Bread. It truly is a miracle food. Give a person a bag of flour to eat, and they’ll die of malnutrition in a matter of weeks. Let them mix that flour with water to make bread, and they can live for years.
Of course, modern bread contains a lot more ingredients than just flour, water, and yeast deposited by the air. And that fact has many vegans wondering which commercial bread brands are suitable for those following a plant-based diet.
To help you enjoy this miracle food, we’ve rounded up the 5 best vegan bread brands on the market. Not only are these loaves vegan, but they’re made with wholesome ingredients by companies you’ll want to buy from. While you probably don’t want to make these breads your sole source of nutrition, they’re certainly good enough to indulge in on the daily.
Is Store Bought Bread Vegan?
Most commercial bread loaves are vegan, but not all of them.
Bread in its most basic form is made of flour, water, and yeast. Most bread of the modern era will also include oils, different types of grains, and leaveners to speed up the baking process.
But some types of bread will also include eggs, dairy, or honey, making them unsuitable for vegans.
Eggs are an additive most common to non-loaf bread products, such as bagels and English muffins. But they can be used to make brioche and are sometimes used in gluten-free bread as a binding agent.
Naan bread, some bagels and muffins, and most commercial garlic bread are made using butter, yogurt, or milk.
But, in terms of standard whole-wheat bread, the only thing you really need to watch out for is honey. This animal product is sometimes used as a sweetener, especially in ‘honey wheat’ and rye bread.
The Best Bread Brands for Vegans
If scanning through long ingredient lists to assure your bread loaf is vegan doesn’t sound appealing, then we’ve got the list for you. Below, you’ll find 5 of the best bread brands that are safe for vegans.
Each of these brands offers a number of vegan-friendly breads that are made with quality ingredients you can get behind.
Dave’s Killer Bread
If you aren’t familiar with Dave’s Killer Bread, you’ve probably been living under a rock. This brand is the largest organic bread company in the nation. And every single one of their products is produced with non-GMO, plant-based ingredients.
The company got its start after Dave Dahl decided to remake his life after some poor choices with drugs landed him in prison for 15 years. Once released, he was committed to a better path and returned to his family’s bakery to create a new kind of bread: loaves filled with seeds, grains, and all the goodness nature had to offer.
Years later, after the sale of Dave’s to Flowers Foods, the popularity and accessibility of the brand skyrocketed. While Dave is no longer involved in the company due to mental health issues, the killer concept behind the brand remains intact.
If you like hearty, flavorful bread without gummy fillers, you’ll love Dave’s. Their loaves are available in a number of different flavors and sizes. And all are made with organic, quality ingredients that are easy to pronounce.
Types: 21 Grains and Seeds, White Bread Done Right, Good Seed, Power Seed, 100% Whole Wheat, Righteous Rye Bread
Vegan Gluten-Free? No
Where to Buy: Just about everywhere commercial bread is sold!
Food for Life
Food for Life offers a number of different bread lines, including the popular Ezekiel 4:9. All of their offerings are made with non-GMO, organic ingredients with special attention to animal-product-free recipes.
In fact, Food for Life is one of the few companies that offers a full line of vegan gluten-free breads. Not only are these loaves delicious and egg free, but they’re crafted with special attention to those hard-to-get vegan nutrients. For their Sprouted for Life brand, specifically, they use sprouted grains to assure iron and other important nutrients are biologically available.
Most of their non-gluten-free breads also feature sprouted grains. This gives them a huge nutrient boost, but also some additional flavor that really makes this brand worth hunting down.
Types: Sprouted Whole Grain, Cinnamon Raisin Sprouted Whole Grain, Flax Sprouted Whole Grain, Gluten Free Exotic Black Rice Bread, Gluten Free Original 3 Seed Bread, and more
Vegan Gluten-Free? Yes, multiple lines
Where to Buy: Safeway, Kroger, Walmart, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, and more
Rudi’s Bakery is well known for their huge line of gluten-free offerings (which are, sadly, not vegan) but this company also has a lot to offer in the traditional vegan bread world.
Their organic bread line features ten awesome loaf types made with organic, non-GMO ingredients that are vegan-friendly. They even have a small line of kids’ bread made to taste more like soft, chewy white bread, but made of quality, nutritionally-dense ingredients.
This small batch company is certainly one you can get behind. They’ve been making quality baked goods in their Boulder, Colorado bakery since 1976, using the same attention to ingredients since the beginning. Despite their smaller size, their popular breads are easy to find throughout the country.
While most of Rudi’s breads are vegan, you’ll have to steer clear of their ‘Honey Sweet 100% Whole Wheat’ and their gluten-free line if you’re off animal products entirely.
Types: Ancient Grain Spelt Bread, Double Fiber Bread, Kids Soft Wheat, Seeded Multigrain, Rocky Mountain Sourdough Bread, and more
Vegan Gluten-Free? No
Where to Buy: Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Safeway, Gelson’s, and more
I first found Angelic Bakehouse through their Flatzza Pizza Crust (which is also vegan, by the way). But this company also has a great line of breads that are worth trying out.
All of Angelic Bakehouse’s bread is vegan-friendly, sprouted, and includes only a short list of highly recognizable ingredients. They are also much lower in total carbs and higher in protein than the typical slice of bread. This gives them a hearty texture that screams deliciously all-natural.
Their growing line of delicious bread varieties is available at fewer stores than some of the other options featured here, but they’re becoming easier to find. You can also order them through their website. Either way, they’re worth hunting down if you want bread that tastes like traditional loaves and is made with the same integrity.
Types: Sprouted Whole Grain, Wheat Bread, Sprouted Whole Grain Wheat Bread, Raisin Wheat Bread, Low Sodium Bread, and No Salt Added Bread
Vegan Gluten-Free? No
Where to Buy: King Soopers, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Gelson’s, and more
If you’re looking for more of a familiar texture but in a loaf that contains only clean, vegan ingredients, Nature’s Own is a great place to start.
These loaves feature simple recipes without artificial ingredients or cheap sweeteners. They are flour-forward and have a smooth texture that more closely imitates what you’d get with those less natural bread brands.
But before you go diving into this brand to reclaim some of those Wonderbread memories from childhood, do be aware that many of their flavors are not vegan-friendly. Most of these culprits are easy to spot because they contain honey in the name. But just to be safe, we recommend sticking to their Original 100% Whole Wheat flavor.
Types: Original 100% Whole Wheat
Vegan Gluten-Free? No
Where to Buy: Target, Ralphs, Safeway, Kroger, Walmart, and more
What to Look For
Shopping for good vegan bread isn’t all that different from shopping for standard bread. In either category, there are certain ingredients you want to avoid.
There are also a few signs to look for that will indicate that the loaf you’ve found is made by traditional methods that increase the nutrient content (and make it much more likely you could survive solely off that bread if you had to).
A Quality Flour Base
So many commercial bakers today use enriched flours and refined grains to craft their bread. These ingredients lack natural nutrients and must be bolstered with synthetic chemicals.
Instead, look for breads that contain wholemeal or stone ground flours. These are processed by more traditional techniques and thus retain more natural nutrients.
If you’re out for a nutrient-rich piece of toast, opt for bread that includes sprouted grains.
According to Harvard, sprouted grains contain a higher percentage of nutrients because much of the starch content is spent during the sprouting process. More importantly, these nutrients are more bioavailable because sprouting also breaks down phytate, a type of acid that prevents nutrient absorption in the body.
Our ancestors only used three ingredients to make bread (and one of them usually came from the air). Most commercial bakeries use about ten times that amount.
A short ingredients list is a good sign your bread was made using more traditional methods that don’t rely heavily on modern high-gluten flours, artificial leaveners, or preservatives.
If you can read and recognize all the names of the ingredients included on your short ingredient list, even better. Ingredients you want to avoid, like potassium bromate and butylated hydroxyanisole, tend to be less familiar and difficult to pronounce.
Of course, some low-quality ingredients are easy to say, like high fructose corn syrup. Luckily, being easily recognizable makes them easier to avoid, too.
Which Vegan Bread Brand Is Best?
When it comes to the best vegan bread brand, it really comes down to what you’re after.
For quality organic bread that’s easy to find at pretty much any store, Dave’s Killer Bread is the way to go. Plus they have a ton of flavors to choose from and make some other killer baked goods worth looking into.
For the bread that’s not just good, but uber good for you, Food for Life is a great choice. These sprouted loaves are hopping with nutrition and made with health-conscious vegans in mind.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with any of the other great vegan bread brands we’ve featured above, either.
Simple Vegan Homemade Bread Recipe
Not satisfied with any of the vegan breads at your local grocery store? No worries! One of the most satisfying things in the world is baking your own bread.
Here’s our favorite (and super simple) homemade vegan bread recipe. It makes a great sandwich bread as is or it can be dressed up with your favorite seeds, grains, and fruits to make it your own.
Easy Vegan Bread
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 ½ cups water warm
- 2 tsp instant yeast dry
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Add the flour, yeast, sugar and salt to a large mixing bowl. Carefully mix in the water until it is evenly incorporated. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap to retain the moisture, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- When you come back to check the dough, it should have increased in size and may have some bubbles on the top. Transfer the bread dough to a clean surface dusted with flour. Carefully fold it into itself a few times. You may use a dough scraper if you have one, otherwise just use your hands. Sprinkle the dough with more flour and leave it to rise for another 45 minutes.
- Place the pizza stone in the oven and preheat it to 450 F. While it heats up, make a few slits on top of your bread with a sharp knife or a razor.
- Remove the pizza stone from the oven and sprinkle it with more flour (semolina flour if you have it), then gently move the bread dough onto the pizza stone. On the bottom rack, add a baking dish with 1-2 inches of water or a handful of ice cubes.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until the bread is golden brown and the crust is crispy. Transfer to a cooling rack and let it fully cool down before slicing.
- If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a preheated cast iron skillet lined with baking parchment, or a dutch oven.
About the Author
Sara Seitz is a freelance writer living with type 1 diabetes. Her search for better health and better control of her blood sugars led her to a plant-based diet. When she isn’t experimenting with new vegan recipes, she’s helping spread the word about how plant-based is better for people and the planet. More articles by Sara.