Taste Test: Gluten-Free Breads

By , Dana Angelo White, Food Network’s Healthy Eats
The gluten-free phenomenon has lead to dozens of new products on store shelves. Breads and baked goods are some of the hardest foods to make tasty and sans gluten. We polled our readers and took their favorite brands for a test drive.

The Criteria

For this taste test, we rated breads based on taste, texture, nutrition and cost. Each variety was rated on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Gluten-free breads are famously higher in calories so we tried hard to find some smart and tasty options. Most of the brands recommended toasting for best taste –this was definitely the preferable way for just about all of the options. 

Food for Life – Millet Bread

Rating: 3.5
Cost: $5.99
Nutrition Info (per slice): 100 calories; 21 grams carbohydrates; 0.5 gram fiber

Our Take: The millet gave this bread a pleasant nutty and sweet flavor. While many GF breads are dry and crumbly, this was almost too chewy. The slices are tiny and overall, not worth the price.

Food for Life – White Rice Bread

Rating: 3.5
Cost: $5.99
Nutrition Info (per slice): 110 calories; 22 grams carbohydrates; 0.5 gram fiber

Our Take: Another small and overly chewy bread. The white rice did make for a slightly lighter consistency and subtly sweet flavor. The ingredient list was plain and simple (a good thing). This option would be best toasted with jam.

Udi’s Whole Grain Loaf

Rating: 5
Cost: $ 4.99
Nutrition Info (per slice): 75 calories; 12 grams carbohydrates; 0.5 gram fiber

Our Take: A favorite from our Facebook fans, this bread lived up to the hype. Made from brown rice flour and potato and tapioca starches, this dairy, nut and soy-free option uses egg whites for texture and evaporated cane juice for sweetness. This was the only option that really tasted good without being toasted. A great choice for sandwiches or even French toast.

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I do enjoy most udi's products but find they are quite expensive. My favs for bread here in Canada are glutino genius - multigrain which can be eaten without toasting but does dry out quicly if left out of freezer. My ultimate fav is kinnikinik's new shelf stable multigrain bread. My kids use it for sandwiches for school no probs. And it can stay out of freezer for about 4 or 5 days. Love love love it.
The thing about Udi's for me is the eggs. The trick is finding the gluten free, vegan one that is tasty. I get the Food for Life Brown rice or wild rice one. That's pretty much all that is available near me. But I don't think it's bad at all. But I've learned not to be picky either. lol! Report
I agree with INDY50, Whole Foods Gluten Free Prairie Bread is what I have just about every morning. Occasionally I will have an open faced sandwich with Whole Foods Gluten Free LIGHT Sandwich Bread - Better than the regular Sandwich bread because it is not quite as mealy. The slices are a bit larger and the texture is a bit more open. I prefer them all toasted. Report
Found another: Tapioca Loaf by Ener G @ Kroger's for $3.49 / 16 oz loaf.
80 C/ slice - Fat.=3g - CHO=11 - Fiber 2gm - Sugar 1 gm- Protein 1 gm. - Na 95mg - K+= 25mg - Report
I have tried all the above recommended breads, and by far the VERY BEST is Canyon Bake House whole grain gluten/wheat free bread. It is about the same price as the above, but SO MUCH BETTER. Sprouts and King Soopers carries both the whole grain and raisin bread varieties. Report
I'm not gluten-intolerant, but I would suggest a potato-based bread (which I bake from time to time just because we love it). I will work on my basic recipe (which includes wheat flour) and see if I can devise something - stand by! Cheers. Report
We have tried Udi's, my husband has celiac, and it is okay, but price way too high. I prefer to make my own gluten free breads and have found a couple of recipes that work for us. Have found that the best way to keep it is to slice it, layer it with parchment paper and freeze in a freezer bag. Maintains the texture much better. Cooking gluten-free has become a whole new world for us. Report
Udi's is by far the only one worth eating. I have always been very disappointed in gluten free breads. They always tasted as if the were made with Elmer's White Glue. But Udi's bread has flavor and is lighter in texture and does not need toasted just to make it partially edible. Report
After trying many gluten free breads and finding them all tasteless, I was very happy to find Udi's, it is by far the best tasting I have found. Report
I love Canyon Bakehouse! One of our local sandwich shops uses it to create a GF sandwich that is absolutely delicious! It is their rosemary foccacia flavor.

I also really love the Foods By George brand! Their english muffins (and brownies!) are to die for. I haven't tried Udi's or Ener-G or Food For Life myself. Report
Unfortunately I haven't found a gluten-free bread without xanthan gum (which upsets my system just as much as gluten does). But before I realized that xanthan gum was giving me a problem I really liked Udi's bread. Report
I think the Udi's GF breads have the best texture/consistency, and good flavor. I personally like their millet-chia bread. Yummy, and doesn't make me miss regular bread anymore! Report
My daughter and granddaughter are off gluten so I am always on the lookout for information for them. Thanks Report
I haven't been diagnosed as gluten-intolerant but have avoided bread naturally just not pasta until recently. The less I eat items without gluten the more I find that gluten upsets my digestion and leaves me feeling like I'm preparing for a colonoscopy (the best way I can think of to describe the way it feels).

As for breads, I have been taste-testing and getting feedback from friends who are GF so that when I do eat bread, I'll have something that tastes good. I get the most recommendations for Whole Foods' brands of GF bread. Report
Great blog. Thank you. I just discovered Udi's and it is by far the best one of the bunch. I had given up on bread after being diagnosed as celiac. It is great to have it back!! Report
Udi's is definitely the best gluten free bread. I resent being gluten free, because I would honestly love to have a big buttery yeast roll. There is no substitute for that!! But since I'm medically forced to be gluten free, I am glad I found Udi's. At least I can make a decent sandwich. Report
I haven't tried the Udi's bread yet. I have been turned off by most of the GF breads I've tried and just don't eat bread anymore. Most are too expensive, too high in calories, taste like card board and are so heavy they can be used as a weapon. Report
I don't eat it. Report
Never tried it I have a neighbour who has celiac disease the weird thing is she used to love to bake bread even thought she could not eat it. Report
We recently found Canyon Bakehouse gf bread at Whole Foods. It comes in a 7 grain, white, and cinnamon raisin. It is excellent and can pass as "real" bread. Report
Whole Foods Gluten Free Praire Bread - Best.Ever. teh top Baker for Whole Foods is allergic to gluten and has developed most excellent baked goods. Report
Udis is the best so far for me. The others I have tried have been dry and tasteless. Report
Udi's is by far the best tasting of your bunch and does makes a decent sandwich with all the selections you can choose from. I must say, however, up here in Canada, Kinnikinnick has just come out with a bread that is superior to all others tried by me - it's like real bread and you can make a sandwich without toasting. I don't have any on hand right now (ate it all up - yum) or I'd put up the calorie count. Long gone are the days of cardboard bread and it's a hip-hip-hurray for that! Report
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