Texas toast can be gluten-free if specifically made without wheat. Most mass-produced Texas toast contains gluten as it is made with wheat flour. However, gluten-free Texas toast made with corn, rice, or other gluten-free flours is available. When dining out or buying Texas toast, check the ingredients to confirm gluten-free status.
What is Texas Toast?
Texas toast is a thick-cut white bread that is known for its large slices. It is an American staple often served at restaurants, diners, and homes, especially in the South.
Traditional Texas toast is made with wheat flour, water, salt, and yeast. It has a fluffy, airy interior with a crispy browned crust. Slices are about 1/2–1 inch thick, much larger than regular sandwich bread slices.
Texas toast can be found at grocery stores across the country. Mass-produced, pre-packaged versions are made by major brands like Wonder Bread, Sara Lee, and Pepperidge Farm. It is also served at popular restaurant chains like Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse.
Is Traditional Texas Toast Gluten-Free?
No, traditional Texas toast made with wheat flour contains gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Most people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot tolerate gluten and need to follow a strict gluten-free diet.
Since traditional Texas toast recipes call for wheat flour, the bread contains gluten proteins. Specific brands may contain additional sources of gluten, like malt extract or barley malt.
So regular Texas toast bought at the grocery store or served at restaurants is not safe for those avoiding gluten. Gluten-free diners need to request a gluten-free bread option when Texas toast is served.
Gluten-Free Substitutes for Wheat Flour
There are several gluten-free flour options that can be used to make gluten-free Texas toast:
- Rice Flour – Made from finely milled rice. Provides starchiness.
- Corn Flour – Made from dried corn kernels. Has a sweet, grainy flavor.
- Potato Starch – Extracted from potatoes. Helps achieve rising and texture.
- Tapioca Flour – Derived from cassava root. Used for binding and chewiness.
- Almond Flour – Made from ground almonds. Adds nuttiness.
- Coconut Flour – Made from dried coconut meat. Imparts sweetness.
Combining two or more gluten-free flours helps replicate the texture and flavor of wheat-based Texas toast. Rice flour and tapioca flour are commonly used as base ingredients.
Xanthan gum or guar gum are typically added to help with moisture and structure. And some recipes use milk, eggs, or oil to enrich the bread.
How to Make Gluten-Free Texas Toast
Here is an overview of the process for making gluten-free Texas toast at home:
- Mix the dry ingredients – This typically includes a blend of two or more gluten-free flours, xanthan gum, salt, sugar or honey, and yeast.
- Whisk wet ingredients separately – Such as milk, eggs, oil or melted butter.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients.
- Knead the dough – Kneading helps develop the gluten-free flour proteins to create structure.
- Let the dough rise – Allowing time for the yeast to work results in a light, airy texture.
- Shape into a loaf – Shape into a rectangular loaf and place in a loaf pan.
- Proof and bake – Allow to rise once more before baking until golden brown.
- Cool and slice – Cool completely before slicing thick Texas toast-sized slices.
The loaf can also be cut into slices before baking for Texas toast-style slices with crusty edges. Slices should be about 1 inch thick.
Where to Buy Gluten-Free Texas Toast
Here are some options for buying pre-made gluten-free Texas toast:
- Canyon Bakehouse – Makes a good tasting, dairy-free Texas Toast.
- Schar – Widely available brand with a Classic White Gluten-Free Loaf.
- Udi’s – Their gluten-free Classic Sandwich Bread can be thick-sliced.
- Aldi – LiveGfree bread can be used for Texas toast at a budget price.
- Trader Joe’s – Their gluten-free white sandwich bread tastes close to wheat bread.
- Local bakeries – Many bakeries now offer gluten-free bread options.
Check the manufacturer’s information to confirm the bread is certified gluten-free. Also, double check the ingredients list for potential allergen sources like dairy, eggs, nuts, or soy.
Tips for Baking Gluten-Free Texas Toast
Here are some helpful baking tips for making great gluten-free Texas toast at home:
- Use a bread machine – Takes the work out of kneading and proofing.
- Add flavor – Consider herbs, garlic, cheese, or olives.
- Make garlic bread – Brush with melted butter and garlic powder before baking.
- Boost nutrition – Add seeds like chia or flax or shredded veggies.
- Prevent drying – Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
- Refresh slices – Mist with water and bake at 300°F for 2-3 minutes.
- Freeze extras – Let cool completely before freezing in an airtight bag.
With the right gluten-free flour blend and preparation method, you can create Texas toast with a crisp crust and tender, cottony interior just like the wheat version.
Gluten-Free Texas Toast Recipes
Here are a few tasty gluten-free recipes to try:
Classic Gluten-Free Texas Toast
- 3 cups gluten-free flour blend
- 1⁄4 cup potato starch
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons yeast
- 1 1⁄4 cups warm milk
- 1⁄4 cup butter, melted
- 1 egg
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour blend, potato starch, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, and yeast.
- In another bowl, combine the milk, melted butter, and egg. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Place in a greased loaf pan, cover, and let rise 1 hour.
- Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes until deep golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack before slicing thick pieces.
Cheesy Pesto Texas Toast
- Gluten-free Texas toast loaf
- 1⁄3 cup pesto
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1⁄2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1⁄4 cup Parmesan cheese
- Slice gluten-free Texas toast loaf into 1-inch slices.
- Spread one side of each slice with pesto followed by butter.
- Top each slice with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 400°F for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Cinnamon Sugar Texas Toast
- Gluten-free Texas toast loaf
- 1⁄4 cup butter, softened
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Slice gluten-free Texas toast loaf into 1-inch slices.
- Spread one side of each slice with butter.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
- Dredge the buttered side of each slice of bread in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Cook in a skillet over medium heat until browned on each side.
Is Texas Toast Gluten-Free at Restaurants?
Texas toast served at restaurants is usually not gluten-free. Most restaurants use regular wheat-based Texas toast. However, some restaurants do offer gluten-free bread options that can be substituted.
Here are some tips for ordering gluten-free Texas toast:
- Check the menu – Some restaurants designate gluten-free items.
- Ask about ingredients – Confirm the Texas toast is made without wheat flour.
- Request substitutions – Ask for gluten-free bread in place of Texas toast.
- Avoid cross-contact – Make sure it’s prepared separately from wheat bread.
- Clarify at order – Remind staff you need gluten-free each time.
Chain restaurants like Outback Steakhouse, Red Robin, and Olive Garden have gluten-free menus. Local restaurants may be accommodating if they offer gluten-free options.
Those with celiac disease should verify restaurants follow strict protocols to avoid cross-contact. Eating out always carries some degree of risk.
Popular Dishes that Use Texas Toast
Texas toast is handy for sopping up sauces and juices or turning into tasty appetizers. Here are some classic Texas toast dishes:
|Slices brushed with butter and garlic then toasted
|Slices topped with tomatoes, olive oil, and Parm
|Ooey-gooey slices baked with cheese
|Thick slices dipped in egg batter and fried
|Diced, seasoned, and baked pieces
The thickness of Texas toast makes it ideal for holding hearty ingredients. Follow the same recipes using gluten-free bread substituted for Texas toast.
Storing and Freezing Gluten-Free Texas Toast
Gluten-free Texas toast has a shorter shelf life than regular bread. Here are some storage tips:
- Store cut loaf in a plastic bag at room temperature up to 3 days.
- Let slices cool completely before freezing in a plastic freezer bag for 2-3 months.
- Thaw frozen slices at room temperature or pop into the toaster.
- Avoid refrigerating which causes gluten-free bread to dry out faster.
- Freeze unused portions of loaf by double wrapping in foil.
The freezer extends the shelf life of gluten-free Texas toast by a few months. Be sure to seal it in an airtight container or bag.
Proper storage helps maintain the texture and fresh taste. Consume refrigerated leftovers within 3-5 days.
Is Gluten-Free Texas Toast Healthy?
Gluten-free Texas toast can be a nutritious option for those who need to be on a gluten-free diet. However, some factors impact the healthiness:
- Ingredients – Versions made with whole grains, seeds, or vegetables offer more nutrients than plain white bread.
- Portion size – The generous slices lead to higher calorie intake versus regular sandwich bread.
- Sodium content – Some gluten-free breads have added salt and preservatives.
- Nutrient absorption – Nutrients may not be fully absorbed depending on severity of one’s celiac or gluten-sensitivity.
Reading nutrition labels helps identify healthier gluten-free options lower in sugar, salt, and saturated fat. Sticking to 1-2 slices per meal controls portions.
Overall, gluten-free Texas toast can be part of a balanced gluten-free diet. Those with medical conditions should consult their doctor about special dietary needs.
Cost of Gluten-Free vs Regular Texas Toast
Gluten-free Texas toast generally costs more than regular wheat-based Texas toast:
- Regular Texas toast – $2 to $3 per loaf
- Gluten-free Texas toast – $4 to $7 per loaf
The price gap reflects the differences in manufacturing and ingredients:
- Special gluten-free flours – More expensive than commodity wheat flour.
- Strict safety protocols – Important to avoid cross-contamination.
- Niche market – Smaller market share than mainstream breads.
- Shorter shelf life – Gluten-free bread gets stale faster.
On average, gluten-free bread costs 2 to 3 times more than regular bread. Buying store brands or baking your own gluten-free Texas toast can help save money.
Here is a nutritional comparison between regular and gluten-free Texas toast for one 1-ounce slice:
The two types of Texas toast are comparable calorie and nutrient-wise. Gluten-free versions tend to be slightly higher in carbs and sodium. Check labels to find options better aligned with your dietary needs.
Should You Make the Switch?
Here are some things to consider when deciding between regular and gluten-free Texas toast:
- If you don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, there’s no need to switch.
- Those with a medical need for gluten-free fare should opt for gluten-free.
- Beware of potential cross-contamination when dining out.
- Gluten-free has a higher price tag but provides peace of mind.
- Taste and texture vary widely by brand.
- Nutrition profile is relatively similar.
- Adding seeds, oils etc. can boost nutrition of gluten-free.
In the end, the choice comes down to your dietary restrictions and preferences. When prepared properly, gluten-free Texas toast can deliver the same satisfying flavor and texture.
The Bottom Line
While traditional Texas toast contains gluten, gluten-free versions are available for those with celiac disease or sensitivity. Swapping all-purpose wheat flour for a blend of gluten-free flours produces Texas toast safe to enjoy. When dining out, check that any Texas toast ordered is in fact gluten-free. With an increasing range of tasty options, living gluten-free doesn’t mean giving up favorites like Texas toast.