Madison Starr I’ve been on a quest to find an egg-free, gluten-free bread that my young kids and I would enjoy. I know that many readers of Latitudes.org are interested in special diets, and those who’ve tried to find quality gluten-free bread probably agree it’s a frustrating endeavor!
Usually, I’m not interested when social media algorithms send me online ads, but it was helpful this time! I decided to try Simple Kneads, a small, family-owned company that boasts its bread is not only gluten-free but also free of the top nine food allergens: corn, dairy, eggs, peanut, rice, sesame, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. They also advertise that their loaves contain only “nutritious” plant-based ingredients without baker’s yeast or starches and gums.
Sold online in packs of four and sent with 2-day shipping (after processing time), the bread comes in various flavor combinations. I tried the 4-in-1 Combo Pack that (at the time of publishing) sells for $43.99. The site had a nice discount promo code for my first order and free shipping. So, each loaf averaged around $9.
This is not much more than we spend on gluten-free bread at the grocery store. Still, considering these have no refined sugar, yeast, or fillers and feature organic, whole ancient grains, I thought this was a worthwhile premium. They also offer a “Love it or your money back” guarantee, so I figured, “Why not?” It should be noted that I’m neither affiliated with, nor compensated by, this company for this review, and the opinions expressed here are my own.
Were the loaves a win?
I’m happy to report that I will not take them up on their return offer, as I thought the breads were all quite good! The flavors in our combo pack were Swirly Cinnamon Raisin, Sourdough, Pumpkinickel, and Quinoa Power Grains. The breads are individually packaged in somewhat compact, pre-sliced, heavy loaves. Simple Kneads recommends storing them in the refrigerator and says they stay fresh for up to six weeks. Check out their FAQ page for information on freezing and thawing, which I found works fine.
The breads have a tight, soft crumb, and the texture was one of the most impressive qualities. It’s not dry or crumbly, as many gluten-free baked goods are. In fact, it’s so moist that toasting is a must, so this is not your quick – make a school lunch – sandwich bread.
The breads all have a nutty aroma, and I found the loaves taste better than they smell. The Simple Kneads Sourdough wasn’t close to the color and tang of a classic San Francisco loaf found at traditional bakeries. It was darker brown in color and had a flavor I could only compare to some seeded bread I have eaten in Germany. After toasting for four minutes in a toaster oven, the fresh slices were steaming hot but didn’t have a toasted crunch. It took another few minutes to reach what I consider “toast.” I served it spread with coconut oil, avocado slices, and a bit of salt. My five- and eight-year-olds enjoyed this, but picked the sunflower seeds off the top, which I agreed didn’t fit in our expectations for sourdough flavor profile.
The Swirly Cinnamon Raisin bread, toasted (of course), was a family favorite. It was delicious with butter and a light drizzle of honey. It was filled with tender raisins and swirls of cinnamon, and it was chewy and dense (in a good way). One slice of this Simple Kneads bread is 50 grams and has 4 grams of sugar. Two slices of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread is 52 grams and has 8 grams of sugar. So just one piece of the Simple Kneads cinnamon raisin bread has about the same amount of bread by weight but fewer calories, carbs, sugars, and salt, and it has more protein than two slices of gluten free raisin bread from Trader Joe’s.
The Pumpkinickel was perfect with chive cream cheese and sliced cucumbers; it could easily pass for open-faced tea sandwiches for an afternoon snack. On first reading, I missed the spelling twist showing that it was not meant to replicate a German pumpernickel loaf, which requires gluten-loaded rye flour. Their version uses different flours and includes pumpkin seeds–yet it was remarkably reminiscent of the texture of pumpernickel bread, with a lighter color and taste.
The Quinoa Power Grains loaf was somewhat earthy and had the most neutral flavor. It also has a tawny color, as expected from whole grains, and has a pleasant texture. It is versatile and has been popular with everyone in my family. My toast-loving youngest child asks for it with butter and nutritional yeast on it.
This was a lot of bread to arrive all at once. One week after opening, the breads were still very similar in texture to the first day, though by week two, some of the pieces were sticking and seemed more fragile. In addition to taking up real estate in the refrigerator, it took us a while to go through all the loaves. Next time, I’ll probably freeze half on arrival.
Would I order it again?
Yes. As the best choices for my whole family, I’d focus on Quinoa and Swirly Cinnamon Raisin, which were the most popular with the kids. The adults in our house liked all the flavors.
At the time of publishing, their website indicates new recipes for all but the Pumpkinickel bread, so I’m kind of curious to know how much of a change has been made and may have to go for the 4-in-1 Combo again.
It’s a small business, so keep in mind that they don’t ship as fast as Amazon. It takes a few days to process the order and a couple more days to receive the bread. I noticed their site has route shipping protection now, perhaps because others, like me, had an order go missing in the FedEx warehouse en route. (When I notified Simple Kneads about this, they promptly replaced my order at no charge).
Meanwhile, I recently sent a 4-in-1 Combo Pack to a relative (who can’t tolerate gluten) as a present. She’s familiar with gluten-free products, so I wondered what she would think. She gave the breads a thumbs up and was surprised by the soft texture. She found a slice to be more filling than typical bread and enjoyed all the flavors. She plans to order more when she’s finished with the loaves she has.
What’s your experience with egg-free, gluten-free breads?
Have you tried Simple Kneads? Do you have another favorite bread, or one you’d like us to try? Or a popular recipe? Scroll down to leave a message in the comments.
Editor: Madison will be providing reviews on products, services, and recipes that are of interest to many Latitudes readers. Neither she nor ACN/Latitudes have a financial connection to the topics featured.