I've heard many posters on celiac-related message boards and blogs of late singing the praises of Udi's Gluten Free Foods. Udi's has a dedicated gluten-free bakery in Denver, Colorado that turns out breads, muffins, cinnamon rolls, pizza crusts and granola. At the moment, Udi's products are not sold in any East Coast stores, so I decided to order the white sandwich bread, lemon streusel muffins and blueberry muffins direct from the company to see if these products lived up to the hype.
The products were shipped frozen and were thawed upon receipt. In a note accompanying the shipment, the company explained that the products would stay fresh at room temperature for up to three days after receipt, after which the goods should be frozen, then defrosted or heated as needed. We left the breads and muffins in the kitchen for three days and found them ready to eat the entire time.
My older son loved the fact that he could eat soft sandwich bread right out of the bag. In fact, the bread is so soft and airy that I ripped a piece while spreading butter on a slice. I've never encountered that before with gluten-free bread! On consecutive days after getting the delivery, I packed my son peanut-butter and salami sandwiches on untoasted bread and he told me the bread stayed soft through lunch. A loaf of bread yields about 12-14 slices, but the slices - and the loaves themselves - are smaller than Whole Foods Bakehouse Sandwich Bread. The bread's crust is firm and chewy.
The other night, I made my older son two grilled-cheese sandwiches with Udi's bread. Since the bread was frozen, I lightly toasted four slices, then spritzed them with butter spray and grilled them in a frying pan with American cheese. I sampled a piece and couldn't tell the difference between it and one using wheat-made sandwich bread.
Everyone in the family tried the muffins and thought they tasted great. Both muffins had a cake-like texture. I love all things lemon, so I was partial to lemon streusel variety.
Since the time of my initial order by phone, Udi's launched an online store, where customers can order the breads ($5 each), muffins ($6 for four), pizza crusts ($5 for pack of two) and granola ($5.99 per bag) for home delivery. There are several shipping options, the least expensive of which is FedEx Ground. I just placed another order for eight loaves of bread (there's a volume discount for all products; the price for the bread was reduced to $4.75 each) and ground shipping cost about $10.