I love bread. At least, I used to love bread. I used to love toast, sandwiches, French toast, PB&J and I could eat it all day long. My love affair with bread started in childhood with Roman Meal bread. From there, the passion strengthened and grew to include rolls, baguettes, French bread and more. When the Gluten Free & More team tackled the assignment to review every single brand of gluten-free bread we could find, I was delirious. I couldn’t wait to try them. Toasted. Untoasted. Fresh-out-of-the-bag. At first, I was eager to sample them all. What else would a bread-a-holic think?
With delivery after delivery of gluten-free bread, it wasn’t long before my initial excitement wore off. This was a lot of bread. Initially we thought we would gather up 30, 40, maybe 50 entries tops – but we ended up finding over 75 different varieties of bread! And we tried them all.
Now that the project is behind us, I have finally had my fill of bread. My love affair has cooled. So bread and I are taking a little break. I’m eating toast just every other day for a little while. And maybe wrapping all my burgers in lettuce for the rest of my life. Luckily, we have a chest freezer full of gluten-free bread, just in case I start craving these carbs again. After all, gluten-free bread tends to be more expensive, and I don’t want to be wasteful!
For you, dear readers, we scoured the United States for the best-tasting gluten-free bread on the market. We’re pretty savvy when it comes to gluten-free products—but there were many bread brands we hadn’t heard of before we started this project. We were also surprised at the number of bread varieties sold by certain brands. Although I see just 3 or 4 varieties of Udi’s bread at my local grocery store, Udi’s actually has 6 different types of gluten-free bread. Canyon Bakehouse has 6. Glutino has 4. Franz Gluten Free Bakery has 4. Even smaller brands and store brands typically offer at least 2 options–white and whole-grain.
We are always asked about egg-free sandwich bread, so we were happy with the number of vegan options on the market. If you prefer to eat like a caveman, we found paleo breads to match your dietary needs (contains nuts). There’s a gluten-free loaf for everyone – based on personal preferences, allergies, or dietary restrictions.
We were also impressed with new formulations from brands. Canyon Bakehouse recently introduced larger Heritage Style Loaves. Schar just launched a new Aristan Bread variety, as well as newly formulated Deli bread. Rudi’s recently launched shelf-stable gluten-free varieties. We’re thankful that we were able to get our hands on the brand-new Bloomfield Farms vegan bread, because it made the top of the lists in taste and texture!
There are more new varieties coming down the gluten-free pipeline and we can’t wait to share them with you. We’re headed to Baltimore in a few months and Anaheim next March to check out the latest products at the Natural Products Expos. We’ll spotlight all the new, innovative breads directly from the show floor. Follow our Instagram for this appetizing news!
How did we locate all these brands of gluten-free bread? Like you probably do, we scoured our local stores. We visited natural grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts and Natural Grocers and traditional grocery stores like Kroger and Safeway. We also ordered a lot of our samples on Amazon.com, as well as other online retailers like Vitacost and Gluten Free Mall. In addition, we had gluten-free bloggers around the country search their local retailers for regionally based breads that aren’t available nationally. We know we may have missed a few. Let us know if we missed one of your favorites.
Do you have an incredible gluten-free bakery near you? If this bakery doesn’t ship their products, they are doing a disservice to the celiacs across the country. Imagine finding your favorite bread ever while you’re traveling on vacation–and not being able to eat it again because the bakery doesn’t ship!
There’s one bakery in Portland that makes the best gluten-free bagels, but they do not ship and will not ship — even if you ask nicely. Fortunately, I have friends in Portland. I pay for a USPS flat-rate box and they fill it up with these wonderful bagels. If you don’t have a friend, keep petitioning your favorite bakery to ship so we can all experience their great, safe products!
When it came to testing, three members of the Gluten Free & More team took on the brunt of the sampling. We all eat gluten-free, so it was uplifting to see and taste so many incredible entries. We also had non-gluten-free people taste the bread, too. We wanted their feedback, even though we’ve heard enough over the years about our bread tasting like cardboard, thank you very much.
We tasted the bread out of the bag, untoasted, and we tasted it after a stint in the toaster. We folded slices in half (or attempted it) to check for elasticity, flexibility and resistance to crumbling. We assessed nutrition and ingredients. We evaluated brand availability and distribution nationwide. We even had the cat taste test a few — but it was hard to see if his feedback was positive or negative or if he just wanted to take a nap.
Our real question when it came to judging the bread was, “Would we buy this with our hard-earned money?” If the answer was yes, the loaf was on the right track. While the taste team has minor discrepancies when ranking our favorite breads, we finally agreed on the top 10 breads that would be perfect for both newbies and gluten-free veterans.
We’re very excited about Gluten Free & More’s gluten-free bread expose. We hope this comprehensive review helps you find the perfect gluten-free loaf to safely meet your dietary needs and keep your taste buds happy! Subscribers get access to the full review. Not a subscriber yet? Subscribe to Gluten Free & More and have it delievered right to your doorstep every two months! You can also purchase this Aug/Sept issue of Gluten Free & More magazine as a print or digital issue.
Erica Dermer, founder and head celiac in charge of Celiac and the Beast, started her blog because she felt like she had a new voice to bring to the gluten-free table and needed some celiac catharsis through writing. With a background in marketing and market research and development (including the food and beverage industry), she’s always had a soft spot in her heart for packaged goods, marketing, and branding in the gluten-free food industry. It also helps that she’s a self-proclaimed terrible cook, so she relies on many gluten-free products to help her get through her day without burning down the kitchen. She uses humor to get through her diagnosis and living gluten-free in a world full of wheat. She has partnered with her non-celiac significant other, who not only designs gluten-free themed merchandise for Celiac and the Beast, but is a key taste-tester for the brand.Originally posted June 2017