Gluten-free bakeries are wonderful places, but sadly, I don’t get to go to them very often. It is very rare that I get the opportunity to walk into a room filled with the aroma of freshly baked gluten-free goods. This week I had that very experience when I walked into one of Portland’s best gluten-free secrets- the gluten-free branch of Angeline’s Bakery. The master gluten-free baker was in the process of cooling exquisite smelling loaves of gorgeous orange cinnamon bread, and the room smelled like absolute heaven. I have never coveted gluten-free bread more in my life. Now, lest you get too excited, Angeline’s Bakery in Portland is NOT a retail outlet, nor is it a cafe. Angeline’s started in Sister’s Oregon as a non-gluten-free bakery and gradually they became interested in expanding into the gluten-free market. The bakery was set up when Angeline’s formed a relationship with Wild Oats to produce gluten-free products for them- but alas, when Wild Oats was taken over by Whole Foods (which has its own in-house gluten-free bakery and line of products) that deal fell through. We’ve seen the phenomenon before where the acquisition of small companies by a large corporate chain results in less variety for the consumer. However, in this case it may be a blessing in disguise as Angeline NOT having an exclusive contract with ONE company means that you can find their products at a wider variety of places. This is their list of health food stores in Oregon and Washington offering Angeline’s gluten-free products. And, keep an eye out at Fred Meyers for their products as well- if they don’t have them in stock, they can order them for you. As I understood it, their products are frozen for shipping, so you can’t get them fresh at the markets unless you buy the frozen dough mix that you bake yourself OR the store defrosts them. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try many of Angeline’s gluten-free products thanks to the kindness of the master baker, Paul. I am very grateful for his kind hospitality on a very busy and stressful baking day, and really appreciated his taking the time to talk to us and show us his operation as well as sharing some tasty treats with us here at the Book of Yum. Here’s my review of those products:
In my opinion, the real star products of Angeline’s Bakery are their gluten-free breads. Their best seller is their White Rice Sandwich Bread, but they also have an Orange Cinnamon Swirl Rice Bread, and a Brown Rice Millet Poppy Bread. Thank goodness Paul took pity on me, drooling as I was over those heavenly smelling cinnamon breads cooling by the door, and let me try a loaf. To my mind, this is their most unique and delightful product, and would be something I would be thrilled to see in national distribution. My picky glutenoid DH also gave a very big thumbs up to this flavorful, orange and cinnamon infused loaf, and we enjoyed it as morning toast and also in absolutely divine french toast. I would give it a 9/10 for flavor, texture, and overall yuminess, and would recommend it to anyone. I would even consider ordering a case of it, if I had the freezer space to store it. The white rice sandwich bread was good even two days after baking, and could almost be eaten untoasted. I did prefer it slightly toasted. It made an excellent sandwich bread and was nice eaten simply with butter or jam as well. If it were convenient to buy in a local market, I would occasionally pick one up to have on hand, although I do favor homemade gluten-free bread recipes. I would give it a 7/10, and the DH found it fine in sandwiches but not especially memorable. I have a feeling that I would have loved the brown rice bread, but unfortunately I was not able to try it. Its flavor combination of brown rice flour, millet, rice bran, poppy seeds sounds quite delicious and hearty. If anyone reading this has had the opportunity to try their brown rice bread, do share your impressions in the comments.
Angeline’s cinnamon toast with eggs, and Angeline’s white rice bread in tofu egg salad sandwiches and cream cheese, avocado, tomato basil sandwiches.
My second favorite product offered by Angeline’s is probably their gluten-free brownie. I like a very fudgey brownie, and while these brownies weren’t as fudgey and rich as Mariposa brownies (my absolute favorite gluten-free brownie), they were quite decadent and delicious. At $24 for 12, these brownies are about half the price of Mariposa Brownies, so if shipping costs weren’t a consideration, I would definitely consider buying some. If any of my local coffee shops carried them, I’m afraid I would definitely be eating more than is good for me. I would give them a 7.5/10.
Angeline’s has four beautiful varieties of gluten-free cookies, and it was a real treat to get to see these beauties cooling on a baking dish fresh out of the oven. They looked just as gorgeous as any gluten cookie. The DH and I were very excited to try them. Upon tasting, we found that our favorites were probably the chocolate chip cookie, followed by the peanut butter cookie. I enjoyed the snickerdoodle and the ginger cookie, and thought they all had a very nice texture, but I’m afraid they did not entirely pass the glutenoid test. The DH had a bite of each variety but said they tasted rather gluten-free. He especially did not care for the snickerdoodle, and commented about some “gluten-free” aftertaste. I thought he might have been objecting to the flavor of the baking powder, but he couldn’t identify it specifically. I would buy one of these cookies if I found it in a local coffee shop, but I probably wouldn’t personally order them in bulk.
I was very happy to try Angeline’s marionberry scone and very much enjoyed the fresh fruit element. I could taste the pure gluten-free rice flours, which happen to be flavors that I enjoy, but pleasant as it was to my taste buds, it was definitely not a baked good to win over reluctant glutenoids. I might pick one up with my coffee when I wanted a simple treat, but I wouldn’t order them in quantity.
You can order these products online and have them delivered to you through this online order form for Angeline’s GF Products
It is also possible if you live in or are visiting Portland, to order a case or so of their products and pick it up AT the bakery but you must give them as much lead time as possible, as they are very busy actually baking the products and it will take time for them to fill your order. (If you purchase through Fred Myer or other health food stores, as I understand it the product will have been frozen and possibly defrosted. You’ll get a much fresher product directly through the bakery.)
As their web site states,
“If you live in the Portland area and would like to pick up your retail order, call the Bakery to arrange for pickup (do not drop-in, please!) and the shipping coupon code. You will then place your order and pay for it online, without shipping cost.”
The Portland Bakery telephone number is: 503-236-2323
If you’re lucky enough to live near a health food store that carries their frozen bake products, you can try them as well. I haven’t tried them, but their Cheddar Chive Scones and Lemon Poppy Scones look quite intriguing and a little different than the competition. In general I’m not entirely sold on frozen cookie dough, which is the majority of their other offerings, as at least in the bay area, prices are often prohibitively high for what you get.. Usually homemade cookies are better and certainly a lot cheaper, but I will have to reserve judgment until I actually try their treats myself.
If you happen to be in Sisters, Oregon you can try to stop by their retail cafe location, but they do have a rather limited menu, so it might be just as effective to visit local Portland health food stores or make an order with the Portland gluten-free bakery.
Recipe using Gluten-Free Cinnamon Bread
For this post, I thought I’d share the french toast recipe I came up with on the road, using Angeline’s delicious gluten free orange cinnamon bread. I didn’t have any spices or things like vanilla, so I adapted around the ingredients in our RV pantry. The results were delicious and I hope you enjoy the recipe.
Gluten Free Honey Vanilla Cinnamon French Toast Recipe with Candied Walnuts
2 eggs, beaten
1 or 2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. high quality vanilla yogurt with real vanilla
1 tsp. peach flavored honey (or other favorite flavored honey)
4 or more pieces of gluten-free cinnamon bread, such as Angeline’s Orange Cinnamon Bread
butter for pan
handful of walnuts
more honey or brown sugar
Combine eggs, milk, yogurt and honey in a bowl and whisk until smooth. It may help to warm the honey slightly so that it dissolves. Put mixture in a suitable dish so that you can soak the bread in it, first soaking one side and then the other.
Heat a little butter in a nonstick pan and gently pan fry the french toast. Turn when golden brown and remove from pan when both sides are browned to taste. In an empty space of the pan or a separate pan, heat a little butter and add your walnuts. Lightly toast them and drizzle with a little honey or sugar, turning. Be careful not to let them burn!
Serve your french toast with butter and maple syrup if you like, although it will already be naturally sweet. Sprinkle with the caramelized walnuts and add some fresh fruit on the side. Enjoy!