I asked a few celiac friends if they had noticed a change in Udi's bread. They all answered with the same statement; "Yes, it's full of holes!" I emailed Udi's a few times, but never heard back from them. So I did what all good little bloggers do and posted a picture on my blog.
I have no idea how many people have complained to Udi's about their hollow bread, or if they are taking measures to correct it. They certainly have not asked for my two cents (imagine that!). But as a celiac with a nutrition and food science background I know that if you add too much yeast or baking powder in relationship to the flour; or you beat your dough too much you will have large air pockets. That is why a muffin recipe tells you to fold the dry ingredients into the wet only until combined, otherwise it will bake up full of air pockets.
Udi's deserves a lot of credit for coming up with bread that looks and tastes like…well...real bread! That's why I am so disappointed at this new development. If any readers out there are long time celiacs like me, you remember when the only gluten free commercial bread came from a health food store and was possibly made from wood pulp! The first time I tasted Udi's bread a few years ago I was visiting my daughter in Boulder, Colorado. I was mostly amazed at how soft and chewy the breads were, with no need to toast it. I took some home in my suitcase and sparingly doled it out. But now that it is mass produced and readily available, I really don't see the resemblance to the bread I first tasted. It is so light and full of small and large holes that it is like eating air. Definitely not worth six dollars!
After raising a celiac child I can't help but think back to my chagrin at her having "different" food than the other kids. It was so stressful and inconvenient to conjure up an alternative lunch. How nice today to be able to send a gluten free sandwich to school that looks similar to regular wheat bread. Oh, wait! The picture in my mind is changing; the child has peanut butter and jelly oozing out of the bread craters and down her arms!
I am all about being a frugal gluten free cook, and since I have several loaves of holey bread in the freezer I thought I'd come up with a few recipes for you.
1) Giant Hot Dog Bun: (For large appetites only.) Insert a bratwurst through the largest hole in the center of the loaf. Enjoy with a handy 12 pack of Redbridge. 2) Hamburger: Use a donut cutter on the patty before cooking. Save the centers for a future meatball recipe. Serve between two slices of Udi's bread. Better hold the mustard or wear a bib! 3) Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Place a slice of Swiss cheese between two slices of Udi's bread. Turn the bread until the holes line up. I know you are up to the challenge! Butter both sides and fry until golden. 4) Toast: Only make this on Sunday because it is holy. 5) Toad in a Hole: Step 1: cut a hole in a slice of bread. Step 2: Place the bread into a buttered skillet and break an egg into the hole. Step 3: Fry until egg is well cooked. Step 4: Skip step 1 if using Udi's bread!
This is all in great fun. Congratulations to Udi's on hitting 200,000 Facebook friends. We really do love you! We just don't want to pay for air!
----------------------------- Author Information: Gloria Duy, RD LDN, Pontiac, IL Diagnosed with celiac disease in the 1990s, Gloria is a full-time registered dietitian, celiac support group leader and part-time blogger. Blog: http://glutenfreepoodle.blogspot.com/