Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Comparing Gluten Free Bread Mixes

For those of you who know me well, I don't usually like to make anything that comes out of a box, tube, or packet... but I've been gluten free only since June and am experimenting with recipes so often, that I've found it nice to try the bread mixes from a box.

I've tried three so far, and am happy to report my findings... so far all of these are available at Whole Foods and in multi-packs on Amazon. YUM!

1) Gluten Free Pantry's favorite sandwich bread was just that- so far the best slicing and firm- texture (ie. best hold for a sandwhich). The flavor was the staple white-bread flavor- something I ironically haven't had in my house in years. We switched to nutty wheat breads ages ago for the health factor, and I'm actually quite glad to go back to white bread for PB&J's. Yum. My first notice on this one was that the top sunk about 1/4". Perhaps high altitude, perhaps I just need to try again- either way, it still worked great for sammies, egg-in-the-middle, and everyday tea and toast. It was a bit plain, but overall a good substitute.

You'll need two eggs, butter, and water for this one.


White Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Skim Milk, Whey, Corn Starch, Brown Sugar, Guar Gum, Salt and A Packet of Yeast.

2) Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Bread Mix came out super light and fluffy, and I'm partial to Bob because of his rice, tapioca, and other flour substitutes that I buy that work great up here at high altitude. It's a lighter, fluffier bread that GFPantry's dense alternate, so the slices must be cut thicker, but it's definitely a better bread for snack or meal, just not for sandwiches. Has a richer flavor too.
Of all of them, this one stuck to the sides of the breadmaker the most, which usually means that some of the loaf is inconsistent (floury, separated), and did so in this case. If you're careful to scrape the sides down during the mixing phase, it's ok, which I always check because it happens frequently. What made me happy was that #3 below didn't do that at all- nothing to scrape is very rare.

You'll need milk, eggs, butter, and cider vinegar for this one.

Garbanzo Bean Flour, Potato Starch, Corn Starch, White Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Flour, Evaporated Cane Juice, Fava Bean Flour, Xanthan Gum, Active Dry Yeast, Potato Flour, Sea Salt, Guar Gum, Soy Lecithin.

3) 365 (Whole Foods Generic) Gluten Free Sandwhich Bread
As stated above, this one started out the smoothest, but didn't rise as high as the second one (first actually deflated, deflated loaves make me sad). This one didn't smell as good when it came out either, not a bad smell, but almost none at all. A delicious slice when warm, and it kept its shape when sliced. It had a slightly more box-taste to it (I'm very sensitive to fresh ingredients, which is why I don't buy ready-made or instant foods), so either my box was older, or it's just that generic brand taste. Either way, I'd say this falls into the #2 spot in rating, I believe Bob's brand was the best of all three, although looking at the ingredients, #1 and #3 are basically the same, they tasted the same, held together the same, and this one rose about 1/4" higher.

You'll need water, butter, and two eggs for this one.

White rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, skim milk powder, whey, cornstarch, brown sugar, guar gum, salt, packet of yeast.

Bob's also has a GF wheat bread with buckweat and molasses, and I'm itching to try the Ener-G, Delicious, and Chebe brands, so this is just the beginning!

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