Last Updated on March 7, 2022
You can find some pretty good bread and buns at Aldi, no matter what the occasion or meal. From basic burger buns to rich brioche buns, or even keto buns, Aldi sells something guaranteed to perfectly complete your sandwich or burger. Recently, Aldi sold some unique buns I’d never seen before: cristal buns.
Cristal bread, sometimes called glass bread, originated in Spain. The dough contains a high ratio of liquid, and it resembles pancake batter before it stiffens up during a fermentation process (somewhat similar to sourdough, another type of bread that makes use of fermentation). It ultimately bakes into a loaf of bread that is crisp on the outside and holey on the inside.
Specially Selected Cristal Buns cost $2.99 for a 9.17-ounce package that contains four buns, which comes out to about 75 cents per bun. The buns are a product of Spain.
At my local store, I found them in the freezer section (which is where I’ve found a lot of Aldi Find breads lately, including an excellent everything sourdough loaf), but you might also find them in the baked goods aisle or among the nonperishable Aldi Find food items.
Ingredients are wheat flour, water, wheat sourdough (fermented wheat flour, water), yeast, olive oil, salt, inactive sourdough (fermented wheat flour), natural flavor, and malted wheat flour.
If you’re watching out for allergens, these contain wheat. They may contain egg, soy, milk, and sesame.
One bun (65 grams) has 150 calories, 1.5 grams of total fat (2% DV), no saturated fat or cholesterol, 330 mg of sodium (14% DV), 28 grams of total carbohydrates (10% DV), and no added sugars.
The package says these buns were “made famous in Barcelona by talented and passionate bakers with an authentic artisan recipe. Crafted with a selection of high-quality ingredients and no added sugar.” The package warns these are not a low-calorie food.
The package also gives some serving suggestions. The buns are fully baked, but you can toast them for 1-2 minutes, giving them “a lighter texture and crispy crust.” You can top a toasted cristal bun with ripe tomato slices drizzled with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil to create “a Barcelona favorite.” You can also make a burger with these buns, adding cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, bacon, and other favorite toppings.
After opening the package, store any leftover buns in an airtight bag.
I opted to serve the cristal buns with hamburgers. I lightly toasted the buns for two minutes in my air fryer, then piled on burgers, sliced tomato, cheese, red onions, pickle chips, and some Wahlburger sauce.
The cristal buns were the base for an excellent burger. They have a light texture and somewhat resemble a softer, airier version of cibatta bread, but different. I was reminded of some burgers I’ve gotten at restaurants where they’ve served fancier buns rather than standard hamburger buns.
These cristal buns could also be a good base for a sandwich with various cold cuts. (I later made a very good sandwich with a cristal bun, sliced salami, cheese, mustard, mayo, pickles, onions, and tomato.) These buns would also be nice with chicken salad, tuna salad, or egg salad. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy these again, especially because they can be frozen and saved for later.
Specially Selected Cristal Buns are imported from Spain, where this type of bread has its origins. The buns are made using a fermentation process that results in a product that is slightly crisp on the outside and soft and holey on the inside. These buns are a good foundation for all kinds of things from burgers to lunch meat to chicken salad, or you can eat them the “Barcelona way” by topping them with tomato slices, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil. They’re worth trying.