Several months ago in my post entitled The Whole Wheat Dilemma, I discussed a few brands of bread which the Weston A. Price Foundation recommends if you’re concerned about phytic acid in wheat. At the time, I’d only heard of the Ezekiel brand which they mentioned, but as it turns out, our local vegetarian grocery stores also carry Alvarado Street Bakery bread, another brand mentioned alongside Ezekiel. I’ve tried two of their varieties of bread and two of their varieties of bagels, and I’m here to review them.
In short, bread bad, bagels good.
Sprouted Sourdough Bread – Okay for toast with butter and honey, but not much else. It’s dry and has a flavor I don’t like. It might be good for grilled cheese sandwiches. I do like a good grilled cheese once in a while. I’d give it a second chance if I saw it on sale again.
No- Salt Sprouted Multigrain Bread – As it turns out, salt is a vital bread ingredient. This bread was repulsive. I could not finish one single piece of it, toasted with butter and honey. I’ve never eaten cardboard, but I’m pretty sure this is what it tastes like. I bought it because it was the variety on sale that week, but I will never make the mistake of buying salt-free bread again. I used half the loaf to make chocolate bread pudding (a variation on this recipe with an added teaspoon of salt, among other changes — I’ll blog about the recipe changes in the future), which turned out great. I froze the other half of the loaf and will undoubtedly make more bread pudding with it later. It took all the richness of the chocolate, sugar, butter, eggs, and whole milk in the bread pudding to save this bread and make it edible.
Sprouted Wheat Sesame Seed Bagels – SO GOOD! My favorite from Alvarado Street Bakery so far. Not dry, unlike the bread. I can’t really see any sesame seeds (they’re mixed in instead of being stuck on the surface of the bagel), but the sesame seed flavor is pleasantly strong, so there must be a lot of them. Perfect toasted with peanut butter, butter, or butter and honey. I’m pretty sure I could even eat one toasted and plain, which is saying a lot.
Sprouted Wheat Bagels – Not quite as good as the ones with sesame seeds, but only because I really like sesame seeds. I would buy these again in a heartbeat, too. Everything that’s true about the Sesame Seed Bagels is true about these, except for the sesame seed flavor.
Notes about price: This brand is pricey. I was already used to paying for the higher-end bread from regular grocery stores, and this is a little step up even from those prices. I check the online sale fliers from the vegetarian grocery store where it’s sold to see when it’s on sale, and I buy it then (they have sales on different varieties at different times). Now that I know I like the bagels, I’ll stock up next time there’s a bagel sale (buy as much as our freezer can reasonably hold!).
Notes about serving size: As I’m sure you all know, half a bagel is essentially equivalent to two slices of toast. I never eat more than two slices of toast at once, so I don’t eat more than half a bagel at once, either (I make the rest of my breakfast out of fruit and yogurt or scrambled eggs). In this brand, the bagels are big and the bread slices are relatively small, so half a bagel may be even more than two slices of toast, but it’s reasonably close.
(I don’t usually like rye bread, but I bought it on sale as an experiment to see how it would work for grilled cheese sandwiches. It will have few other uses for me, but my husband is partial to rye bread, I think.)
The end! Just wanted to let you know my discoveries, in case you’re interested in this brand.