I got my first taste of Wild Rise Gluten-Free Bakery in the form of a gluten-free, vegan bagel at Farmer x Baker, an outdoor café at Aspinwall Riverfront Park. Side note: if you’re in the Pittsburgh region and you haven’t yet made the trip for brunch at this seasonal, farmer-owned pop-up, go now! It’s such a pleasure to sit in the sun on the Allegheny River and enjoy a safe meal, and there are tons of options for people with dietary restrictions.
Intrigued by the delicious bagel experience, I decided to look into what else the bakery is up to, and was delighted to discover that they’re creating all kinds of inspired, artisanal, delicious, allergy-friendly baked goods and pastries. What fun!
This week, I ordered and sampled the Olive and Rosemary braided loaf; a large Sourdough boule; and sesame and cinnamon-raisin bagels. Wild Rise’s goods can be found at East End Food Co-Op and various farmer’s markets (check their Instagram for details), as well as select items on the menu at the afore-mentioned Farmer x Baker, but I decided to splurge and pay the delivery fee to have them delivered right to my doorstep.
It was such an indulgent experience to open the bag and be hit with the delicious, still-a-bit-warm, freshly-made aroma of baked goods. This is an experience those of us with food allergies usually do NOT get to have. Each item was a thing of beauty – another rare experience for us allergy folks, who have grown used to heavy, dense and utilitarian baked goods and breads. The photos speak for themselves, and I wish I could Wonkavision some straight to you, because they’re a true feast for all of the senses.
First up: The Sourdough boule. It’s got that delicious tanginess that you want in a sourdough, hearty and delicious with an unbelievably chewy crust that I can’t believe was achieved using gluten-free ingredients. I sliced, toasted and slathered a piece with Earth Balance and it was filling and satisfying. I’m excited to try it next with apricot jam or white bean dip. If you’re hosting a dinner, it’d be a showstopper served with herbed olive oil for dipping.
Next, I sliced into the Olive and Rosemary braided loaf. This plaited beauty is studded with whole kalamata olives, and laced through with a delicious, savory rosemary flavor. Seasoned perfectly on its own, it really doesn’t need anything else, although it’d be delicious dipped in hummus or dressed up with vegan cream cheese and prosciutto.
It was difficult to choose just two bagel flavors to sample, but I ended up going with sesame seed, which is my favorite, and cinnamon raisin, my son’s top choice. We liked both flavors toasted with vegan cream cheese. Other flavor options included onion, carrot and thyme, everything and sourdough.
I sliced everything we didn’t devour right away and stashed it in the freezer for later.
Other items that (as of this writing) appeared to be free of many common allergens included Brownies, Honey Oat Sandwich Loaf, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread (this will definitely be in my next order), Seeded Multigrain Bread, and Spiced Coconut Rolls. I will be ordering from Wild Rise again, and stocking up any time I visit East End Co-Op or a participating farmer’s market. To determine if you can take advantage of front-door delivery, type your address into the shop page.
*Note: Some Wild Rise offerings contain dairy, nuts, seeds and other allergens. Check the allergen information carefully before ordering and consuming, or send an email to them at email@example.com if you have any questions.