The Best Gluten Free Bread Ranked Using 11 Experiments


When starting a gluten free diet, all of the gluten free choices can be overwhelming. Especially the options for gluten free bread. And how do you decide what the best overall bread is?

From all the tests we performed, the brand of bread that came out on top of all the others was Canyon Bakehouse. It did not come out with the highest rating overall, but it came in second. But when we averaged out where each bread ranked out of 9, Canyon Bakehouse came in first. If you are looking for the best overall bread, this is what you want.

The best way to figure out the best bread is to test it. So I purchased different bread brands and tried them side by side to find the best one for each bread application. I also wanted to test other aspects of the bread and compare them side by side to find the best.

The Overall Best Gluten Free Bread

In each section below, you will find how they ranked for each experiment.

Each of these experiments is a recipe tested or a comparison between data collected. Each section gives a slightly different input to the question we are answering here, “what is the best gluten free bread?”

To answer that question, I took the averages of all tests. I averaged out the star ratings for the ones we gave star ratings to and how they ranked compared to each other. There were some ties. I used average rank as the primary and star rating as the tie-breaker but considered both below.

The links below will take you to a post with in-depth information on each brand or experiment. This post includes overviews of experiments and rankings but does not go into as much detail as the linked articles.

Here are the overall rankings:

  1. Canyon Bakehouse Hawaiian Sweet Bread
  2. Schar Artisan Baker Multigrain Bread
  3. Against The Grain Fresh Rosemary Baguettes
  4. Franz Gluten Free Mountain White Bread
  5. Udi’s Multigrain Bread
  6. Sam’s Choice Gluten Free Classic White Bread
  7. Rudi’s Gluten Free Homestyle Original
  8. Kroger Gluten Free 7 Grain Bread
  9. Simple Truth Puff Bunz

The experiments we performed were:

  1. Allergens (not used for ranking)
  2. Cost Per Oz
  3. Cost Per Slice
  4. Bread Slice Size
  5. Bread Pudding
  6. French Toast
  7. Garlic Bread
  8. Grilled Cheese
  9. Panini
  10. Sandwich Bread Without Toasting
  11. Spead Butter On Bread
  12. Stuffing

In the sections below, you can find basic information on how each test went. For more information on each bread brand or how each experiment went, click on the above links. They will take you to an article on each specific topic with in-depth details.

Allergens In Each Bread We Tested

It is common for those that eat gluten free to avoid at least one other ingredient on the list. Sometimes it is wheat, eggs, milk, or something rarer such as quinoa or rice. I wanted to list this at the top of the other tests so you know if there are certain brands of bread on this list that you cannot consider for your use.

I chose to include as many allergens as I could think or ones that I have seen people avoiding. This list is in alphabetical order because there is no way to rank these.

Against The Grain Rosemary Baguettes Milk, Eggs

Canyon Bakehouse Hawaiian Sweet Bread Eggs, Rice, Xanthan Gum, Yeast

Franz Gluten Free Mountain White Bread Rice, Xanthan Gum, Eggs, Yeast

Kroger Gluten Free 7 Grain Bread Eggs, Rice, Xanthan Gum, Quinoa, Yeast

Rudi’s Gluten-Free Homestyle Original Eggs, Rice, Yeast

Sam’s Choice Gluten-Free Classic White Bread Rice, Xanthan Gum, Eggs, Yeast

Schar Artisan Baker Multigrain Bread Rice, Corn, Soy, Yeast, Quinoa

Simple Truth’s Puff Bunz Eggs, Milk, Xanthan Gum, Corn

Udi’s Multigrain Bread Rice, Eggs, Xanthan Gum, Yeast

Some allergens I looked for and didn’t find in any of the listed bread choices: peanut, wheat, tree nut, shellfish, fish, sesame, and oats.

This list isn’t to criticize any of these brands for what they have used in their bread. It is only to be aware of all of the different ingredients in case you need to eliminate one or more of the brands on this list for your use.

The Best Gluten Free Bread By Cost Per Oz

You are likely reading this article because you don’t want to purchase an expensive loaf of gluten free bread. Gluten free bread is expensive, and there is no denying that.

So one of the ways I wanted to compare them was by how much bread you get for the money. The first way to compare this is by cost per oz.

In order from least to most expensive, here are the loaves of bread that we tested:

Udi’s $0.28 per oz

Kroger $0.28 per oz

Rudi’s $0.29 per oz

Sam’s Choice $0.33 per oz

Schar $0.35 per oz

Franz $0.33 per oz

Canyon Bakehouse $0.43 per oz

Against The Grain $0.56 per oz

Simple Truth $1.25 per oz

While cost is a concern, it shouldn’t be the most significant consideration. I used the cost in our test as a tie-breaker when other tests caused a tie to push one slightly over the other.

The Best Gluten Free Bread By Cost Per Slice

Cost per oz is one way to measure it; another way is by the slice. In many ways, I like this way better because I don’t use bread by the oz; I use it by the slice. So this is a more practical way to measure cost.

Below is the cost per slice of bread listed from the lowest to highest price.

Note: I did not include Against The Grain in this comparison because it does not come sliced. I chose to add the Puff Bunz. The intent is to use it as a “slice” of bread, not sliced open.

Kroger $0.36

Rudi’s $0.38

Schar $0.41

Sam’s Choice $0.43

Canyon Bakehouse $0.43

Udi’s $0.44

Franz $0.46

Simple Truth $0.75

As the cost per oz, the cost per slice comparison is a secondary test. The more critical tests are how the bread works to use in different recipes.

The Best Gluten Free Bread By Bread Slice Size

When cooking with bread and using it in different applications, the bread slice size can make a huge difference. The importance was partially taken into consideration in the rankings in each test.

However, the size of a slice is important enough to create this rank independently of other tests. Below are the brands of bread in order from the largest to the smallest.

Udi’s 16.5 square inches

Rudi’s 15 square inches

Franz 13 square inches

Schar 11.1 square inches

Canyon Bakehouse 10.9 square inches

Kroger 10.3 square inches

Sam’s Choice 10.2 square inches

Simple Truth 9.6 square inches

Against The Grain 3.9 square inches

The final on this list is much smaller than the others. It is worth noting that since it is a baguette, the cross-section will be much smaller than other slices. Since it doesn’t come sliced, you could argue that this is unfair, and you could slice it in many different ways.

The Best Gluten Free Bread For Bread Pudding

If you are looking to use gluten free bread for bread pudding, you will want to find a bread with several qualities. A bread that is too soft will fall apart, but one that is too firm won’t absorb enough egg mixture.

The flavor of the bread is also important, but the egg mixture has vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon which overwhelmed most taste in the bread.

I made the egg mixture to make the bread pudding and added it to pint jars with two slices of bread cut up into pieces. I shook them up and left them to sit and absorb. After they had sat for about 5 minutes, I added more egg mixture as needed and baked them.

We took them out of the oven to cool down slightly before scooping them out of the jars into bowls for pictures and taste testing.

Here are the results in order from the best to the worst with their star ratings.

Canyon Bakehouse 4 stars

Sam’s Choice 4 stars

Franz 3 stars

Schar 3 stars

Udi’s 3 stars

Against The Grain 3 stars

Kroger 2 stars

Rudi’s 1 star

Simple Truth 1 star

Canyon Bakehouse won this contest without breaking a sweat. The sweeter flavor of the bread came through even with the egg mixture and worked wonderfully. The texture was almost perfect as well.

With any gluten free bread pudding, you will want to be more gentle than you may need to be with wheat-based bread. I tried to be soft with this recipe, but I also wanted to test the bread well.

Under no circumstances would I ever use the last 3 on this list. Kroger, Rudi’s, and Simple Truth were all just awful. Against The Grain was extraordinarily chewy. The flavor was ok, but it didn’t absorb the egg mixture well.

The Best Gluten Free Bread For French Toast

I am incredibly picky about my french toast. So I may have been more critical about certain parts than someone else may have.

When I ran my gluten free food cart, I sourced gluten free challah bread in a boule loaf and sliced it over an inch thick before allowing it to sit in the egg mixture for at least 10 minutes. Sometimes I even stuffed them with a cream cheese mixture and topped them with fresh berries. So I knew that none of them would measure up to my high expectations.

To make the french toast, I mixed up the egg mixture and allowed each piece of bread to sit in it for 2 minutes per side using a timer. Then I cooked it in an electric skillet with butter until it appeared done on the outside, and the french toast mixture and butter had created the signature look.

For the taste test, we made sure to try the inside portion without the crust. We tried each individually as the french toast came out of the pan and rated them. We were concerned with the taste, texture, and if the bread could be soaked in eggs and then moved without ripping.

Here is how we ranked all the different brands after trying them from the best to the worst.

Against The Grain 5 stars

Canyon Bakehouse 4 stars

Udi’s 4 stars

Franz 4 stars

Schar 3 stars

Kroger 3 stars

Rudi’s 3 stars

Sam’s Choice 2 stars

Simple Truth 1 star

The most surprising thing about this test wasn’t that Simple Truth tasted like sweet scrambled eggs, but that the fresh rosemary flavor of the Against The Grain worked so incredibly well. I will note that if you plan to leave the fresh toast to cool down before eating it, you might find that it gets chewy.

The Best Gluten Free Bread For Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is something that I want in any loaf of bread I choose to have around my house, especially if I am not selecting a loaf of bread for a specific purpose like I might for bread pudding or stuffing.

To make the garlic bread, I created melted garlic butter and used a pastry brush to apply it to one side of the slice of bread. Then I toasted in the oven for about 15 minutes before trying them.

We looked at the flavor of the bread with the garlic butter, the interior texture of the bread, the outside texture of the bread, and how well it was toasted.

Here are the brands of bread we tested in order from the best to worst.

Against The Grain 5 stars

Udi’s 4 stars

Canyon Bakehouse 4 stars

Rudi’s 3 stars

Schar 3 stars

Franz 3 stars

Kroger 3 stars

Sam’s Choice 2 stars

Simple Truth 1 star

It wasn’t surprising that Against The Grain came in first. The fresh rosemary flavor works very well with garlic. But more than that, the texture was chewy, and it worked very well.

Our lowest ranking wasn’t a surprise either. If you want garlic-flavored scrambled eggs, I’d suggest making scrambled eggs and not using something intended to resemble bread.

The Best Gluten Free Bread For Grilled Cheese

If a bread brand will not work for grilled cheese, it is almost not even worth having at all.

Gluten free bread tends to do better when heated up or toasted, so if it doesn’t work well for grilled cheese after being toasted in butter, it isn’t something I’m interested in having around.

To make grilled cheese, I took a slice of bread and spread butter on one side. Then I sliced it to make a half sandwich and put shredded cheese between them. I cooked it in a skillet until the outside became toasted and the cheese inside was melted.

Here are the bread brands we tried ranked from best to worst.

Against The Grain 4 stars

Schar 4 stars

Udi’s 4 stars

Franz 4 stars

Sam’s Choice 3 stars

Kroger 3 stars

Rudi’s 3 stars

Canyon Bakehouse 2 stars

Simple Truth 1 star

Canyon Bakehouse ended up so low on this list because of its sweet taste. The sweet taste can work well in some recipes, but it just didn’t work well for grilled cheese. The texture we rated at 4 stars, however.

The number 1 on this list only reached 4 stars and not 5 because the size of the bread was so small we couldn’t see that it would be acceptable unless you are looking for appetizers. But the flavor and texture were excellent.

The Best Gluten Free Bread For Paninis

Paninis are more of a specialty item than some others on the list. But I chose this as a test because it involves more than grilled bread. When making a panini, you put pressure on the bread with fillings.

The bread mustn’t break, fall apart, or disintegrate while cooking under the pressure of the panini press. It is also important that the bread can hold up without burning until the sandwich’s interior warms.

To make the paninis, I make half sandwiches without adding butter or oil to the outside of the bread. Inside I put cheese slices, sliced turkey, and defrosted bell peppers. Then put firm pressure on the outside of the press while it was cooking.

Here is how the different brands of bread ranked in our test, from best to worst.

Against The Grain 4 stars

Rudi’s 4 stars

Udi’s 3 stars

Canyon Bakehouse 3 stars

Schar 3 stars

Franz 3 stars

Sam’s Choice 3 stars

Kroger 2 stars

Simple Truth 2 stars

I was surprised how well everything worked in this test! I even gave Puff Bunz 2 stars, the highest it got in any of our tests. Kroger was the worst because the flavor came out when it was toasted and took over the other flavors of the sandwich.

However, I’d be pretty happy with any of the others in our test. Traditionally, paninis use baguettes, so Against The Grain won the top spot. It got so crispy on the outside, and the chewiness of the bread worked well. The flavor also enhanced the result.

I’d be interested in trying another gluten free baguette to give a closer comparison.

The Best Gluten Free Bread For Untoasted Sandwiches

The highest praise for any gluten free bread is no requirement to be toasted. One that works well right out of the bag for a sandwich is essential.

I didn’t give these a star rating, but I did rank them from best to worst.

Schar

Sam’s Choice

Franz

Canyon Bakehouse

Kroger

Rudi’s

Udi’s

Against The Grain

Simple Truth

This application is likely what I’d recommend the most for Simple Truth. Any tests you cook with bread won’t work well and end up tasting like scrambled eggs.

Rudi’s would be higher up the list if it weren’t so fragile. However, if you do not intend to spread butter or anything slightly firm, this would be at the top of the list.

The Best Gluten Free Bread For Spreading Butter On Bread

You need to spread butter or other semi-firm substances like peanut butter or cream cheese on raw bread for many different recipes. So this test is an important one.

Gluten free bread can range from too soft where the bread rips or too firm where you can’t use it without toasting it or heating it. And while the bread wouldn’t tear for the bread that was too firm, I rated it low in this test because the intention is to find a good bread without heating.

I took about a half tablespoon at room temperature and gently spread it on the bread to do this test. The brands that I knew were highly soft I was even more gentle with and spread the butter over the butter dish to soften it up before putting it on the slice of bread.

Here is how we ranked the different brands of bread from best to worst.

Canyon Bakehouse 4 stars

Kroger 4 stars

Sam’s Choice 3 stars

Schar 3 stars

Franz 3 stars

Against The Grain 3 stars

Udi’s 2 stars

Rudi’s 2 stars

Simple Truth 1 star

The two bread brands that got 2 stars here tore fairly badly but were able to be salvaged. The 1-star bread ripped all the way through and made it impossible to butter the slice of bread.

As buttered bread without heating, Canyon Bakehouse took the lead and flew away with it. This test didn’t include a taste test, so Kroger ended up high on the list. It does have a good texture that is pretty firm but also soft enough without being grainy.

The Best Gluten Free Bread For Stuffing

This test was an important one for me, but I don’t think it should be that important in the best bread overall as it is unlikely that you will grab the bread on the counter to make stuffing. It is usually something that you buy an entire loaf or two.

To do stuffing, I took two slices of bread and cubed them. Then I toasted them in the bottom of a bread pan until they were crispy. Then I added sauteed butter, onions, and celery, and a mixture of broth and eggs. Then I baked it, and we tried it when it came out of the oven.

Here is how we ranked them from best to worst.

Franz 4 stars

Sam’s Choice 3 stars

Udi’s 3 stars

Canyon Bakehouse 3 stars

Rudi’s 3 stars

Schar 3 stars

Kroger 2 stars

Against The Grain 2 stars

Simple Truth 1 star

Four of these were so close that I couldn’t decide. Ranks 3-6 are in a tie on this recipe.

The stuffing had to be the worst application of Puff Bunz. Save yourself from tasting scrambled eggs that taste like stuffing, and do not use this one.

The main issue with Against The Grain was how chewy this way. It did not work well in this application, even though the flavor was great. I had to rank this low.

On the other hand, Franz had a great structure that held up well to stuffing.

I was shocked at how well Rudi’s did. I anticipated disintegrating as it did in the bread pudding; however, it did not.

One important thing to note in this test is that I toasted all of the bread until it was like a crouton. Drying it out allowed it to have a great structure and kept some of the bread from disintegrating. So if you are going to use this list to choose bread for your stuffing, make sure to toast the bread cubes up very well.

Fawn

My passion is supporting those who need to be gluten free. After my family had to transition to eating gluten free I realized how difficult it is. It is more than finding a recipe. It is about how to navigate social situations, deal with isolation, and other things that come along with it. I live in Oregon with my family, cats, and chickens.

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