Sunday, June 21, 2009

GF Bread - My Favorites

I get asked a lot about my favorite GF breads. This question is hard to answer because GF bread likes/dislikes are very subjective. If I am eating bread it needs to have a great texture and taste, but I also want to have some fiber and protein. Most of the GF breads contain little to no protein because they are make with a rice base and don't include the fiberful grains like Teff, Amaranth and Quinoa to name a few.

Bread used to be a staple in my diet, but over the last couple of years, I have gotten used to eating meat without buns and sandwiches wrapped in lettuce or brown rice wraps. It is very nice to have options available for when that bun craving hits during summer cook out time!

I break down my favorite breads down into a couple of different categories: Ready to Eat, Mixes and Frozen.

Ready-to-Eat breads - these bread can be used right out of the package without being heated, thawed or toasted.

- this bread is my favorite bread of all time (to this point) due to its flavor, texture and ability to eat it right out of the bag with no heating or toasting. It also had a good amount of both protein and fiber for a premade bread. I keep this bread in my refrigerator and eat it straight out of the bag with a little butter, peanut butter or apple jelly. It is soft, moist and spongy and sort of tastes like a cross between pumpernickle and rye. This bread is at a higher price point, but it is well worth the cost.
Protein = 4 grams; Fiber = 4 grams
***This bread is currently on sale through Gluten Free Trading Company for $2.99 a loaf. This bread usually sells for anywhere from $7.50 - $9, so this is a fabulous sale to take advantage of.

Ener-G Light Tapioca Loaf - although this bread does not have a healthful aspect to it, I find it to be the best bread to make french toast, grilled cheese and cold sandwiches. You do have to heat the bread to make the cold sandwiches, but you can make french toast and grilled cheese right out of the bag. This bread is vacuum sealed, so you do not have to refrigerate it or freeze it prior to use, which makes it easy to store. Once you open the bag, you need to refrigerate it.
Protein = 0; Fiber = 1

Frozen - sold in the freezer and need to be heated, thawed or toasted to taste their best

The Grainless Baker - makes fabulous hamburger/hot dog buns and hoagie rolls. Their hamburger buns are used by the Outback in Roswell, GA. They are so undetectible from their gluten counterpart that I found myself double checking to make sure they had given me the right bun. I like to use the hoagie rolls for sub sandwiches, french dip or a cheese steak sandwich.
Hamburger Bun = Protein = 1 gram; Fiber = 5 grams
Hot Dog Buns = Protein = 1 gram; Fiber = 5 grams
Hoagie Rolls = Nutritional Information not available on website

Joan's GF Great Bakes
- makes the best bagels and english muffins I have ever had. Joan's products are shipped as premade 'dough' that you defrost and bake to your liking. This company offers a large product line that is worth investigating, but I would guess that her bagels are the best selling products.
Bagels - Protein = 5; Fiber = 2
English Muffins - Protein = 4; Fiber = 2

Kinnikinnick - I like their Brown Rice bread the best because it almost tastes like pumpernickle and has a small amount of fiber. I am also partial to their hamburger and hot dog buns that have recently been reformulated to decrease the sweetness and amount of left over bun and improve their elasticity.
Brown Rice Bread - Protein = 2 grams; Fiber = 2 grams
Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns - Protein = 5 grams; Fiber = 4 grams

Mixes - self explanatory

Breads from Anna - I believe this to be the most well known line of bread mixes. The company has undergone a couple of name changes: Manna from Anna, Breads from Anna and finally Gluten Evolution. These mixes are tailored to meet the need of most people as they are available dairy free, yeast free, soy free, rice free and nut free. They started making three varieties of Muffin/Pancake mix earlier this year.
Nutritional Information Not Available on Website

Gluten Free Naturals - offer a multi-grain bread mix that makes two one-pound loaves. you don't need to use a bread maker and you proof the bread in the oven while it is heating up. This bread stays fresh for a couple of days on the counter, but then must be refrigerated or frozen.
Protein - 1 gram; Fiber = 2 grams

Tracey's Treats - I have been a big fan of this bread for a number of years. We used to carry this bread mix at Return to Eden, but it is a tad bit more expensive and I had a hard time convincing customers that it was worth the extra money. This bread is made with Millet, a GF grain that contains both fiber and protein. It is easy to make using their mix, or you can buy it frozen in a 'ready to use' baking pan. It smells like real bread while it is baking and it rises and has the texture of a 'real' bread. I like to use it to make french toast and sandwiches.
Nutritional Information is not available on their website

I continue to try new breads because the GF market is expanding by leaps and bounds, so there is always something new to try. There are a number of online bakeries all over the US whose products are well worth trying.

Please don't limit yourself and continue to explore the new bounty of bread products. You just never know what fabulous treat is waiting for you!

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