Product Review: Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia

Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia
Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia

Product: Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia – $4.99+

It is by sheer happenstance that I have had, since going gluten-free, a slice of gluten-free focaccia bread.  And that happy moment occurred at a local, and now relocated (they moved out of Indiana and into Louisville) café here in the area.  The restaurant was Earth Friends Café…and their gluten-free sandwiches were made on gluten-free focaccia bread, provided to them by one of my favorite local businesses, Annie May’s Sweet Café.

That feels like forever ago.  It was…probably just over a year or so.

While I can still go to Earth Friends Café, it has been awhile.  That is something I definitely need to change.  Aside from that, however, that was the only time I had something different when I ordered a gluten-free sandwich.  No Udi’s.  No Schär.  No prepackaged, store brand.  Nope.  It was real and amazing focaccia bread.

And that one time…an eternity ago…set the standard.

I attempted, once, to make a focaccia bread from a mix by Chēbē…which didn’t work out for me…at all.  And that was that.  Nothing more ever came of focaccia in my gluten-free life.

Until…one day…I was at my local natural food store and I spotted something I had never seen before.  While I had heard of the Canyon Bakehouse brand via the various gluten-free magazines I subscribe to, and my annual trip out to Colorado (the Canyon Bakehouse dedicated gluten-free bakery is located in Loveland, Colorado), I had yet to actually taste any of their products.  I had wanted to carry some home with me on my last trip to Colorado, but that final trip to the grocery store never actually happened.  So…YAY…happy dance in the aisle when I spotted the brand in my area.  FINALLY!

The freezer section actually had a few Canyon Bakehouse options inside now, but I zeroed in on the Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia.  I have an abundance of gluten-free pasta in my pantry at the moment, so I figured…get some focaccia and get motivated to start cooking some of that up for dinner.  With some pleading eyes and maybe a pout, I convinced my roommate to allow one extra splurge this week to our grocery budget.  It worked…and the Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia made the journey home to my own freezer.

I just returned from vacation, which means my cabinets, pantry, and fridge are pretty much bare, save for a couple of items.  Pasta.  Naturally.  And lo and behold…my freezer had the focaccia bread inside.  I knew what dinner was going to be the next three nights.  Who doesn’t love a gluten-free rotini with a marinara sauce and a slice of gluten-free focaccia?  I didn’t think I’d hear any complaints!

So, after coming home from the airport and letting the focaccia bread thaw for a couple of hours, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and began to slice the bread into serving sizes.  The packages says it will serve 8, so I sliced it in half, then cut those halves in half and then halved those again.  Total…8 slices of focaccia.  It worked well.  I put the slices on a pan and then put them in the oven to toast while I worked on the pasta and marinara.  About 10 minutes later, the pasta was ready and I pulled the bread out of the oven.  Plating was easy.  Bowl for the pasta…focaccia over the bowl.  Perfect for mopping up that marinara, yes?  Yes!

Settling in to eat, I couldn’t wait to taste the bread.  So, I took one bite.  And WOW!  Canyon Bakehouse has a great reputation for a reason.  The Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia caught me off guard.  I was prepared to have a taste of something heavy and dense…but the opposite was true.  This focaccia bread, while not light, was flaky.  The crust was golden from the oven, the inside, soft, flaky, warm, and perfect.  It tasted like real bread.  TOTALLY!!

Canyon Bakehouse states on their Web site that their mission is to create delicious and nutritious gluten-free breads that the entire family will enjoy.  If the Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia is any indication of their standards, then watch out gluten-free world…because this product is stellar.  You’d be hard-pressed to tell it was gluten-free.  No crazy aftertaste, no too dense.  Just really good flavors, really great texture, and just amazing bread all around.

Let’s get down to the chemistry of the Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia, shall we?  The ingredients are simple and recognizable: water, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, extra virgin olive oil, cultured brown rice flour, xanthan gum, eggs, sea salt, yeast, thyme, rosemary, organic agave syrup, black pepper, and natural enzymes.  Nothing fake.  Nothing chemical.  No words I can’t pronounce.  No question marks as to what I’m consuming.  Real ingredients that make really delicious bread.

As for the nutritional aspect of this bread…it’s actually not bad…especially since it is gluten-free bread.  A serving is 1/8 of the loaf of focaccia.  This serving will provide you with 140 calories and 4 grams of fat.  Much of that fat percentage is derived from the olive oil that is used in the dough.  Healthy fat.  A proper slice will also provide you with 15 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, and 2 grams of sugar.  That’s not too bad.  And, finally, you will be biting into 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein, so you won’t be left feeling empty after eating a slice.  I find, so often, that gluten-free bread doesn’t fill me up like regular bread does.  That’s not the case with this one.  One slice is plenty.

I love how Canyon Bakehouse is thinking outside the box when it comes to products.  With the variety of breads they offer (all of which I hope to try very soon), as well as hamburger buns, hotdog buns, and even muffins, the bakery does focus a lot on not just taste, but nutrition as well.  I was beyond happy each night I had my gluten-free pasta to have a slice of the Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia.  It was the perfect compliment, seasoned to perfection, toasted up, with great, flaky texture and amazing flavor.

Yeah…you’re now on my radar, Canyon Bakehouse.  And I hope to find more of your products soon!

A slice of Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia
A slice of Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia

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