Friday, March 16, 2012

Katz Gluten Free Review--Part 2

Last time we had some tasty sweets, and this time I am focusing mostly on the breads in the sampler box (with a cookie thrown in for good measure).

First up:
Dinner Rolls (With Sesame Seeds) 4 for $3.99

I have to say that I am not normally one for dinner rolls, but these were pretty darn good. I would have preferred the non-sesame-topped variety, but they were still good. These are muffin-shaped rolls about the size of a full regular cupcake. The texture was a little dense, but still moist and it had a nice crumb to it. I didn't even have to toast it! The flavor was good, though not overpowering in any way. 

Overall: 4 out of 5 (would have been 4.5 out of 5 without sesame seeds)
I really liked the texture of the rolls, so I am looking forward to seeing how the challah bread is since it is the same dough. I doubt that I will purchase them, just because I don't really eat rolls except as mini sandwiches--I just prefer loaves or flatbread. I do highly recommend them for anyone who does want a good dinner roll though.

Chocolate Chip Cookies--$4.70 for 6 oz (about 12 cookies)

I wasn't expecting this treat in the sampler box, but it traveled well with me on a plane trip. These cookies are small, only about 1.5-2" across (.5 oz each). I would want more than one for a cookie fix, but I only had the one, so I made do.  The cookie was very much the feel of a shortbread--a meld of crunchy shell with slightly cakey interior.  Texture wise it had a slightly grainy feel, but not unpleasant, just like the rice flour was a little rougher grind than that used in their breads and cakes.  There was the right balance of chocolate chip to cookie for me, and the chocolate itself was not overly sweet, which also made me happy.

Overall: 4 out of 5
These were pretty good, but nothing stellar. The only detracting thing that I found was the slight graininess. I probably won't purchase these, as I can easily make cookies in a snap at home. However, I do like the flavor of them and I think that they fill the need for chocolate chip cookies quite nicely as a basic.

Wholesome Bread--$7.99 per loaf (21oz)

This bread reminded me why I don't use bean flours. The texture was nice, if a bit fragile, but I couldn't get over the flavor of the bean flours. Overall the bread is almost like a pumpernickel with a hint of sweetness. Unfortunately, the mix in this bread left me with a slight taste This is what happens to me when I taste the bean flours used in so many GF mixes. BUT it was rather tasty with peanut butter slathered on it, and I am sure that it is a much healthier and protein-packed alternative to other breads. The bread was not grainy, but just didn't really hold together well once cooled off after toasting a bit.  

Overall: 2.5 out of 5
This bread is not something that I will be purchasing, just because I am so sensitive to the flavors of the bean flours. The texture was good, but a little fragile for sandwich use. For PBJ toast it would be fine, but not much else for me. If you don't mind the flavor of bean flours, give it a try. I think it would be a good high-protein bread option.

Whole Grain Bread--$6.19 per loaf (21oz.)

I did as the instructions advised and toasted the slice of whole grain bread before munching it. It had a nice springiness to it straight out of the toaster and a great texture as well. The texture got much stiffer after it cooled off (thanks to the guar gum). It was not unpleasantly stiff, but it was not as soft as I would have liked in my "ultimate bread". The flavor was light but still had enough flavor to remind me that I was eating bread, unlike some cardboard-disguised-as-bread that I have paid for (ahem...and made) in the past. There was no graininess to the bread, and it held up well when slathered with thick cream cheese. 

Overall: 4.5 out of 5
I really like this bread, and it was on par with Udi's and  Rudi's multigrain breads for useability and structural integrity. I don't think I can justify ordering the bread unless I am making an order for other things that I can't purchase in town (like donuts), but it is a nice alternative. The bread also has the advantage of being cheaper than my hometown sells other loaves of GF long as I make a large enough order to get free shipping. (The closest Costco, 75 miles away, used to have Rudi's for cheaper. Since they no longer carry it, I am stuck paying through the nose or making bread myself--a task that I just have not had the energy to do lately.)

It looks like I will need a third post to get in all the goodies in the box, so that is all for today. Next time there will be Sliced Challah Bread, White Sandwich Bread, a Honey Muffin, and two little rugelech.  I may have to try out their pizza crusts in the next order (and maybe some hamantaschan too)!

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