A decade ago gluten-free breads were made by only a few companies and consisted mainly of starchy and fiber-less ingredients. The bread had a reputation for being heavy and dry. Most loaves were not edible right out of the package and had to be toasted. Consumers usually discovered this fact on their own, after trial and error that was time consuming and costly.
Although packaged gluten-free bread has improved dramatically, it still doesn’t behave exactly like gluten-containing bread. Generally preservatives aren’t used, which explains why most gluten-free bread available in supermarkets is either frozen or vacuum packed. Here are answers to questions that often come up regarding gluten-free bread.
Q: Can it sit on the counter like wheat bread?
A: Generally gluten-free bread does not last on the counter and will quickly become moldy. Some bread makers are attempting to address this problem with newer products, but in most cases you need to take the slices you are planning to use from the loaf and freeze the rest. Most bread can be stored in the freezer for 4 to 6 months.
Q: Should it be stored in the refrigerator?
A: No, storing gluten-free bread in the refrigerator can lead to dry and stale bread.
Q: How do you get the slices apart?
A: Some gluten-free bread freezes hard, making it difficult to separate the slices. If you let the bread sit on the counter for a short time, though, you can usually get the slices apart. Return the rest of the bread to the freezer.
Q: Can you eat it from the bag?
A: Many gluten-free breads taste much better toasted. This is another issue bread companies are beginning to address. Kinnikinnick, Glutino and Schär all have products that either the company or consumers say don’t need to be toasted.