s. The other two appear to be wholemeal with grains in them. Lawson’s is also preservative free which is important to me.

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  16. Dear Lili,
    You are right, Lawson’s great! I love the wholemeal one. And now that you told me that the others are also wholemeal with grains, I will try them too!
    Woolworths is not the only place with Lawson’s. For NSW, I also found it at Panetta’s Fruits (selling at $3.99!).
    Hope this is helpful to everyone who loves a good bread.

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  17. Dear Lilian,
    Sounds as if Panetta’s is the place to buy Lawson’s. I was only able to buy it at $4.39 which was an introductory price. It now costs $4.89 which is exorbitant for such a stable as bread.

    I really can’t understand why we are being charged so much for milk, eggs and bread which are all staple foods. Especially, since none of these foods is imported.

    As for me, I would rather have less of a good bread than lots of a bad one, but with the downturn in the economy our spending will inevitably become more discretionary. On the other hand, food staples should be exempt from the category of discretionary spending, don’t you think?

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  18. I miss the old noble rise. I rang tip top, they’re not bringing it back. Marketing decided it wasn’t popular enough so its been deleted. I have 2 kids will only eat the wholemeal & grain nothing else on the market meets the equivalent. Lawsons is the closest I can find but it has twice the calories in it than NR had so I don’t eat much of it. To bring back the old noble rise you need to complain to Tip top direct http://www.tiptop.com.au, go into the contact us section which has the phone & you can do an email enquiry. They said its been deleted permanently as it wasn’t very popular & that marketing had determined that from 12 mnths research. I don’t know about you guys but there was never enough on the shelf, I had to get to the shops early as it was always gone by lunch & I never understood why they didn’t keep up with demand, like stock more on the shelves so everyone could have it. I don’t know if they will bring it back but tip top marketing is under the misconception that it wasn’t a very popular bread, so we have to speak up & tell them to bring it back!

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  19. Hi Susan,
    I understand how you miss the old Noble Rise bread. I was never keen on it myself but that’s not the issue. As for the calories in Lawson’s, that can be explained by the fact that Lawson’s (800gms loaf) is a much bigger slice of bread then even the current Noble Rise (700gms loaf) and therefore weighs more. I find that one slice of Lawson’s which has around 150 calories per slice is more filling than two slices of other brands.
    Also, because Lawson’s contains bigger grains it seems to be better for your digestion and will keep you regular. I have found this to be the case.
    But that is my personal taste and should not dissuade you from talking to Tip Top again.
    Good luck.

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  20. OMG my household just bought Lawson’s this week in Melb, and we are SO loving it! This is the best bread out of a supermarket I’ve ever tasted!

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  21. Glad you feel the same way as I do about this bread. I know I’ve raved on about it for a while now but it really is an improvement on other supermarket breads, isn’t it?

    regards

    Lili

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  22. Hi all
    Just came back from holidaying on Sunshine Coast, where I tried and absolutely loved the Lawsons Bread. So it is available in Coolum for those Brissy lovers. I’m from SA and so far haven’t found it here. Phoned Goodman Fielder thinking they might have a stockist list for SA but they suggested trying the IGA and independent grocers and if not there, to request it. So I will give it a try because it’s definitely worth it. The nicest bread I have ever tasted.

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  23. I discovered Lawsons bread in Safeway in our small town two days ago (not telling where because the rest of Victoria may come rushing down to buy !!!)It is a lovely luxury for old pensioners>
    KATH

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  24. John,
    I don’t work for Lawson’s but I’m just a fan of this particular bread. If you phone Goodman Fielder they should provide you with the GI figure for the wholegrain.
    Lately, I’ve noticed that quite a few people have this bread in their shopping trolleys at the checkouts. The only problem is that it seems to be expensive compared with other commercial brands. On the other hand, it compares extremely well with the boutique varieties. And as I have often said, one large slice of Homestead Seed and Grain is very filling and will easily take the place of two ordinary slices of another brand of bread.
    I’m pleased that you like the bread too, John.

    Kind regards,
    Lili

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  25. We are enjoying Lawson’s Stone Mill Wholemeal, but find it consistently moulds before its best before date. Never been a problem for other breads we have used. Includes acetic acid (vinegar ??)- surely propionic acid would give a better shelf life. Otherwise we will have to freeze it too

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    • Peter, you ought to let Goodman Fielder know that you have a problem with the Lawson’s Stone Wholemeal. We use the Seed and Grain with the red label and have never had any problems with it. But I keep it in the fridge and usually toast it.

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  26. Regarding, Lawson’s Traditional bread, Stonemill Wholemeal.

    Sofar my short research has revealed, it is an American Bread Company since 1911 and was bought out by another Bread company Schwebel in 1984,

    It’s ingredients are therefore American and it is prepared in America, sent frozen to Australia, baked in Australia and sold through supermarkets.

    My conclusion is, it is baked in house of supermarkets Giants Woolworth & Coles.
    The label is designed to convince the consumer to believe, “in spirit” means the tradition of making bread in Australia is being re-established.
    Nowhere can you find, the origin of this Bread until you search the Bread company Schwebel, a jewish family living in Campell, Ohio and soon began to expand and moved to Youngstown.

    John

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  27. Give me Lawsons Traditional Settlers Grain any day, any time of day, especially at night with a mug of tea and that beeeeautiful kibble slathered with butter..better than a glass of wine with cheese. It makes me wail to think they must bin it at Woolies at the end of each sale day..as they must..’cos it is a bit pricey when not on sale!

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  28. Lawson’s bread has just gone up in price and is now $5.15 a loaf at Woolworths. Makes you think twice about how much you love it??????

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  29. Just having breakfast here in Melbourne with a loaf of Irrewarra bread handmade in the Otway Ranges of Victoria. $6.70 from a specialty deli and worth every cent. It reminded me of Procera, a bread I had every morning with my grandparents in the 60’s and loved. Searched on google for ‘Procera’ and found your blog where you didn’t care for it. Would love to take a 2011 taste test with an adult pallet!

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  30. i run Health Kick Cafe in Whittlesea Victoria, and i am frustrated at the lack of service in relation to the delivery of lawsons bread. Today Wednesday 19th I purchased all of Foodworks Lawson bread supply, which comprised of 6 loaves of bread, how rediculous, a major supermarket. However they seem to have a large supply of other breads, so why is the lwason bread so hared to supply?
    NOT HAPPY.

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  31. I love Lawsons wholemeal…..two slices are as good as four of any other bread. My lunch pack is smaller but I am more satisfied by the weight of the slices. It is not available in my local foodworks in Bungendore but it is available in the IGA at Braidwood 47kms away. But now the blue packet is getting harder to get. Woolworths seem to be taking the wholemeal of the shelf….help!!!

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