Updated: Jun 27
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When you are diagnosed with Celiac or decide to adopt a gluten free diet, often your first concern is which bread you can have. Bread is such a centerpiece of food culture that it is immediately apparent your meals now lack it. Over my last 10+ years of being gluten free, there has been a large evolution in gluten free bread in the positive direction, but that still doesn't mean every option is the best option! Additionally, if you are like me and have additional allergies, not all gluten free bread is even safe. Below are some of my favorite gluten free breads (that are also dairy and egg free).
For those of you who have never traveled to Europe (or perhaps haven't been back since going gluten free), Schaer is the number one gluten free brand in Europe. It is as popular (if not more) than Udi's here in the states. However, unlike Udi's, the sandwich bread (and baguettes, rolls, and other bread types) don't contain dairy or eggs. What I love so much about Schaer is that it has the closest taste and consistency to normal bread. It is a bit spongy, has the correct shape and size, and tastes great! My family will happily eat bread from them without hesitation and says that they can barely taste any difference. My one frustration with Schaer is that not ALL of their products are dairy and egg free. Therefore, you constantly have to double check the ingredients to make sure they are safe.
Happy Campers bread became my lifesaver after being diagnosed with my dairy and egg allergies. I didn't discover this bread for almost a year after those diagnoses, but once I did, it saved me more than once as my allergies continued to become more severe. This is because all of their products are not only gluten free and vegan, but they are also rice and corn free. I had to cut out rice and corn for about 3 years, and this was the ONLY bread on the shelves I could find that was safe. It has a great taste, they make multiple different flavors, and it is a family owned business. It does have a heavier taste to it because of the ancient grains that it is made from, but I like it. The main downsides of it are that the slices are a bit smaller than typical bread, and it is difficult to find in stores. Mom's Organic Market carries it as do some local shops, but I paid to ship it across the country for 3 years because there weren't any stores I could find it in.
I discovered Little Northern Bakehouse at Expo West the first year I started my channel. It was exciting because by then I had figured out that I could have rice and corn as long as they were non-gmo (which their products are) and the bread was gluten free and vegan! Despite it being a smaller brand, I have actually seen many health food grocers carrying it as well as had restaurants inform me that their gluten free bread is from Little Northern Bakehouse. I have not tried anything from this brand that doesn't taste great, but out of all of the brands listed in this article, it loses its taste quickest and is the most crumbly out of the breads. For this reason, I would recommend freezing half of the loaf if you know you won't make it through quickly.
I didn't realize that Ener-G made more than egg replacer (which does work very well!) until the dining hall at my college started carrying it. Similar to Schaer, this company has both vegan and non-vegan gluten free products, so you do need to double check the ingredients. The regular bread from Ener-G is actually not my favorite thing they have-it is their gluten free Texas Toast. The Texas Toast is wonderful and fluffy with a great taste. It is very thick, though, so it may not fit in your typical toaster. I don't see this brand in stores particularly often, but it is available online.
Overall, these are the brands I have found most success with that are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and non gmo. While they have varying shelf lives from the store, I recommend keeping all of them in the refrigerator after opening to preserve them or to freeze half of the loaf after opening. I've loved seeing as more brands enter the space and as the existing brands unveil new products. Hopefully soon, the choice at the store will be driven by which product is the best and not simply the only "safe" product available.
P.S. My absolute least favorite gluten free bread is Food for Life Brown Rice bread. It has a disgusting flavor and you could probably give someone a concussion with the loaf because it is hard as a rock. Do not fall into the trap of it-while it may be cheaper than others and easier to find it is not worth your money. When I was first diagnosed, we bought some of it. Rather than have to eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich we tried making, I just licked them off because the bread was so terrible to eat.