Review: Canyon Bakehouse


My introduction to Canyon Bakehouse started with a bad experience at my favorite sandwich shop – rather, the only sandwich shop I can visit, since they cater to gluten-free customers. I had a lousy sandwich, on teensy slices of bad, frozen gluten-free bread. The real insult came when I got to the register, and they charged me $1 extra for the privilege of ordering gluten-free bread. I questioned the charge, since I hadn’t been charged on previous visits. I then posted to twitter about my disappointment in my experience with the shop.

All this drama brought Gluten-Free Dee (@glutenfreedee) to my rescue, connecting me to the wonderful folks at Canyon Bakehouse. Dee requested that they send me a few samples to review, and WOW – they came through! Just look at the bounty the arrived at my door! I don’t think I’ve ever had this many baked goods in my house – before or after my gluten-free transition.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread is one of those things we all cherish from childhood, right?! Toasted and buttered, maybe with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top – it’s a cozy start to any day. Cinnamon Bread with the swirls of cinnamon sugar and studded with raisins makes me think of summer weekends spent “up north.” For those of you not hip to the Michigan lingo, “Up North” is where you go on summer vacations – it might only be an hour or two from your home, but it’s the direction that’s important – North. Up North means quiet, lazy days, lake swimming and perhaps a few more sweet treats than you’d ordinarily have.

Every Saturday morning, Uncle Harry would go out and get fresh-baked cinnamon bread for breakfast. Yeasty and sweet, the bread was wonderful toasted with butter sinking into every crevice. I haven’t had cinnamon bread in 8 years! Canyon Ranch has changed all that. This is the REAL stuff – and gluten-free! Canyon’s cinnamon bread is the adult version of the white, doughy stuff of childhood. Packed with whole grains and lots of raisins, the bread is fragrant with cinnamon, and just enough sweetness to go well with a good cuppa tea. Unlike most store-bought gluten-free bread, this bread has lightness and all the nooks and crannies you want to soak up a little butter.

Saturday morning breakfast led me to the Cranberry Crunch Muffins. These are BIG muffins, with a hefty 380 cal per muffin, but boy are they tasty and worth every calorie. They are moist, have the crumble of a good muffin, and are chock-full of cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a combination of poppy and amaranth seeds provide a nice crunch. The four-pack of muffins disappeared in one day at our house – a ringing endorsement of a great product if ever there was one.

Next up were the sandwich breads – Mountain White and San Juan 7 Grain. I have a three-fold test before I’ll declare any gluten-free bread a winner in our kitchen. Is the bread good: straight out of the package, toasted with peanut butter (bread must withstand the spreading of peanut butter) and made into grilled cheese (bread must brown evenly, and be light enough to allow the cheese to melt). I am thrilled to say that both breads passed the test with flying colors on all counts! Just look at that perfect oozy grilled cheese, with bits of ham falling out at the edges – heaven. And the peanut butter toast – best I’ve had in years. Both breads toasted up nicely while remaining soft and chewy inside. And I will happily eat either bread straight out of the bag.

A word on Mountain White vs 7 Grain…I’m normally a whole-grain, hippie bread girl all the way. I want my food as natural/whole as I can get it (it’s even in the name of my blog!), so I initially viewed the “white” bread with skepticism. I generally avoid the fluffy, white carbs…but in looking at the ingredients, even the White bread is made with several whole grain flours, and the flavor is great – with much more personality than the Wonder Bread of yore.

We finished our sampling of the products with the Rosemary & Thyme Foccacia…this one was the least favorite for both Mark and I, but still a very good bread. It’s chewy and soft like foccacia should be, with a lovely sprinkling of herbs. The bread is much more delicate in crumb than the others, falling apart if not sliced carefully with a serrated bread knife. We sampled this alongside a bowl of Indian Spiced Red Lentil Soup. When toasted on a tray in the oven, it’s perfect for dunking.

All in all, I’m thrilled to be introduced to the Canyon line, and I hope that I’ll be able to find their products in Chicago soon…stay tuned! Thanks again to Canyon Bakehouse head honcho, Josh Skow, for sending me products to try!

22 thoughts on “Review: Canyon Bakehouse

  1. nice! i can’t believe you had to pay extra for gf bread though – they should bank on the fact that since they serve it, you’ll be back :(.

    how long does this lovely bread last if left out? i always hear gf bread goes bad quicky – whatdya say?

    • Amazingly, this GF bread was good left at room temp for about a week and a half – it molded before it went “stale” as most GF breads do so quickly. I am SO impressed with their breads – can’t wait to see them in local stores!

  2. Are they egg free by chance? I now make my daughter’s bread from Pamela’s Bake Mixes as she needs gluten, egg and dairy free. I’m slowly adding back the dairy so I might be able to get away with that.
    Cinnamon Raisin is her favorite. I love it too…reminds me of my nana.

  3. Oh man, I have been craving cinnamon raisin bread something fierce but don’t even have a good base recipe to go from. I would be so happy to have some of this!!

  4. Oh my goodness, I want that sandwich so bad right now. I have only been gf for about 2 months but boy I miss grilled cheese. Cinnamon raisin bread has been a huge craving lately too. Love that I can order online from them.

    • Char – Welcome to the gluten-free tribe! I hope that you’re finding that once you adjust your diet a bit, it’s not so bad! And there are so many GOOD products and mixes out there now, it’s not nearly as hard as it was a few years ago. Order some bread from Canyon – I know you’ll love it! And if there’s anything you’ve got questions about or that I can help you with – let me know!

  5. I just tried Canyon for the first time two days ago. I was just running into my go-to GF store and they had a sample sitting on the counter. OMG, unbelievable! Watch out UDI’s, you were good but someone has come to challenge you. Anyway…Apparently SOMEONE realized this product needed to be in Chicago. God bless them.

    If anyone is interested…New Vitality…Orland Park Illinois had the samples. Hopefully they bring it in. I asked them to…hopefully they listen.

    • OMG, Michael – that is fantastic news that you tried samples in Orland….I don’t make it out to the western suburbs often, but when I do, I will definitely put New Vitality on my to-do list!

  6. Canyon Bakehouse Bread is now available on the West Coast. It’s available in Sacramento. California at the Gluten Free Specialty Market, 2612 J Street, #1, Sacramento, CA 95816. Call or check blog for fresh delivery dates. 916-442-5241 or gfspecialty.blogspot.com

  7. Pingback: Product Review: Canyon Bakehouse « Lovely Healthy

  8. Pingback: New $1/1 Canyon Bakehouse Coupon September 2011

  9. For those of you still interested in receiving Canyon Bakehouse products in your locals grocery stores…you can visit http://www.canyonbakehouse.com and print off a “New Product Request” form. This form already has the product information on it and allows the stores to put in orders directly to the company.

    As many of you have already stated, this is an amazing company with wonderful products. I am not an avid GF shopper but was introduced to it by a friend. I am definitely a fan and will be requesting it to be stocked in my local grocery stores.

  10. Tried several loves of GF breads from Julians Bakery not impressed very expensive and nothing like real bread. Would love to try samples of canyon bakehouses bread. Can you make it happen?

    • Jan – Canyon Bakehouse is definitely real bread! You can order from their website to get some of their bread shipped right to your door. If you have a blog, you could reach out to them to see if they have any blogger sampling programs active right now.

  11. Found this bread a Target. It was soft an squishy , to good to be true! Took it home and made cinnamon toast with it, to good to be true! found this site while looking up the bread on the internet .because to good to be true is usually just that. This bread is awesome!!! real bread! going to make myself a ham sandwich and then maybe a grilled cheese with ham! oh no I’m in trouble now. I’v been craving the for soooo long!!

    • Lin – I’m SO glad you found this bread locally, and thrilled to hear they’re distributed through Target so more GF folks will be able to enjoy it. The moment when I knew that no other bakery bread would do was when I had a grilled corned beef and swiss on their caraway bread – the perfection in that sandwich nearly brought tears to my eyes!

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