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The best off-the-shelf gluten free bread you can buy

by Brad Neal (follow)
Author of Swimming Hole Heaven swimh.com), Waterfalls Seasons waterfallseasons.com) & Ankle Deep Water ankledeepwater.com)
Gluten Free (109)      Product Reviews (6)     
Most gluten free breads pale in comparison to real bread - they are cakey, crumbly and you need to toast them twice to have any chance of enjoying them. After more than a decade of disappointment trying different brands, both from local bakeries and the supermarket, I was surprised and excited to find the "Pure-Bred" gluten free bread range from (even more surprising) Coles supermarkets.

The main difference with the Pure-Bred bread is that it is soft. You push your finger into one of the hot dog buns and they bounce back like a hot dog bun should. Take a look at the following picture, which shows how you can bend a slice of this gluten free bread without it snapping in half like most other gluten free breads I've tried. This means you can make a sandwich and eat it without the pieces crumbling into your lap before you are half way through.

Gluten Free Bread Stress Test
Giving a slice of pure-bred raisin bread the flex test. Look, not even a crack.

Next I tested the hot dog buns. You can see in the following picture that when you slice the bun along its length, it is still joined at the hinge. That means you can fill your bun with your favourite fillings and they won't fall out through the hinge as you eat it. That's quite revolutionary for a gluten free bread.

Gluten Free Bread Stress Test
A gluten free bun that is still joined at the hinge after you open it: truly amazing!

I looked on the packet at the list of ingredients to see if I could work out why it succeeded when so many others had failed before it, but there were no items that I hadn't seen listed in other gluten free products. However the list of ingredients was overly long, probably because of where it is made.

Gluten Free Bread Stress Test
The Pure Bred brand - coming all the way from Ireland to Australia

Unfortunately, this bread comes all the way from Ireland. At first I was dumbfounded by this - how can it be feasible for my bread to be baked on the other side of the planet? Apparently it is baked in Ireland, frozen, transported to Australia and then thawed locally by Coles when they want to sell it. So it's definitely not fresh bread, and there are some issues around the environmental cost of transporting bread half way around the world just so you can have a sandwich. You'll need to weigh these downsides up for yourself. The products on offer seem to vary from store to store, but I've seen white bread loaves, raisin bread loaves, the multi-grain hot dog buns and fruit buns.

Gluten Free Bread Stress Test
The raisin bread loaf

I'm also conscious that if the Australian dollar drops, it will no longer be financially viable to distribute the bread from Ireland to Australia and I'll lose my only supply of decent gluten free bread. If that happens, hopefully Pure-Bred can open a bakery here in Australia, or someone can learn how to copy their recipe. If anyone thinks they know of a better gluten free bread that's made locally, feel free to let me know.

Gluten Free Roll
The finished product ready to sink your teeth into

#Gluten Free
#Product Reviews
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whot about side efact
Carol - I hope your son-in-law got his money back. I've bought this bread dozens of times and never had that experience.
Henka - There's an IGA in the next suburb over from me - will take a walk and give Zehnder a go. Thanks for sharing.
I suggested to my coeliac son-in-law ithat he try this bread. He told me that he has and probably won't buy it again as it has always been mouldy.
There are some really good gluten free breads out there. We have tried our share of them. Zehnder Bread is our favourite by far. They make amazing products and yes they are soft and pretty close to "bread". They have a good variety too. And most importantly they are local products - made by Australians! Don't need to wait for the Irish to make your bread. Can also buy these frozen at IGA stores.
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