As I was blogging about crackers last week, one reader asked if I would talk about gluten-free bread choices. What a great idea! I have reviewed different bread products here over the past year, but I don’t believe I have gone into detail on multiple brands in one post, like a cheat sheet for newbies. So, I am going to do it in this post. I am going to include the breads that I have tried over the past 3.5 years.
The first gluten-free bread mix I ever tried was made by Bob’s Red Mill. I can’t remember which one it was, but I suspect it was the Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix. I tried this mix about a month after I went gluten-free. I was so excited when I was making it…the smell wafting through my kitchen was delightful. I couldn’t wait to bite into a piece of warm bread. Well, ummm, I was devastated and may have even cried. I hated it! Now, to be fair, I have not tried this mix since, but have come to love Bob’s Red Mill and their products. Perhaps I was expecting a replica of my once beloved Home Pride Bread. We all know that that will not happen. Looking back now, I realize I was feeling sorry for myself and very bitter about the fact that I was not digging the new diet plan. One of my favorite mixes is made by Bob’s Red Mill – pizza crust! I love this mix so much I have a case of it in my pantry. I need to give Bob’s bread another try. I may try the Cinnamon Raisin or Hearty Whole Grain this time around.
Gluten-free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Bread & French Bread & Pizza Mix. These were my go-to mixes before I discovered Pamela’s. The sandwich bread is a great tasting bread and holds up well under the circumstances I need it to (packed lunch). The French bread & Pizza Mix is also a good bread and pizza crust, but the Pamela’s is better. Pamela’s has more depth to it’s flavor and does hold up even better. I didn’t feel like I ever had to add seasoning to Pamela’s when making pizza crust with it, where I did with GFP’s mix. Everyone’s preferences are different, so this may be just what you are looking for. Lots of people rave about these mixes.
Glutino Harvest Corn Loaf is a decent bread. It isn’t as good as some of the others I have mentioned here, but it gets the job done. This bread is also found in the freezer section.
Glutino Harvest Corn:
Ener-G Light Brown Rice Loaf is probably one of the worst gluten-free breads I have tasted. It is a shelf stable product, so I am not sure if that is part of it. Don’t try & eat this stuff untoasted. Toasting makes it somewhat tolerable. I used this bread for a short period of time between Gluten-free Pantry’s bread & Pamela’s. It is easy to transport, but now that I take a cooler on most trips, I bring along pre-made loaves of my Pamela’s. I am not trying to pick on Ener-G. I like their pretzels & use their flours & breadcrumbs to cook with. :) I just happen to not care for their bread.
Whole Foods Bakehouse makes some great products. Their sandwich bread is awesome & reminds me of my Grandmother’s homemade challah bread (minus the braid on top). I don’t get this bread often because Whole Foods isn’t all that close to me and I can make bread cheaper at home. However, it is a nice treat & very worthy of every penny. :) They also make a great frozen pie crust that I have served to many gluten-lovers & they have not known the difference. I will gladly spend $6 for 2 frozen crusts instead of making my own. I didn’t make pie crust before I went gluten-free, I can’t imaging starting now. That is not my forte. I will stick with cookies, cakes, breads & meals.
Pamela’s Gluten-free Bread is one of my favorites and is the one we buy cases of on Amazon.com to make weekly. Jon loves this bread. It toasts well and travels well. It can be toasted in the AM for sandwiches & then packed for his lunch box for lunch 5 hours later. This mix is so versatile! You can also make pizza crust, bagels & pie crust with it. You can find Pamela’s in stores all over and online. I buy in bulk at Amazon.com.
Kinnikinnick Many Wonder Multi-grain Bread is another one of my favorite breads. This is the closest to rye that I have found, well except the Trader Joe’s Rye-less Rye, but that bread is way too small for sandwiches. This bread makes amazing sandwiches! I also happen to love this bread schmeared with almond butter & bananas for snack! TDF! You can find this bread in the freezer section of your local health food stores, in some mainstream grocery stores and online.
Breads from Anna is another wonderful bread mix. I just tried this mix a couple months back & really enjoyed it. Jon didn’t like it as much, but he is a Pamela’s boy. That just meant more for me. It may have been because it has bean flours in it, which also adds protein & fiber. If I could find this bread cheaper, I would probably eat this on a regular basis & give Jon the Pamela’s.
I am editing this post to add the newest gluten-free bread that I have tried – Udi’s. Udi’s is the one & only gluten-free bread that is amazing right out of the bag on the counter. There is no refrigeration required. There is no freezing required. No toasting. Perfect, soft bread. I had to double check to make sure that it did not contain gluten, it was that good. I was finding reasons to make sandwiches when this bread was in my house. I wanted to pack my lunch & go someplace just to say that I could. That I didn’t have to toast my bread first and then eat a cold, toasted bread sandwich. Some lucky ducks are able to find this bread in their local stores or Whole Foods. Such is not the case yet in Ohio, though I can order it online. Speaking of ordering online, it looks as if Udi’s is offering 35% off shipping right now. Bread is $5/loaf or $38 for 8 loaves.
I hope that this list helps some of you guys out. I remember those first days and months of trying to eat gluten-free. I remember the frustration & tears. I have taken a bite of something & thrown the rest away. Not only did that leave me hungry, but mad at how much I spent on it. That is why I write this blog. If I can help just one person out, it makes my day. If you have any questions, please don’t ever hesitate to comment or email me. I try to respond to each & every comment & every email, though it may take a day or two.