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Who doesn't love a soft, fluffy, delicious piece of sandwich bread? Used to make killer grilled cheeses, delectable French toast slices, and impeccable deli clubs, buying the right kind of sandwich bread is key to achieving excellence in everyday American food fare.
With that said, we've gone to great lengths to scan labels and scour reviews to come up with the best (and worst) sandwich bread types available today. With some bread featuring awesome taste but low-quality ingredients and some featuring slices with pristine ingredients but at a hefty cost, we're ready to fill you in on the who's who of the bread world so you can make an informed decision about which loaf fits the bill for you.
So, without further delay, let's slice into the intricate details about your favorite sandwich bread to uncover which brands are truly worth your dime. Here we go!
Read more: 25 Foods You Should Never Buy At Walmart
Not available in many markets today, Wonder Bread has made our list as an ode to bread that once was. While you can still find this bread from selected sellers on Amazon, you aren't likely to find it on many store shelves. The reason? According to Smithsonian Magazine, the widespread shift in interest towards whole wheat bread is what delivered a major blow to the Wonder Bread label. However, according to online reviews, it seems that people still have an appreciation for the softness of this former grocery store loaf and are happily willing to buy it whenever they see it, even if that can only happen online.
So, why does Wonder Bread rank so low on our list? Contrary to what you might think, it isn't because it's been phased out of stores. Though devotees may love the nostalgic fluffiness of this bread, we must note that there's a reason this bread turns out softer than others. If you scan the ingredients list, you'll notice quite a few foreign ingredients you've likely never heard of. In fact, this is one of the longest ingredient lists we've seen on grocery store bread, and, unfortunately, the additives here abound.
Sure, we're willing to admit that not everyone is overly concerned with additives, but when ranking one sandwich brand against another, we have to mention that Wonder Bread certainly won't receive any rewards for being the cleanest bread label out there. Take it for what it's worth!
Sara Lee Whole Wheat
You can't talk about store-bought sandwich bread without mentioning Sara Lee. Starting with Sara Lee Whole Wheat, we weren't totally thrown off by the ingredients. You'll find DATEM, which is a common dough conditioner, along with soybean oil, and preservatives as expected. Those looking to avoid these common additives will have a hard time not finding these ingredients in bread, although later on in the post, we'll detail a few brands that have indeed managed to kick at least a few of these potentially risky additives to the curb.
Still, reviewers seem okay with this brand, although there are several complaints that seem to suggest that Sara Lee Whole Wheat may come off as dry to some taste buds rather than soft and pliable the way most of us like it. Ultimately, Sara Lee Whole Wheat is your standard wheat sandwich bread, and it isn't anything special. And for a couple of dollars at Walmart (as of the time of publication), it's not too bad of a pick.
Sara Lee Classic White
Made of enriched wheat flour rather than whole wheat grains, Sara Lee Classic White Sandwich Bread is similar to the whole wheat version in terms of ingredients. In it, you'll find DATEM, soybean oil, and preservatives. You'll also find monocalcium phosphate, which helps with the leavening of the dough. Still, when used as an additive, monocalcium phosphate can sometimes cause unwanted side effects, some of which may induce an allergic reaction. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be sensitive to this additive, consult a healthcare provider or avoid bread picks like these completely.
As for the texture and taste of the bread? It's pretty good. For the price point, reviewers claim you'll get soft, tasty, reliable, and consistent bread that makes for great sandwiches. All in all, it is a high fructose corn syrup-free household staple that you'll enjoy as long as you aren't too picky about the additives.
Great Value Honey Wheat
A Walmart-branded bread, the Great Value Honey Wheat Bread variety boasts of the addition of whole wheat flour and honey, but that doesn't necessarily make it much better than the white bread version. Note that this bread isn't 100% whole wheat (nor is it advertised as such) and also contains more dough conditioners than the white bread version of the same brand. We were surprised, too!
So, what's up with dough conditioners? Certain types have been banned in other countries, including the UK, and can also pose threats to your health when consumed on an ongoing and long-term basis. As such, when you see an annoying list of varying dough conditioners used to "enhance" the texture of the bread (including sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium stearoyl lactylate, monoglycerides, mono- And diglycerides, DATEM, and more) you might want to take note.
As far as reviews are concerned, people seem to like the bread, and we, for one, love the fact that it doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup. Still, the additives are a major turn-off, even if the bread does taste quite good.
Great Value White Bread
Great Value White Bread is a brand often featured on Walmart shelves. As a generic Walmart brand, this pick is affordable and runs even cheaper in our area than some of the already inexpensive more widely recognizable name brands (as of the time of this publication).
With that said, you'll find many of the common ingredients often found in your typical white bread, including dough conditioners like DATEM and monoglycerides, which can, at times, agitate sensitivities in certain individuals. On top of that, you'll find preservatives, monocalcium phosphate, and potassium iodate. Many of these additives can cause their own share of health risks, especially if consumed on a regular basis, which can be a scary thought in and of itself.
Despite this, most who buy Great Value White Bread tend to think it's pretty okay. A few claim the loaves to be somewhat small and flavorless and some even seem to hint that Great Value has changed its previous recipe. Whatever the case, we think this bread is an affordable pick for your everyday sandwich, but it certainly isn't the cream of the crop.
Aunt Millie's Country Buttermilk Bread
Despite the fact that we see this brand in just about every grocery store near us, people seem eerily quiet about how it tastes and performs. The two reviews we did find didn't help much either, as commenters were literally split 50/50 in regard to texture and taste. One person believes Aunt Millie's Country Buttermilk bread offers outstanding flavor while the other claims that the bread is "nasty" and dry.
Due to the mixed reviews (or lack thereof), we are inclined to believe that this is one brand you'll have to sample for yourself to get the full breadth and scope of how it tastes and performs. Still, we've noted a few things about the ingredients we're sure you'd like to know before you consider buying this fairly popular loaf.
Ingredients wise, you can expect Aunt Millie's to contain the usual additives including sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium sulfate, and dough conditioning monoglycerides. As mentioned throughout this post, each of these may have health ramifications, although in most cases, negative effects are unlikely if you consume these substances in small amounts. The bread also contains soybean oil and sesame, both of which may be cause for concern, especially among those who may be allergic to them.
Target Market Pantry Bread White Sandwich Bread
Target's Market Pantry White Sandwich Bread is a great option for when you want something soft, pliable, and inexpensive. This Target exclusive is marked at only a buck and some change as of the time of this written post in our location, and many rave about its cost in relation to its taste and texture.
Many people often associate a lower price tag with a lesser quality product, but in the case of Target Market Pantry bread, this isn't necessarily true. Reviewers love the softness of the bread and claim the flavor to be great. As usual, however, we are inspectors of ingredients, and all the rave reviews had us curious. So, what did we find?
Typical bread with the typical offenders. There are plenty of additives and dough conditioners in this one, and no, we aren't just hating on the brand. As always, if additives don't concern you much, then by all means, this is a great pick. But if you're looking for something with ingredients that are a bit more pure, you may want to leave this one on the shelf and continue reading for better options.
Nature's Own Honey Wheat Bread
If you're looking for a tasty wheat bread loaf, then this is probably the right pick for you. Though Nature's Own Honey Wheat Bread doesn't score points for having the best ingredients, it does at least taste super yummy. And that's saying a lot for wheat bread. As always, just remember that though this bread contains wheat, it isn't made of 100% wheat, and that does make a difference in terms of health (if you're looking for a whole wheat loaf, that is). With that said, this is a solid choice in the wheat bread realm and is worth picking up if you happen to see it on shelves.
As far as ingredients go, you can expect to get a healthy dose of soy via soy flour, soy lecithin, and soybean oil. Moreover, you'll find unfamiliar ingredients, such as calcium sulfate, monoglycerides (which typically act as a dough conditioner), and monocalcium phosphate -- which may affect your heart if you're eating large amounts of it. On the plus side, there are no preservatives hiding in this one, and like most breads on the list, it's also free of high-fructose corn syrup.
Kroger Wheat Bread
Not a 100% whole wheat variety, but still a solid pick for wheat bread. This Kroger Wheat Bread contains water, flour, yeast, and sugar. You'll also find molasses, soybean oil, ammonium sulfate, vinegar, and preservatives.
Though this list of ingredients is shorter than, say, Great Value Wheat Bread, the ammonium sulfate may be a concern for some folks. When eaten in large amounts, ammonium sulfate can cause irritation to your digestive system and may lead to unwanted side effects like nausea and diarrhea.
Still, we think this is a decent bread selection from Kroger. There are no DATEM or mono- and diglyceride dough conditioners as of the time that this post was written, so that's a plus, at least. As always, you'll find a few additives in most bread types in this price range, but for the kind of bread it is, we think it's an inexpensive option worth picking up.
Kroger White Bread
Another worthy pick with minimal ingredients is Kroger White Bread, which we found in our area for only a buck and some change at the time of publication. It isn't too thick or thin, and makes the perfect base for a good PB&J or turkey sandwich with creamy mayo. Of course, you'll find the typical Kroger bread offenders in this one, with preservatives, ammonium sulfate, and sodium stearoyl lactylate making their appearance. We aren't seeing typical DATEM additives like in Great Value Walmart bread varieties, so that makes us happy.
Still, we wish Kroger would nix the use of soybean oil in its bread. While it isn't really a huge deal, there are other types of oil that we'd rather consume, especially since some sources link soybean oil to potential changes in the brain (via UC Riverside News). Nevertheless, we suppose we can't be too picky, especially within this price range. Overall, pick up Kroger White Sandwich Bread for a quick and affordable option for toast, sammies, and more.
Private Selection 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Hooray! A 100% whole wheat bread with minimally processed ingredients. Private Selection 100% Whole Wheat Bread contains wheat flour, gluten, sugar, yeast, salt, and wheat bran. Despite these wholesome ingredients, however, you should be advised that it does contain preservatives along with soybean oil and sodium stearoyl lactate. While sodium stearoyl lactate doesn't tend to cause harm in most individuals, for some people, it may cause symptoms that include diarrhea, hives, a rash, and itching. If you are sensitive to this additive, it may be best to skip this bread selection, despite its shorter ingredients list compared to other bread brands on the market.
On the bright side of things, Kroger's Private Selection brand has managed to keep the price on this one nice and low, which we'll take, especially given that there are other pricier 100% whole wheat brands of bread on the market with similar (if not worse) ingredients.
Reviewers of this particular bread are few; however, we've sampled this bread ourselves in the past and can attest that it is indeed soft and delicious. Pick up a pack and see for yourself!
Pepperidge Farm Hearty White Bread
According to reviews, this is one of the better white breads on the market. Pepperidge Farm Hearty White Bread is nice and thick and can make for excellent garlic bread or syrupy morning French toast. The hearty slices also lend themselves well to yummy sandwiches filled with meat and all your favorite toppings. But how do the ingredients pan out? Not too bad, actually.
The ingredients in this brand are minimal when compared to the others sold alongside it in supermarkets. It still has soybean oil, which we'd rather not see, and it contains calcium propionate and sorbic acid as preservatives. It also contains DATEM, a dough conditioner which may prove somewhat controversial. Still, the other ingredients, including flour, salt, and whey aren't at all harmful, and of course, are expected ingredients in bread.
One more ingredient in this rather delicious bread is soy lecithin. Though generally regarded as safe in low doses, you should know that it is a genetically modified version of soy, which may not strike everyone's fancy.
Brownberry Country White Bread
Finally... a white sandwich bread with few preservatives! Yes, Brownberry Country White Sandwich Bread has awesome flavor and only a couple of preservatives in the ingredients — something we thought we'd never witness after reviewing so many sandwich bread types. Thankfully, Brownberry Country White Sandwich Bread is made (mostly) from wholesome ingredients, including butter (yes, real butter), water, yeast, sea salt, vinegar, and wheat gluten.
Any offenders? Only a couple. Soybean oil, along with the previously mentioned soy lecithin, make their appearances but considering that these are the only two concerning additives, we're willing to give this bread a pass. Reviewers agree that this bread is heads above the rest, with a fluffy yet filling texture and awesome taste. It also holds up well against juicy or heavy ingredients, including tomatoes, bacon, and the like. Use it for a variety of purposes, and know this bread is very likely to perform (and taste) very well. We love it!
Sara Lee Artesano
If you're looking for a tasty, thick, soft sandwich bread with minimal ingredients and an affordable price, look no further than Sara Lee Artesano. Honestly, this is one of our favorite picks because the price point isn't so high that it could potentially drive up your likely already sky-high grocery bill, but it also won't stuff you full of unwanted additives that may cause you issues down the road.
Fans agree; this makes one heck of a sandwich, and the thick and soft slices are perfect for making killer morning French toast. On top of that, this show-stopping sandwich bread delivers a flavorful punch that contains no preservatives, dough conditioners, high fructose corn syrup, or gobs of unwanted hard-to-pronounce additives at the time of this post. The most offensive thing we see on the list is soybean oil and soy lecithin, and that probably isn't even a concern for most people.
All in all, if you want bread that's essentially the "jack of all trades" at an affordable price, then Sara Lee Artesano is a great option. It may cost you a dollar or two more than other brands, but that's nothing when you consider the shorter ingredients list combined with a soft texture and full-on flavor.
Dave's Killer 100% Whole Wheat Bread
So, which bread is topping our list? Nutritious, delicious, and (very) expensive Dave's Killer 100% Whole Wheat Bread, of course. Not only is Dave's a brand with an inspiring backstory, but it also dishes up some of the cleanest ingredients we can find on the market. The brand features 100% whole wheat and nothing but organic ingredients sprawling across its label. Checkered in bold colors and funky themes, you won't find one iota of soy in this product, nor will you find preservatives. Instead, you'll get yeast, sea salt, canola oil, and of course, whole wheat, all of which you can feel good about stuffing your face with.
Oh, and just so you know, there'll be a bit of sticker shock once you head to the register. Though nutritious and delicious, this brand often sports prices double — if not triple — what another brand might charge. Just remember that you get what you pay for, and after reviewing so many brands, we think the higher price point just might be worth it.
Read the original article on Mashed.