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Aldi Italian Bread Take & Bake (Specially Selected) Review

A hand holding a bag of Aldi Italian Take & Bake bread on a wooden table.

Maddeningly delicious.

This bread made me so mad. I write a snarkle-blog where I sarcastically tell you what is wrong with food. And I couldn’t do that with this bread. It was just good.

It has no business being this good. Hmmph!

Anyway, if you haven’t tried this before, it’s essentially a bread that you finish baking at home. I heard about it from some Aldi fans online who were complaining because they didn’t realize the bread required additional preparation prior to serving — and so they tried to serve it right out of the bag, and…it was awful.

I might have been confused by this as well, because this bread is sold next to all the other “fresh” (bagged) Aldi bakery bread items, and “Take & Bake” is printed kind of small on the bag. I couldn’t find any other “Take & Bake” breads there, just this one. It’s an outlier.*

Anyway. You have to bake it. Otherwise it’s a flabby, stale disappointment. Here’s what mine looked like before baking:

A hand holding a pre-baked loaf of Aldi Italian bread on a wooden table.

And here’s what it looked like after baking:

A loaf of baked Italian bread from Aldi, sitting on parchment paper.

The bag suggested cooking for additional minutes for a crisper crust, and I did that. My result was an impressively crispy crust. It would pass the infamous “knock test.” The bread changed only slightly in color after I baked it.

This is a beautiful loaf. Look at it.

A sliced loaf of Aldi Italian Take & Bake Bread, sitting on white parchment paper.

But what really impressed me is how soft and tender the bread is inside. My pictures do not do this bread justice. The texture is elastic and strong, with a beautiful fluffiness. It’s a moist, flavorful crumb. There’s just right right amount of satisfying chewiness. This tastes better than many “freshly baked” bakery breads I’ve tried. And it came out of a dang bag.

I am gobsmacked.

A hand holding a slice of holey Aldi Italian Bread.

I love the crusty-crust. It’s just chewy enough to be satisfying, without becoming too obstinate. The contrast of the exterior crispness with the super-softness of the bread inside is lovely. The slices are structural, with irregular holes. This is a hearty bread that is filling, but not “heavy.”

The bottom of a loaf of Aldi Italian Take & Bake bread, held in a hand over white parchment paper.

Even the bottom of this loaf looks artisanal and home made. This is how mine looked without any alterations from me — it had the rustic floured look right out of the bag. Traditionally, Italian bread is cooked in a stone oven to obtain this kind of super crispy crust. There’s no way I would have guessed this came from a bargain grocery chain.

A bowl of lentil soup with a slice of buttered Aldi Italian bread, sitting on a wooden table.

I enjoyed mine with a bowl of Aldi Lentil & Chickpea soup. Well, I ate the soup, but didn’t completely enjoy it. I partially enjoyed it. I tried. You can read my review of it here.

Baking instructions from a package of Aldi Italian Take & Bake bread from Specially Selected store brand.

How to Cook Aldi Italian Take & Bake Bread

I baked mine on parchment paper at 375 for a total of 18 minutes. The bag suggests 10-12 minutes, with an additional 2-5 minutes “for crisper crust.”

Who doesn’t want a crisper crust? Who are you? We’ll get you help.

There are also instructions for baking if your bread is frozen. Unfortunately, this means you have to thaw it for an hour first. But, at least freezing is an option. It would be beyond fabulous if Aldi came up with a “bake-from-frozen” bread option like this. You know, something you take right out of your freezer and pop in the oven before serving. I like the stability of knowing I have bread ready at my beck and call — I never know what will be available at my local Aldi, and I don’t want to go there on a day I need bread and not get some. I want it tucked away in my freezer. Safe, and predictable, in my freezer.

Ok, I’m rambling. But, you know. We want this. We really do.

Nutrition Facts in a loaf of Aldi Specially Selected Italian Bread.

Nutrition Facts and Price

There are 8 servings per 16-ounce loaf (I think I got more servings than that?) of 140 calories each. You’ll get 5 grams of protein and 0.5 grams of fat per serving, plus 1 gram of fiber. Zero grams of sugar. That means I can have dessert, too. Yay.

My loaf cost $3.79. I thought this was a bit expensive before I tried it. I still kind of think so, but I also want more, and will definitely pay up. Aldi’s got us over a barrel now. Curses!

Ingredients in Aldi Take & Bake Italian Bread.

Ingredients in Aldi Italian Bread

Here are the ingredients:

  • Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
  • Water
  • Contains less than 2% of: Dough Conditioner (Enriched Flour [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Ascorbic Acid, Enzymes), Malt (Malted Barley Flour, Wheat Four, Tapioca Dextrin), Preservatives (Cultured Wheat Starch, Wheat Flour, Citric Acid), Salt, Vinegar, Yeast.

These are much better ingredients than I expected — surprisingly natural and wholesome, especially compared to most supermarket bread. Notably, cultured wheat starch is used as a preservative instead of chemical preservatives. According to Bakerpedia, cultured wheat starch is made from fermented wheat and provides antimicrobial benefits that reduce spoilage and mold.

*Later, I found another “Take & Bake” option at Aldi — a French Baguette loaf.

The End.

More Reviews of Aldi Products You Might Like (or Hate)

Check out some other reviews of Aldi stuff I’ve written:

Author’s note: I have no affiliation with Aldi, and I wasn’t compensated in any way for this review.

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