Does Genius Bread From Glutino Merit Its Name? Review (Two Parts) and Giveaway

Full disclosure:  Complimentary loaves of Genius bread were provided for this review and giveaway from Glutino. However, this is an uncompensated review and the opinions expressed here are totally my own.

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Winners have been notified. Thanks to all who entered!

Part I

“This summer, Glutino, the trusted pioneer in convenient gluten-free living, is bringing the UK’s most popular gluten-free bread to the United States by introducing Genius Bread by Glutino to its line of more than 100 gluten-free products.   The new bread is great-tasting and features a full-sized loaf which makes it ideal for sandwich making. Available in white and multigrain varieties, Genius Bread by Glutino will be available on www.glutenfree.com starting in mid-July and in your freezer aisle nationwide by the end of this summer.”

That was the info in the email I received from a marketing representative speaking on behalf of Glutino. I’ve been hearing about Genius bread, which originated in the UK, for a while now. The reviews have always been great, so I readily agreed to review their multigrain and white sandwich breads. Going from a life that features bread at every meal to gluten-free living with gluten-free bread—bread that by all accounts is substantially different from gluten-full bread—seems to be a difficult challenge for most. I don’t often eat bread and really don’t miss it. Still, the idea of being able to sample and share a great new bread product, and the potential to share something that readers would truly find helpful, was exciting.

Genius Bread was created by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, a mother of children with food allergies/intolerances. Bruce-Gardyne is a trained chef. She co-authored the award-winning Leith’s Techniques Bible (“all the information taught during the year-long diploma course at Leith’s School of Food and Wine,” where she both trained and instructed) and wrote the best-selling cookbook How to Cook for Food Allergies. According to the Genius bread site, Bruce-Gardyne said ‘I knew I could improve on the gluten-free loaves that were already on the market, but that wasn’t enough. I was determined to create a loaf that everyone would want to eat – whether they had gluten intolerance or not. It took me three years to perfect Genius Gluten-Free Bread and my children would often come home from school to find 14 different loaves of bread waiting for them to try. I even broke my oven. But finally I got there.”

Let’s look at the Genius bread that’s being produced by Glutino.

First, what are the ingredients in the two types of bread?

Multigrain Bread Ingredients: Water, potato starch, canola oil, corn starch, tapioca starch, dried egg whites, rice bran, molasses, cellulose powder, yeast, inverted sugar, sugar, modified cellulose, sugar beet fibre, salt, xanthan gum, calcium sulfate, enzymes.

White Bread Ingredients: Water, potato starch, corn starch, canola oil, tapioca starch, dried egg whites, rice bran, cellulose powder, yeast, inverted sugar, sugar, salt, modified cellulose, xanthan gum, calcium sulfate, enzymes.

From what I can determine from my reading online, calcium sulfate is a common laboratory and industrial chemical used as a dessicant, which is a drying agent. “The Codex General Standard for Food Additives reports that calcium sulfate is often used in foods as a preservative, anti-caking agent and anti-foaming agent.” It’s also known as gypsum and seems to be used in bread making a lot. In breadmaking, it’s considered a “dough conditioner.” Modified cellulose is plant fiber that has been modified to be more digestible and gives structure and integrity to food products. Modified cellulose and cellulose powder can absorb many times their weight in liquid and can retain moisture through absorption, which can lead to extended shelf life for products.

Glutino’s website states that: “Genius by Glutino is the first gluten-free bread that really cuts the mustard! With these White and Multigrain sandwich breads, you are bound to forget that what you’re eating is gluten free! They are delightfully soft and fluffy, full size, and ready right out of the bag. With breads this delicious, soon enough you’re going to be saying “what toaster?”

So let’s see if the reality matched Glutino’s description. The bread was shipped frozen, but of course by the time it arrived it had thawed. I wanted to try the multigrain loaf first so I left that out and re-froze the white bread. (That might be a “no-no” from Glutino’s perspective, but I sincerely don’t believe that refreezing altered the bread in any way.) As far as storage and shelf life, I was told that the loaves would last for a week on the counter.

The first package of Genius bread I opened was the multigrain loaf. I sampled it several ways. First, I ate a slice right out of the bag. I liked the standard size slice. The bread was soft, and the taste was light. It actually reminded me of diet/”light” gluten-full bread that I ate many years ago (when I ate such products) in both its texture and dryness.

So while I agree that this bread is soft and light, to me it was also very dry. In fact, every time I ate the Genius bread I felt like I couldn’t drink enough water with it and I’d end up coughing and with a scratchy throat. (I’m guessing that could be due to the cellulose ingredients, but not sure.) Again, the bread does appear to be full/standard size. (That’s a big plus for many, although smaller sandwiches aren’t a bad thing in my book.) Here’s a photo below showing the exact measurement of a slice of bread. I didn’t have gluten-full bread to compare this bread for size, but the Genius bread slices do look pretty comparable in size. While I ate the first piece right out of the bag with no problem, slices that I used later seemed much drier and more fragile. Toasting seemed to help. Some slices also had numerous holes. I had taken some slices to work in a Ziploc bag, but then ended up eating something else that day. When I pulled the slices from the Ziploc bag two days later (day five of the expected week-long shelf life), there were tiny dots of mold on the slices. In the trash they went. However, the slices remaining in the bag were fine. So sealing the bread in an airtight container must be detrimental to its shelf life; it may needs to breathe.

I gave Son half of my bread to take home and sample on his own schedule. Overall, he gave Glutino’s Genius Bread a rating of 5 out of 10. When I asked for more information, he said that Genius Bread fell apart too easily and the taste was okay. He said the white bread tasted a little better and held up better than the multigrain. He recommended toasting either kind. His final statement: “I like Udi’s bread better.” Note that Son has never tried Rudi’s bread or Canyon Bakehouse bread (he’s only enjoyed the latter’s hamburger rolls), so Udi’s bread and another gluten-free bread that we used to rely on have been the only ones he’s eaten other than my homemade grain-free bread (a variation of this recipe that I’ll be sharing in the near future). 

Finally, I shared the Genius white bread with my support group members. I had just thawed it out that afternoon, so I did not toast it (as based on my earlier experience, the bread was fine for eating right out of the bag after thawing). I have a group of real food lovers, but they still enjoy their bread occasionally. Yet about half of the slices of bread remained when all the other food had been eaten. Most folks were not impressed, stating that they liked other brands of gluten-free breads better. One person stated that he did like the Genius bread. Another family who hates for anything to go to waste said that they’d take the bread home and use it to make French toast. Their feedback was very positive; they reported that the Genius bread “made great French toast!”

Part II

What was a bit puzzling about the Genius bread being made by Glutino was that “the word on the street” was that it was different from the Genius bread being made in the UK. So I put the question to the Glutino rep to see why and how the bread being made here in the U.S. by Glutino is different from the original bread. Her response was: “With regards to the difference from UK to North America there are a couple of points, the biggest difference is that Genius bread in the UK is sold fresh.  Genius by Glutino is sold frozen, like other gluten free breads in North America and therefore requires some recipe modifications to adapt to frozen distribution.  And, as with all baking, there are variations from oven to oven which require process and recipe modifications to accommodate our bakery.” The representative discerned that I hadn’t been overly pleased with my sampling to date and stated that the Genius bread was being improved on an ongoing basis and offered to send me another loaf to review. Once I determined that the bread available to the public was being made from the same improved recipe, I agreed.

Two days later, a loaf of the “new and improved” white Genius bread arrived. Once again I opened the loaf and tasted it immediately out of the bag. The taste and texture were slightly better than the previous loaves. There was more flavor and the slice was not quite as dry. It also seemed more “whole.” (Sorry, I don’t have any photos to share of the “new and improved” Genius bread.) I tested out a few more slices over the next couple of days. The new Genius bread tasted better toasted, made into a sandwich, or even dipped. I note the latter because one Facebook friend had asked for feedback on how the Genius bread held up when dipping. I dipped my toasted Genius bread in a mixture of honey and butter, which is an old-fashioned “comfort food” breakfast in my family.  Notably, the “new and improved” Genius bread didn’t fall apart when dipped.

I had received the new white bread on Wednesday afternoon. When I went to use some of the bread again on Sunday morning (day 6), there was mold on all of the remaining slices. Remember the bread is supposed to last a week on the counter. Admittedly, we keep our house warmer than many do during the summer months. But despite Glutino’s guidance on shelf life, I really think the best bet for storing Genius bread is to keep it frozen until ready to use.  In summary, it seems like Glutino is working hard to improve its Genius bread. Right now, to answer the question I posed in my post title, I don’t think this bread merits the name Genius. Personally, I feel that currently there are better options for gluten-free bread already on the market. Options with better taste, texture, freshness, and healthier ingredients in my opinion. But with future improvements from Glutino and at the rate these improvements are being made, who knows? If you’re looking for a better sliced bread option, I’d say you’d want to check these two kinds of Genius bread out now and form your own opinion. If you feel they fall short now, then you may want to stay abreast of Glutino’s improvements and try them again later.

Do you want to try the “new and improved” Genius bread and decide for yourself? Glutino is offering one gfe reader four loaves of Genius bread (two loaves of multigrain bread, two loaves of white bread) to try. The giveaway will end Sunday, August 14, at midnight (Eastern). The following are the ways that you can enter:

~ Leave a comment on your favorite way or favorite recipe that uses sliced bread.

~ Tweet the giveaway using @Shirleygfe in your tweet. Leave another comment.

~ Share the giveaway on Facebook tagging gfe if possible. Leave another comment.

Read other Genius Bread reviews:

Allergy Free and Cheap Like Me

Jennifer Harris (Examiner)

Last, please don’t forget to read my review of Stephanie O’Dea’s Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life and enter that giveaway. I’m giving away five copies of her new book  here! (Yep, I’m still celebrating my birthday so I’m not done with the giveaways yet.)

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.

Comments

68 Responses to “Does Genius Bread From Glutino Merit Its Name? Review (Two Parts) and Giveaway”

  1. helga jones on August 8th, 2011 9:26 pm

    i would love to win the gluten free bread….we love grilled cheese sandwiches and blt’s with home-grown tomatoes….thanks!!

  2. Cindy @ Wheatless Foodie on August 8th, 2011 9:48 pm

    I would love to try Glutino’s Genius bread and review it on my blog as well. I really like Glutino’s other products.

    My daughter and I are gluten free eaters, and we enjoy eating Udi’s bread for sandwiches, toast and French toast when I don’t make my gluten free bread (recipe: http://wheatlessfoodie.blogspot.com/2010/04/whole-grain-gluten-free-bread.html

  3. Jennifer on August 8th, 2011 10:06 pm

    Would love to try it! Thank you for the chance to win1

  4. Suzanne on August 8th, 2011 10:26 pm

    Sandwiches. I haven’t had a sandwich in a while. Mmm.

  5. Susan W. on August 8th, 2011 10:37 pm

    OOH, french toast is my favorite way to eat bread!

  6. Lacy M on August 8th, 2011 11:29 pm

    My 6yr old son is totally gluten free and the rest of us are working on getting that way.. the only ‘bread’ we have locally is by EnerG and it is nasty. So we would LOVE to try some GF bread that is actually like bread :D Hunter says: “Well, I like sandwiches but I cant have mayonaise. So I would make toast with Cashew Butter and Jelly.”

  7. saretta on August 9th, 2011 4:44 am

    No thanks! I’m perfectly happy without bread in my life! :-)

  8. thea on August 9th, 2011 9:46 am

    Thank you for the wonderful review and for listing all the ingredients! No go for this GF girl – allergic to eggs and corn!

  9. Jennifer C on August 9th, 2011 10:01 am

    I love a plain old peanut butter and grape jelly. Yummy!

  10. Kristin W. on August 9th, 2011 10:20 am

    I would use this chicken fajita melts. I would love to win this!

  11. Monisha on August 9th, 2011 11:36 am

    Would love to try a tastier GF bread for my grilled cheese and egg salad sandwiches

  12. Nicole @ Special Diet Creations on August 9th, 2011 12:14 pm

    Grilled cheese sandwiches are my absolute favorite way to enjoy sliced bread… although French Toast and Bread Pudding aren’t far behind!

  13. Michelle on August 9th, 2011 12:15 pm

    I would love to be able to try this bread! Oh, how I love my grilled cheese sandwiches and of course, tomato sandwiches in the summer, yum!!

  14. Cyndi on August 9th, 2011 12:20 pm

    I love good old sandwiches! You don’t realize how easy and simple they are for lunches (not to mention easy to make in the morning when you forgot you need a lunch) until you can’t eat “regular” bread. I’d love to try this Genius bread, despite the so-so review. Maybe the new and improved recipe will get better and better. And I usually store my bread in the fridge at least in hot and humid climates – it keeps for considerably longer times.

  15. Shannon Lewis on August 9th, 2011 12:31 pm

    I would like to try it in my french toast casserole recipe:

    Make “sandwiches” using the bread. For the filling, mix two (8 oz.) pkgs of cream cheese with 1 cup of powdered sugar, and spread on one slice. sprinkle with raisins. Top with another slice of bread. make enough sandwiches to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 greased pan. Mix together 8 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup milk or cream and pour over sandwiches. Refrigerate over night. Bake at 350 for 25 to40 min or until light and fluffy.

  16. Karin Goodman on August 9th, 2011 1:25 pm

    I would love to eat a BLT sandwich. Also would love french toast. I make GF bread, but rarely have the time and most store bought bread is expensive.

  17. Edie on August 9th, 2011 1:45 pm

    We usually get Udis and keep it frozen, but I’d love to try something new. So far, we’re big on grilled cheese sandwiches.

  18. Cindy on August 9th, 2011 1:59 pm

    For me there is nothing better than a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich.

  19. Tina @madame gluten-free vegetarian on August 9th, 2011 2:56 pm

    Hi Shirley!

    Thanks for doing a post like this! I would much rather read about your experience (very thorough, by the way) testing the bread, and decide for myself whether I want to spend the money to try it.

    I’m glad that more products are becoming available, and hopefully Glutino will tinker with this bread and make it even better.

    For me, when the occasional desire for toast calls, I’ll stick with Rudi’s. I think their bread tastes great, has fewer ingredients, and was thrilled to discover, no tapioca — a big issue for me right now.

    As always, a great post! :) Tina.

    • Shirley on August 12th, 2011 11:35 pm

      Hi Tina–I appreciate your feedback, dear. Thank you!

      Shirley

  20. Carole on August 9th, 2011 4:27 pm

    I WOULD LOVE TO TRY THE GUTINO BREAD FOR FRENCH TOAST. I AM A LOVER OF BREAD AND WOULD LIKE TO TEST THIS PRODUCT FOR MY SELF. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ENTER THIS GIVE AWAY.

    CAROLE

  21. Ina Gawne on August 9th, 2011 4:45 pm

    Shirley – thank you for your honest feed back. After many years of making my own gluten free bread which contains honey, I wonder just how much sugar is in the Genius bread? Sugar is an issue for me. I noticed on the pkg. of Udi’s bread they use evaporated Cane juice, which I seem to tolerate better. I can’t wait to try Rudi’s bread one day – still not in Canada, so when I need the convenience I always buy Udi’s. It is encouraging to see more and more gluten free food available in the markets these days….maybe Genius bread still needs a few improvements?

  22. LisaB on August 9th, 2011 4:52 pm

    Shirley, thanks again for an honest and unbiased review. The best GF sandwich I’ve had lately is a grilled cheese, made with Laughing Cow light swiss cheese wedges. The soft cheese in the middle melts into an indescribable cheesy awesomeness that goes very well with the crispness of the grilled bread. It’s especially good with bacon and tomato. But sadly, I haven’t been eating much dairy lately, so the awesomeness of this sandwich remains unappreciated. Perhaps other people can eat it and make up for my part in the downfall of the cheese economy.

  23. Jennifer on August 9th, 2011 5:41 pm

    I like sandwiches and French toast.

  24. Melissa C. on August 9th, 2011 6:09 pm

    My favorite way of using bread is to make a bacon, tomato sandwich and toast the bread. YUM!!

  25. cheryl on August 9th, 2011 6:09 pm

    Please don’t enter me, but I always appreciate an honest, unbiased review!

    • Shirley on August 12th, 2011 11:32 pm

      Thank you, Cheryl! :-)

      Shirley

  26. Cinde on August 9th, 2011 7:02 pm

    I like to use bread to make french toast and grilled cheese sandwiches.

  27. kim on August 9th, 2011 9:12 pm

    i would love to try the glutino bread, I have missed tomato sandwiches so much this summer!

  28. Lissa on August 9th, 2011 9:13 pm

    Would love to eat French toast with husband again but my favorite is pbj….

  29. kim on August 9th, 2011 9:13 pm

    i tweeted the giveaway @kledford65

  30. Kassia on August 9th, 2011 9:37 pm

    My favorite way to eat sandwich bread is to make Egg in the hole in the bread (aka toad in a hole). My mom always made this for me growing up, now that I am GF I don’t eat it much, because GF bread is a precious commodity ;) but it’s a tasty treat once in awhile.

  31. Karolina on August 10th, 2011 12:11 am

    My favorite way to eat bread is sandwiches. But I also love a great piece of toast with Nutella as a snack.

  32. Karolina on August 10th, 2011 12:13 am
  33. Polly on August 11th, 2011 10:05 am

    egg salad sandwich!!! Yum!

  34. jenn b on August 11th, 2011 6:31 pm

    grilled cheese! but with colby jack and green onions rather than plain american.

  35. Peter Bronski on August 12th, 2011 4:22 pm

    Hi Shirley… Thanks for your review of this bread. I haven’t seen it before. It’s curious to see how the “multigrain” version doesn’t contain any more “grain” than the “white bread” version, based on the ingredients. Neither seems to actually contain much grain at all…some corn, some rice, but also potato and tapioca. Hmph! I’m curious to try this bread out and see how our reaction compares to your review!

    Cheers, Pete

    • Shirley on August 12th, 2011 11:31 pm

      Hi Pete–I appreciate your insight on the ingredients. Yes, the multigrain label can be used in some interesting ways. Sort of reminds me how another label can be used in a variety of ways. ;-) I’ll look forward to NGNP’s review of Genius bread in the future!

      Shirley

  36. Catherine on August 12th, 2011 5:53 pm

    I like using sliced bread for sage stuffing. I’d love to try this kind.

    hugzeke@gmail.com

  37. Karen K on August 13th, 2011 7:04 pm

    Kinda lame, but I just love toast with Earth Balance or some homemade blueberry jam.
    Currently I use Udi’s, but am always on the lookout for different brands.
    Thanks for the unbiased review- it’s nice to read a review and feel like you really mean what you say. Also saves me having to do it!

  38. Kim Ledford-Burley on August 13th, 2011 9:31 pm

    I miss sandwiches!!

  39. Larry on August 14th, 2011 8:25 pm

    My girlfriend makes an absolutely AMAZING bread pudding.

  40. Shelley Orenstein on August 14th, 2011 10:27 pm

    Sure would love to taste some other breads. I still haven’t found anything like the “real” things yet. Still working on baking my own, but not that much time with work and all.

  41. KimB on August 14th, 2011 10:30 pm

    I like simple toast w/peanut butter!

  42. Lisa on August 14th, 2011 10:31 pm

    I’d love to get hooked up with some good white bread for GF French Toast. I haven’t had any since I went GF a year ago. I really miss it. I’d like to compare it to Udi’s white sandwich bread since that’s all I eat. I wonder if eating genius bread will make me smarter? Thanks!

  43. Lizanne on August 14th, 2011 10:32 pm

    I’d love to make some panzanella with this bread.

  44. Jennifer M on August 14th, 2011 10:32 pm

    Sounds like it would make excellent French toast. Love that it is not based on rice flour, but the calcium sulfate rules this bread out for me unfortunately.

  45. holly wolfgang on August 14th, 2011 10:41 pm

    Recently started the gf lifestyle and have yet to find a gf bread that makes great french toast! Would love to try this bread and see how it tastes as french toast.

  46. Rainya Mosher on August 14th, 2011 10:41 pm

    I’d love to try/find a bread that makes a good French toast! We don’t eat a lot of bread or grains anymore (even my six year old is conten with just sandwich ‘guts’ for lunch), but French toast is an all time favorite from when I was a kid. :-)

  47. Amy M. on August 14th, 2011 10:46 pm

    My little girl is totally gf and loves her Udi’s with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. We would love to try a new brand.

  48. Michelle on August 14th, 2011 10:57 pm

    OMG…Stuffed French Toast!!! Enough said :) Would love to have this and have it taste amazing!!!

  49. Sheena Strain on August 14th, 2011 10:59 pm

    I like bread pudding very much!

  50. Michelle on August 14th, 2011 11:00 pm

    Tweeted giveaway on twitter @micki_freese

  51. Michelle on August 14th, 2011 11:03 pm

    Shared on Facebook –tagged @gfe too!!

    http://www.facebook.com/micki.freese

  52. KarenO on August 14th, 2011 11:10 pm

    I’ve been eating grain free to help lose weight & because of gluten intolerance (lost 45 lbs so far!). But I really do miss having a sandwich once in a while! Plus, my best friend & her family are totally GF, so I would love to share some of these loaves with them. Thanks for the opportunity!

  53. Stephanie on August 14th, 2011 11:40 pm

    I love to use bread in making stuffing :) Yum! I would love to give this new bread a try. Although, I have to agree with your son… I LOVE Udi’s too!

  54. Frannie on August 15th, 2011 12:12 am

    We’d love to try these!

  55. Melissa on August 20th, 2011 1:08 am

    One of my favorite quick breakfasts is to spread toast with butter or cream cheese, then a little lemon curd. Delicious! I also love sliced hardboiled eggs on toast, with a little seasoned salt.

    • Shirley on August 20th, 2011 1:11 am

      Hi Melissa–All those options sound great! Unfortuantely this giveaway has closed, but I have a giveaway of eight cookbooks going on right now. Check out my latest post. :-)

      Shirley

  56. Janet on March 17th, 2012 1:59 pm

    I would love to try the new bread! I’ve tried to many gluten free breads in the past and they all taste better if you put them in the toaster instead of eating them plain. The breads I’ve tried so far have been dry and fall apart and are very difficult to make a sandwich. Thanks so much!

    • Shirley on March 17th, 2012 2:39 pm

      Hi Janet–Welcome to gfe. :-) Unfortunately, this giveaway ended quite some time ago. Hope you’ll continue to follow gfe though. I’ll have other giveaways coming up soon, and lots of recipes and info all the time. ;-)

      Shirley

  57. Ralph(Buddy)Cole on May 28th, 2012 11:26 am

    Would like to try Genius bread. Like grilled cheese, blta sandwiches(with avocado) and toast with Earth Balance spread.

    • Shirley on May 28th, 2012 9:21 pm

      Hi Buddy–Sorry, but this giveaway ended long ago. Thanks for visiting gfe, though! :-)

      Shirley

  58. Vickie on October 3rd, 2013 11:36 pm

    My mom finally found a bread she likes after beings diagnosed celiac in her 80th year and now she cant buy it anywhere
    Does anyone know what has happened to
    Glutino frozen cheese bread Not the Genius brand she doesn’t like that
    Can someone help

    • Shirley on December 3rd, 2013 2:06 pm

      Hi Vickie–I’m sorry that nobody had an answer for you. :-( I’m not familiar with that product and I didn’t find it on Glutino’s website. I hope your mom will find another bread that she likes.

      Thanks for stopping by gfe. :-)
      Shirley

  59. dvozz123 on November 23rd, 2013 11:31 am

    The Genius bread in the US is NOTHING like the Genius bread sold in the UK. The Genius bread in the US tastes horrible if you have ever eaten the Genius bread in the UK.

    • Shirley on December 3rd, 2013 2:08 pm

      dvozz123–Welcome to gfe! :-) That’s exactly what I’ve heard. I know that the Genius bread in the UK gets rave testimonials. I don’t understand why the same recipe is not used in the U.S. :-(

      Shirley

Leave a reply




Related Posts with Thumbnails