Product Review: Udi’s White Sandwich Bread

Our search for the perfect gluten-free bread continues with heavyweight contender Udi’s. Udi’s Bread is in Denver, and we heard about them way before this. As a matter of fact, they contacted us at some point, and then we got back to them, but we never really got it together to try some of their bread for a review until now. Now that you can buy their bread at Whole Foods in Portland, we figured it was high time for us to give them a shot.

Udi's White Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

Long time readers will know that we find store-bought gluten-free breads disappointing on the whole, and have resorted to making our own with a bread machine. Recently I’ve been doing a series of posts detailing our experiments with bread recipes from around the Internet, and how they work out with our tester Zojirushi bread machine in the Gluten Free Portland labs.

Udi’s markets their white sandwich bread as their original style, light and fluffy white bread. So we’re probably looking at something that will approximate American white bread. Here are the ingredients:

Filtered water, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, potato starch, canola oil or sunflower oil, egg whites, tapioca maltodextrin, evaporated cane juice, tapioca syrup, yeast, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder (sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate), mold inhibitor (cultured corn syrup, ascorbic acid), ascorbic acid (contains cellulose and cornstarch), enzymes. Contains eggs.

We’re becoming a lot harder to please when it comes to bread ingredients, and the first thing that jumps out at me when I look at this list is that two of the three gluten-free flours in use here are starches. The first being tapioca starch. It seems like there’s something about making gluten-free bread where you need starch to do it, so I’m used to seeing tapioca starch in bread recipes, but it’s not something you want to be eating lots of, and to me, having it as the first ingredient is not a good sign. A quarter cup of tapioca starch is 100 calories, has 26 grams of carbohydrates, no fiber, no protein, and basically no vitamins and minerals except a little iron. Potato starch is even worse. Compare this to a quarter cup of sorghum flour, which has 120 calories, and has 26 grams of carbohydrates, but has 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and also has iron, and B-Vitamins. See the attached chart on this helpful page for more information about the nutritional value of alternative grains.

Udi'd Gluten Free White Bread Slices

So OK. OK. Sometimes you just want some bread to make a hamburger or a PB&J and you don’t mind that it’s not really the best thing for you. Let’s talk about taste. Sienna and I both liked it. Being a white bread, it’s on the flavorless side. We didn’t find any strange aftertastes. As far as something you can buy at a store to make a sandwich out of, I would say that this bread has got the Trader Joe’s gluten free rice bread beat hands down. I would put it as equivalent or maybe a little better than Whole Foods own gluten free bread. Whole Foods has got a weird texture problem. Udi’s bread toasts OK and is good with some butter on it. As a replacement for white bread it does do the job, so we can see what the big deal is about.

When compared to bread that you can make at home, though, it’s still not really there for me. I would also say that you should check out Jensen’s Breads, which are available around town, are locally made, and are better.

We want to know: Do you have a favorite store-bought gluten-free bread? How about a preferred flour mix or bread recipe on the Internet? Send us a link. Let us know in the comments!

Comments

  1. I really love this bread. I can eat a loaf within a week. I love how fluffy and not dense it is. Gluten free bread just seems so heavy. Sure if they had a “wheat” type variety that would be cool, but I am hooked on this stuff. Before I could find it around Ptown, I even had a supplier of sorts I would call in the Couve to go pick some up for me. I seriously was giddy after trying this bread. I have not had Jensens yet though. Can not find it.

  2. I LOVE Udi’s bread, they make a whole grain bread as well. You can also find this bread locally at Lamb’s markets. I get mine at the one in Wilsonville. This bread beats all store bought GF bread I have had before, and comes really close to beating Gluten Free Pantry’s Sandwich Bread mix (which is my favorite one to make at home in my bread maker). Although it is hard to beat fresh baked bread that is still warm from the bread machine.

  3. Allison says:

    Udi’s white sandwich bread is probably not what they’d have you judge them on. The whole grain is indeed better – but the white sandwich bread has the advantage of being incredibly kid friendly.

    Try it in a grilled cheese sandwich. I did a grilled cheese on Udi’s with half medium cheddar half irish cheddar – it was AMAZING.

  4. I have tried Udi’s, and it’s definitely one of the best store-bought gluten-free breads, though I like Kinnikinnick’s well enough, too. The absolute BEST I’ve tried, though, is French Meadow’s gluten-free multigrain bread. It costs a small fortune for an eight-slice loaf, but it’s really, really yummy.

  5. Absolutely agree with the lack of nutrition issue-it is really a shame. On the other hand, I will admit that it is hands-down my favorite bread, and I even stopped baking my own when I discovered it. The thing that I like is being able to pull it right out of the bag and make a sandwich without toasting or microwaving it. A few times a month I am attending mediations or depositions and simply cannot get to a restaurant and have no access to a microwave. I’d been longing for the ability to pack a sandwich, and this really turned it around for me. I was sick of potato chips and nuts for lunch!!
    Also, same nutrition issues on the bagels (and honestly, the whole grain, too), but they are so tasty! Again, no toasting or microwaving needed. My family is jewish, so I grew up with bagels for breakfast every day. Nothing on the market tasted anything like a bagel before these. They aren’t the chewy kind with a thick tough “skin” and super chewy inside that I crave-more like a cheaper frozen version. But for GF to be able to get even the taste/texture of an average ok bagel is amazing.

    Megan-I love French Meadow’s raisin cinnamon bread even better :)

  6. Lynn, you should really try the bagels at New Cascadia. They are chewy and awesome!

  7. New Seasons is now carrying Udi’s products! I was rather disappointed with the bagels, they are like Fench bread in the shape of a bagel. Have not tried the sliced breads yet, I’m looking forward to it. Their double chocolate muffins are amazing.

  8. ALTHOUGH UDI’S IS FINE I AM MORE A FAN OF KATZ GLUTEN FREE THEIR CHALLA BREAD ESPECIALY IS AMAZING AND SOFT ALSO THEIR RUGELECH THANK GO THEIR SOME NEW GLUTEN FREE OUT THERE

  9. Natasha, I live in Minneapolis, MN. I visit the website because #1, I lived in Portland for 28 yrs until about 4 1/2 yrs ago and #2, I like the national product reviews. So we don’t have New Cascadia here, but we do have French Meadow :-)

  10. All the people I know who are Gluten Free just love Udi’s, I’m not one of them.
    Yeah, it tastes ok. but it has all those preservatives, and well, it just doesn’t do it for me.
    I haven’t found a ready made bread that is all that. But I do like Rudi’s. It doesn’t have any preservatives, and it’s there when I just want to grab a quick sandwich or a piece of toast and haven’t made a loaf of bread. Plus, most of the time when I make bread myself it has much a lot more nutrient dense ingredients. But you know, sometimes, you just want a plain old piece of white bread, and Rudi’s Original does that pretty good.

    I just don’t understand all the hype over Udi’s. There is just too much junk in it, and not enough nutrition.

  11. what preservitives are in Udi’s white sandwich bread?

  12. We have a new Earth Fare organic grocery store in town with lots of gluten-free choices. Being celiac and having struggled with finding bread I can eat (I have not had success with baking my own) I was so excited that I lost my head and did not read the label on Udi’s products very carefully. I saw where it was soy free, nut free, dairy free, as well as gluten free — all of which I needed since I cannot have milk, nuts, or soy. I excitedly bought up several packages: white bread, hamburger buns, and some cinnamon and chocolate muffins.

    After dinner, I ate a chocolate muffin for desert. Within minutes my blood pressure went through the roof. Actually, to be precise, when I measured it my systolic shot up to 155 and my diastolic dropped to 68. My heart rate rose to 120 beats per minute. I wondered if I was having an allergy attack — maybe anaphylaxis to something in the Udi’s product. I had my epi-pen ready to go, but since I never had trouble breathing, I did not use it.

    When my heart rate calmed down and I felt better, I looked at the nutrition label more carefully. My heavens, the salt content is through the roof! I had a look at the other Udi products. The salt in one serving for any item is around 350mg or more. I cannot have that much salt in one sitting. I am salt sensitive!

    Everything went into the garbage. Oh well… the muffin didn’t really taste all that much like chocolate anyway. I’ll have to go back to trying to learn to bake my own stuff.

Speak Your Mind

*