Our goal: The all-inclusive holiday dinner roll.
It was more difficult to round up gluten-free suspects in the Washington area than we’d expected. The yeast-risen kind doesn’t hold up well after a day or so, which makes biscuits the more prevalent choice of local bakeries. Store-bought frozen rolls seem to reheat with uneven results.
The Food section sampled a total of six kinds, each warmed up. Here are the results, listed in order of preference.
1. 7th Street Baking Gluten-Free Biscuits, available via Compass Coffee, 1535 Seventh St. NW; 202-630-4479 ; www.compasscoffee.com. $18 per dozen. Thanksgiving orders (fresh or frozen) taken through Nov. 24. Pickup from 2 to 6 p.m. Nov. 25-26, and on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Baker (and celiac sufferer) Laura Saltzman’s recipe combines several flours, including teff and coconut, white rice and brown rice. We would serve these at our table, warmed, with butter.
Judges’ comments: “Coconut-buttery”; “I’d want a second one, definitely”; “chewy texture.”
2. The Happy Tart / A Gluten-Free Patisserie Rosemary Dinner Rolls
2307A Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria 571-244-3662; www. happytartbakery.com. Order 48 hours in advance. $8.50 per half-dozen.
These were a close second to the winner.
“Faint but pleasant rosemary flavor”; “approximation of real bread”; “Not bad! Like the herbiness.”
3. Udi’s Classic French Dinner Rolls, available at Whole Foods Markets. $4.59 per half-dozen.
“Looks like a tiny Mr. Potato Head”; “sandy and dry, cried out for butter.”
4. Canyon House Gluten-Free Rosemary Foccacia, available at Dawson’s Market in Rockville. $5.79; six to eight servings.
“Under the decent exterior crunch is a mushy interior.”
5. Triple Oak Bakery Gluten-Free Biscuits, 11692 Lee Hwy., Sperryville, Va. 540-987-9122; www.tripleoakbakery.com. $18 per dozen; plain or cheddar-onion. Thanksgiving delivery to local outlets by Nov. 25.
“Texture is biscuitlike but flavor is amiss.”
6. Rudi’s Frozen Ciabatta Rolls, available at Fresh Market in Rockville. $5.99 for an eight-pack.
“Tough, chewy and bland”; “horribly gluey and awful.”