Are you disappointed in the gluten-free breads on the supermarket shelves?
Are you surprised that buying gluten-free bread is so complicated?
I'm going to try to simplify the task of buying gluten-free bread with a few easy tips.
If you're new to gluten-free bread you're probably disappointed in the taste and texture. You may even be wondering, "why is gluten-free bread so horrible?"
It's the gluten in wheat bread that makes it rise up nice and light and fluffy. Baking gluten-free bread is more challenging because bakers need to find other ways to make it rise and hold it's shape.
If you've been buying gluten-free bread for a while, you're probably noticing that there is a lot more choice than in the past.
Just a couple of years ago gluten free bread was dry and crumbly with a mouth feel like beach sand. Today, there are quite a few choices out there and you may just have some fun trying them out to see what you like.
Gluten free bakeries are popping up all over the place. I highly recommend spending some time to see what’s in your area and trying them out.
A quick google search will give you a list of gluten-free bakeries in your area. Have some fun trying them out. You'll be surprised at the delicious gluten-free breads and baked goods you'll find. If you live in a city you may find several. Try them all and settle on a favorite.
When you're travelling to a new city, search for gluten-free bakeries at your destination. Visiting a new bakery can be a fun activity and you may find a gem that you will come back to or recommend to others.
Buying gluten-free bread from experienced bakers who use their expertise to create a quality product can be very satisfying.
You get a great product as these folks take pride in their work and the results show. As a bonus you get to support a local business rather than a big company. Better for the planet, better for the local economy and better for you.
Buying gluten-free bread from your grocer is more about convenience than quality or taste.
That's not much different really than buying wheat bread in the grocery store versus going to a reputable baker.
Look at the label on a loaf of Wonderbread. There is no doubt that the ingredients are about making the machinery run smoothly and speeding up the process, not the health and well being of the consumer.
President's Choice - This is a Canadian brand and my personal favorite. The bread is soft, holds up well even un-toasted and their hamburger buns are actually the size of a hamburger.
Schar - This is a multi-national brand that I've found world wide and it's reliably good. If you spend time in online gluten-free groups, many people recommend Schar.
Glutino - For a sandwich bread, Glutino has a decent multi grain that makes good toast, and a cheese bread with a nice cheesy snap.
Udi’s - has decent hamburger and hotdog buns for when you find yourself craving that summer burger.
Organic is making it’s way into the gluten free bread market as well.
When you think about it, it’s a natural fit.
Whether by necessity or choice, people are switching to gluten free to be healthier, so choosing bread made with quality organic ingredients makes sense.
I like Silver Hills. It's from B.C. in Western Canada and is available at Costco. Organic and whole grain, it's a good healthy bread and tastes great toasted with marmalade or a bit of peanut butter.
Glutino 369 g loaf for $6.00 vs Wonderbread 675 g loaf for $3.49
As food prices rise the cost of gluten-free food is rising right along with it.
The big downside of buying gluten-free bread is the price. It’s often twice as expensive as wheat bread or more. This is partly because it’s made in much smaller batches so it doesn’t benefit from the huge manufacturing and distribution infrastructure that’s been built for conventional products.
My advice for buying gluten-free bread is to spend a little more for a quality product and eat less of it. Focus your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables with a little meat and bread, and you’ll have a good, healthy, economical gluten free diet.
When buying gluten-free bread and deciding what's best, I recommend trying several for yourself.
Everyone is different and your taste is different than mine.
I definitely recommend a gluten-free baker over the supermarket fare for quality and taste. In my area Ste. Anne's Gluten-Free Bakery in Grafton, Ontario makes an amazing product.
Of course the grocery story is convenient so when buying there, I've already mentioned President's Choice. My second choice would be Schaar.