In the early years I lived in New York, my breakfast was a piece of springy Tuscan bread from the bakery under my flat. I've changed the toppings – sometimes pesto and an egg over light, sometimes avocado and paprika flakes, sometimes almond butter and small slices of strawberry. I liked the tough crust of the bread and the perfect, slightly sour taste. But thanks to my sensitivity to non-celiac wheat I have not eaten any of my beloved Tuscan bread for nearly five years.
Gluten – a family of proteins that are called triticale in wheat, rye, barley, and a hybrid grain, which gives a good bread this stretchy, almost springy texture and a little chewing. Do you know when you pull the layers of a croissant apart and the bread seems almost elastic? That's because of the gluten, the good stuff. Gluten also helps to preserve the moisture of the bread, which improves the taste and storage stability.
While my initial transition from a gluten-rich to a completely gluten-free diet was painful (giving up bread, beer, and whole wheat pasta was … emotionally), of course, gluten-free staple foods such as quinoa, rice, beans, legumes, and corn are to be sought for me now a matter of course. But sometimes I just want a sandwich.
So I bravely tasted tons of gluten-free bread, which is usually found in the frozen food department. However, the following should be noted: Gluten-free breads can be very crumbly (as they do not contain the gluten that holds them together) and the slices are usually very small. For some brands, the nutritional content is also not very good, as much sugar or a low dietary fiber was added. "Breads have a short shelf life with no added preservatives and sugar. That's why these ingredients are included in many national brands, "says Rachel Begun, MS, RDN, a culinary dietitian and gluten-free lifestyle expert.
Gluten-free breads can also be prohibitively expensive. That's because they contain much more ingredients than just flour, yeast, water and salt. The flours in gluten-free bread could be millet, rice, chia, potato, almond, buckwheat, quinoa, corn, or anything more expensive than wheat. Many companies use special gluten-free facilities or produce only small amounts of their products, which contributes to higher prices.
The good news is that there are tons of gluten-free bread options – and many of them really do not suck. Here are seven that are worth trying out.
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