Around 8.5 million people are now following a gluten-free diet in the UK. With an increase in diagnoses of coeliac disease and other gluten intolerances, being able to buy good quality gluten-free products has become more important and, thankfully, the supermarkets are responding.
While it was once difficult to find gluten-free breads that weren’t unpleasantly dry, crumbly or sweet, an increasing number of retailers are now making higher quality free-from breads. Often, matching the taste and texture of regular versions.
We’ve made it our mission to try a wide variety of sliced breads, sourdough loaves, crumpets, pittas, baps and more – so you know you’re buying the best. Below, you’ll find our top picks from big name brands including Warburtons, M&S and Co Op.
If you have coeliac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, finding foods you can eat that won’t put you at risk of illness can be stressful. We have a collection of delicious gluten-free recipes you can try – all are nutritionist approved.
Best gluten-free bread at a glance
- Best sourdough: Gluten-free Sourdough Hand-Crafted Dark Bread with Seeds, £3.90
- Best rolls: M&S Made Without tiger rolls, £2.90
- Best crumpets: Warburtons gluten-free crumpets, £2.10
- Best pittas: BFree gluten-free pitta breads, £2.50
- Best artisan loaf: Good Grain gluten-free sourdough, £5.20
- Best classic brown loaf: M&S Made Without brown bloomer sliced loaf, £2.50
- Best for families: Promise gluten-free white sliced loaf, £3.25
- Best budget: Asda Free From 50/50 loaf, £1.55
- Best for sandwiches: Co Op Free From brown seeded loaf, £3.20
- Best seeded loaf: Genius Gluten-free Fibre Fest cob, £3
The best gluten-free bread 2022
Best sourdough loaf
Gradz Gluten-free Sourdough Hand-Crafted Dark Bread with Seeds
With a fantastic malty flavour, this bread was one of the best gluten-free loaves we tried. The dense sourdough texture, impressive chew and generous scattering of seeds give each slice a hearty, wholesome quality. It toasted well, turning golden brown with an even crunch, but still tasted great untoasted – when it comes to gluten-free bread, it can be hard to find a loaf that does both.
The flavour and texture of this bread mean it would work well in sandwiches or simply toasted with butter and your favourite spread. It would also make delicious croutons to add to homemade soup.
M&S Made Without Tiger Rolls
We knew we were onto a winner as soon as we took our first bite of these rolls. The tiger crackle on top, made using rice flour, adds golden colour and a texture similar to melted cheese. The rolls are firm enough to slice but not crumbly, with a light doughy softness, which means they could be used for burgers or sandwiches. Unlike other gluten-free rolls we tried, these weren’t overly sweet and didn’t leave an artificial taste in your mouth.
We should point out that if you’re looking for a crusty roll, these aren’t right for you. Although we thoroughly enjoyed the soft, bready texture.
Warburtons gluten-free crumpets
These were recommended by several people in our office and, as BIG crumpet fans, we’re pleased to tell you they didn’t disappoint. They toast wonderfully, keeping a soft inside and crunchy outer layer. They do have a slightly more pronounced flavour than classic crumpets (that’ll be the maize and potato starch used to keep them gluten-free), but we didn’t find it overpowering when topping ours with butter, savoury spreads or honey.
While the charred base might not be for everyone, we enjoyed the rustic flavour and homemade look it added to the crumpets.
BFree gluten-free pitta breads
As gluten-free breads can be on the dry side, we were concerned that thin pittas would be hard to get right. We needn’t have worried because the good people at BFree are on the case, making delicious stone-baked pitta breads which are light, chewy and full of flavour. The charred lines, which come from the cooking process, make these pittas look and taste authentic.
Good Grain gluten-free sourdough
The substantial weight of this loaf translates to a dense, nutty flavoured crumb with buckwheat undertones and a reasonably thick, caramel brown crust. A tip on the packaging advises to freshen the loaf up by popping it in the toaster on a low setting for 2-3 minutes – this proved key as, without any toasting, the bread did taste a little stale.
We enjoyed toasted slices of this loaf for breakfast, slathered with butter and our favourite jam. Thanks to its hearty texture, it would also be delicious topped with scrambled eggs, mushrooms or avocado.
M&S Made Without brown bloomer sliced loaf
If you’re looking for a gluten-free replacement for your standard sliced loaf, this could very well be it. Yes, it does have a slightly cakey texture and a sweetness you wouldn’t normally get from regular brown bread. However, we should point out that this loaf is considerably better than many other gluten-free breads available. The millet flakes on top reminded us of old school bakery loaves. And this bread comes with health benefits, being a natural source of vitamin D and fibre.
We found the slices were vastly improved with toasting, giving a more savoury taste and light, even crunch. For that reason, this brown bloomer would be best toasted for breakfast or used to make toasted sandwiches.
Promise gluten-free white sliced loaf
Many of the gluten-free breads we tried came in small slices, which would be a pain if you’re feeding a family. Having to toast two slices per person means a loaf wouldn’t go as far, and it would result in small, less filling sandwiches. But we were pleasantly surprised to try this sizeable white loaf from the gluten-free bakers at Promise. The loaf is large, even by regular bread standards, making it a good option for feeding your gluten-free family.
Untoasted, this bread is on the sweeter side, but toasted it holds together well and would be delicious topped with baked beans or used to make a bacon sandwich.
Best budget loaf
Asda Free From 50/50 loaf
Buying gluten-free bread can be expensive. With many brands charging a premium, it’s nice to see that Asda have kept their sliced gluten-free loaf on the budget-friendly side. While this didn’t blow our minds in terms of flavour, it does have a classic sliced loaf texture which many people enjoy. When toasted, it has a light, fluffy texture inside that we found to be very pleasant for breakfast. Plus, it’s free from eggs and dairy, too, so it’s perfect for vegans.
The size and texture of this loaf make it just right for kids’ sandwiches or quick breakfasts.
Best for sandwiches
Co Op Free From brown seeded loaf
It’s rare to find a gluten-free bread that tastes better untoasted than toasted, but that is the case with Co Op’s seeded loaf. Deliciously malty with an impressive chew, this classic brown loaf would be perfect for sandwiches. The crust – a crucial element when it comes to good bread – is thick with a nutty flavour.
When it comes to seeded bread, we like our seeds to stand out. We felt this loaf could have a more generous helping scattered throughout or over the top, to enhance the seeded flavour and texture.
Best seeded loaf
Genius Gluten-free Fibre Fest cob
This lovely loaf has a great bouncy texture. Soft but firm, it holds up well in a sandwich with minimal crumbling, while still being moist. Toasting brings out the nutty, malted notes of this loaf. When cut in thick slices, it offered a nice crunch while still maintaining an inner softness.
If a pronounced flavour and chewy, crunchy texture of seeds isn’t for you, you might want to pick another gluten-free bread.
How we tested…
What we looked for…
Gluten-free: All entries were strictly free from gluten.
Texture: We looked for gluten-free bread that was as close in texture to regular bread as possible. Good chew, crunch when toasted and a light texture were important. Crumbly, raw or dry biscuity breads were marked down.
Taste: We looked for gluten-free bread which tasted as close to regular bread as possible. Specifically malty, seeded, wholemeal or neutral flavours. Overly sweet, artificial tasting breads were marked down.
Toast-ability: Apart from the white rolls, all gluten-free breads were tried toasted and untoasted to see how they behaved. We looked for even crunch, golden colour and a slight chew. Breads which became dry, hard or crumbly were marked down.
Gluten-free recipes and buyer’s guides
For more product picks, visit our reviews section.
This review was last updated in May 2022. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at [email protected]
Have you found a gluten-free bread that you love? Please let us know in the comments below…
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