Look out Udi’s- there’s a new kid on the block who I predict will quickly command the largest marketshare in the gluten-free bread world. For those of you who, like me, have been on the hunt for the ultimate gluten-free sandwich bread, look no further. The bakers at Canyon Bakehouse have nailed a flour combination that is packed with whole grains at a reasonable price point. Did I mention they taste phenomenal too? I’m partial to the whole “delicious and nutritious” quote myself- I use it alot in my own blogging. And why not? Why shouldn’t nutritious food also be mind bogglingly delicious?
Intrigued, I ordered one of each of their products and put myself and my three harshest critics- my gluten-bomb eating husband, and my two gluten-free daughters- on the job. If this bread could stand up to their expectations, then I knew we’d have a winner. Here are our thoughts:
Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns: Simply the best I’ve had anywhere. Makes me think I shouldn’t even bother developing my own. I honestly don’t think I could improve upon what Canyon Bakehouse has come up with here. There is a softness about these buns that rivals any squishy white-bread bun, BUT- these buns also have whole grain millet and sorghum- something found in all their breads- whole grains, little starches. I don’t know how they do it- my husband- the gluten eater loved them. They’re squishy- when was the last time you had gluten-free squishy anything? Way to go bakers!
Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia: Remember back before you or the gluten-free person in your life could eat out at an italian restaurant- perhaps a chain restaurant, and at your table would appear a delicious warm loaf of focaccia, just waiting to be dipped in olive oil, or ripped apart and consumed? Well, this is better. My girls were practically giddy having bread that was dippable and didn’t fall apart when they pressed it into the olive oil. And, this bread has garbanzo bean flour- how they managed to use garbanzo bean flour without a hint of beaniness is beyond me. Again- Way to go bakers!
Cranberry Crunch Muffins: These delicious muffins come wrapped in a cone of parchment- something appealing to my kids because I’d run out of muffin papers just that day making my own muffins, and had made parchment cones to finish my baking. Much easier to unwrap than muffin papers, with less mess and more cuteness. While we liked the muffins, we felt they were the weakest link in the Canyon Bakehouse array. But, in their defense, it’s hard to develop a muffin that won’t dry out in transport without making them sticky sweet or too dense. This muffin had a good crumb, but felt slightly dry. And, I personally prefer muffins that are less sweet than this one. On the commercial muffin scale I’d give it a 9. It’s certainly less sweet than others I’ve tried, and waaay more nutritious. I’d definitely purchase these to take to a meeting, or for an emergency snack if I didn’t have my own muffins on hand.
San Juan 7 Grain, Cinnamon Raisin, and Mountain White breads: To come up with one amazing gluten-free bread is wonderful and commendable, to come up with 3- well- I just don’t know what to say. The 7 grain bread was simply out of this world and took my back to my pre gluten-free childhood when my mother would bake multi-grain bread from scratch. This will be our new family bread. Same with the cinnamon raisin bread. To eat cinnamon raisin bread and have it not be overly dense was a gift. It also happened to be great bread for a turkey-mustard sandwich (if you like thanksgiving turkey-cranberry sandwiches- make a turkey sandwich with the cinnamon raisin bread!) Lastly, the Mountain White bread was my daughter’s favorite. They’re at the age when white bread is ‘cool’. It was a great bread, slightly sweet, but with a good tooth, and certainly more nutritious than typical gluten-free white bread.
And let’s talk about customer service: I ordered my bread online since they currently have limited distribution, and I didn’t want to drive the 1/2 hour to the one store in my area that carries Canyon Bakehouse. I was absolutely astonished when I got a phonecall from a very nice gentleman confirming my address. I live in a funky mailing area and the address I had given did not agree with the address that automatically came up in their computer, so he called to confirm my address! In all the years of ordering gluten-free products to my house, this was a first, and virtually guaranteed that I’d give them my business unless I encountered tasteless bricks in my delivery.
So Canyon Bakehouse folks, my question is this- when can I come take baking lessons from you guys? Thanks for making such a great product, stay true to yourselves and your mission- I hope to see your products in all my local stores soon!