GLUTEN-FREE BREAD AND BISCUITS


TESCO FREE FROM SLICED SEEDED BREAD – £2.10 for 550g, 90kcals per slice

Made with: Rice flour, tapioca and potato starch

This had the look of a classic loaf, light coloured with plenty of seeds all the way through. However, it did crumble when buttered and although soft and light, didn’t taste as ‘fresh’ as other breads.


ASDA GLUTEN & WHEAT FREE MULTI SEED SLICED LOAF – £1.50 for 400g, 87kcals per slice

Made with: Tapioca, rice flour, potato starch and maize flour

Looks good, and comes in a small ‘continental’-style size. Some thought this a little grainy and dry, others found it tasted good, especially with spread. Toasted well on a low setting. We liked that this came in a handy package, which meant you could freeze or save one half unopened for longer freshness.


GENIUS SOFT BROWN SANDWICH – £2 for 535g, 97kcals per slice

Made with: Maize, potato and tapioca starch

Comes in a classic bread bag. The closest to ‘normal’ bread tested, this has a lovely soft texture and a nice fresh flavour. It toasted and buttered well. All testers loved it.


NEWBURN BAKEHOUSE WHITE and BROWN FARMHOUSE LOAF – £3 for 560g, Brown 82kcals per slice / White 83kcals per slice

Made with: Tapioca, potato and maize starch and (in the white loaf) rice flour

Another classic-style loaf. We tried the white and brown, which are gluten-, wheat- and milk-free, and both were well liked and described as tasting like a normal loaf by more than one tester. Tasty and fluffy with a lovely dark crust. Did have a tendency to crumble or break when buttered but made good toast.


SCHÄR VITALITY LOAF – £2.95 for 400g, 80kcals per slice

Made with: Rice, quinoa, sorghum and chestnut and maize starch

A lovely smell of good brown bread, small slices, great caramelly colour. A very tasty slice, though it was rather heavier than some of the others due to the sourdough, but a good chew factor. Lactose-free, it buttered well but was a bit dry when toasted.


Overall verdict

Those following a gluten-free diet were delighted by the choice and all felt bread options had improved greatly. None of the bread matched fresh, fluffy loaves from the bakers but there was something to suit everyone – sandwiches, bread and butter or toast. All gluten-free bread dries out quickly so our advice is to freeze it and use slices only as you need them.


BISCUITS


SAINSBURY’S DELICIOUSLY FREEFROM DARK CHOCOLATE GINGER COOKIES – £1.80 for 150g, 90kcals per biscuit. 8 biscuits

Made with: Cornflour, tapioca flour, gluten-free oats and rice flour

Oat cookies with crystallised ginger, with a generous coating of very good dark Belgian chocolate. Lovely oaty texture with small flavoursome pieces of ginger surprising you throughout, divine.


MARKS & SPENCER MADE WITHOUT WHEAT STEM GINGER SNAPS – £2 for 170g, 76kcals per biscuit. 10 per pack

Made with: Brown rice flour, buckwheat flour and tapioca flour

These round biscuits lived up to their name, having a really crisp ‘snap’ and a well-defined ginger taste, very authentic, not fake-tasting. Described as very good indeed by more than one tester, and they had a good colour.


MORRISONS FREE FROM FRUIT & OAT COOKIES – £1.20 for 150g, 92kcals per biscuit. 8 biscuits

Made with: Gluten-free oats

These cookies had lots of fruit pieces, including raisins and apricots, and were satisfyingly chewy. With a great texture and taste they were a hit with testers.


MCVITIE’S HOBNOBS GLUTEN FREE – £2.18 for 150g, 65kcal per biscuit. 10 biscuits

Made with: Gluten-free rolled oats and wholegrain oat flour

Thank goodness a top brand is now making a gluten-free version of its top-selling biscuit. On the whole, our testers felt they tasted just like the usual ones, and were plenty oaty and sweet enough. One tester thought they were a little drier than regular Hobnobs.


WAITROSE LOVELIFE FLAPJACKS – £2.19 for 148g. 4 cakes

Made with: Oats

Almost no difference in taste from normal flapjacks. The oats, golden syrup and brown sugar made for a moist, oaty and sweet taste sensation, with just the right amount of chew! Very nice, if a little heavy. Although branded gluten-free, it doesn’t state whether or not its oats are gluten-free on the ingredients list like other brands do.


Overall verdict

The taste of these gluten-free options got a good thumbs up from those on a wheat exclusion diet as well as from those who weren’t. With taste and texture not an issue, price and size could be. All are smaller in size than their ‘normal’ equivalent, you get fewer biscuits and pay more. Biscuits are also heavily packaged compared with ordinary biscuits, perhaps due to their tendency to break up and crumble.

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