Monday, February 20, 2012

Gluten Free Product Review: An Assortment of Udi's Baked Goods

I thought I made reasonably good gluten-free Snickerdoodles, but Udi's version of this chewy little cinnamon-dusted cookie transcends what comes out of my oven and my husband is hooked. I have reviewed Udi's hamburger and hot dog buns in the past and was impressed with their quality and fluffiness so I agreed to receive a box of Udi's baked goods to sample once again. The assortment included the above mentioned Snickerdoodles, blueberry muffins, pizza crusts, cinnamon raisin bagels and a loaf of whole grain bread.

Overall, the Crispy Crew gives the Udi's products a thumbs up. The items arrived in a cold pack and went immediately into the freezer to be thawed later. Some of us enjoyed different products more than others, so here's a breakdown of what we thought about each Udi's item:

Snickerdoodles:  By far, the winner in our taste test and the first Udi edible to disappear upon opening our goodie box. When I make these cookies they are usually tasty but crumbly, but the Udi's Snickerdoodles (I love typing that word and of course saying it) are fabulously chewy. Our favorite Udi item by far.

Blueberry Muffins: These have a nice flavor, with hints of lemon and were not too sticky sweet like other blueberry muffins I have tried. However, they were dry. This improved upon being wrapped in a paper towel and zapped in the microwave, but overall, I did think they were something I would not purchase because of their overly dry texture.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels:  Udi's gets it right with the texture and moistness of their bagels, however. Good flavor, good chew approaching but not quite reaching the apotheosis of a great bagel (I grew up in the NYC metro area, so I've had those amazing Jewish deli bagels), so this gets high marks. With a schmear of cream cheese, these bagels were very, very good.

Whole Grain Bread: Udi's uses brown rice flour, teff flour and flax seed meal to bump up the fiber content of their whole grain bread. I like to bake or buy whole grain GF bread because I find that the gluten-free diet can be lacking in fiber. This bread gets great marks for texture. I am impressed by the amount of lovely air pockets in each slice and it toasts beautifully without crumbling.

Pizza Crusts: My celiac husband was most delighted with the pizza crusts. The kids found them too dry, but he liked their springiness and ability to stand up to the weight of a multitude of toppings without cracking. He whipped up a simple tomato and mozzarella pizza the first night we received our sample box and scarfed most of it singlehandedly. Dan the Breakfast King used the second Udi's crust to make a breakfast pizza later that week and I'll pass on his delicious recipe:

Dan's Italian Breakfast Pizza

1 Udi's GF pizza crust (thawed for ten minutes out of the freezer)

2 eggs, beaten with 2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. butter

Cooking spray

1/3 cup frozen petite peas
1/3 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a pizza stone in the oven to warm up. (If you don't have a ceramic pizza stone, skip this step. But a pizza stone will really make the bottom of your pizzas much less soggy and much more CRISPY, so consider investing in one).

Melt butter in frying pan. Add eggs and scramble until they are cooked but still a little moist (they will dry up more in the oven). Remove from pan, but keep the pan on the flame. Add in frozen peas and cook another 2-4 minutes until they are no longer frozen. Remove from pan.

Take pizza stone out of the oven and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place pizza crust on warmed pizza stone (or greased regular pizza pan). Top with scrambled eggs, peas, mushrooms, and mozzarella. Sprinkle with garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.

Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is nicely CRISPY.

Overall Product Review: Udi's products are Very Good, with the exception of the Blueberry Muffins, which none of us really liked. They are certified Gluten-Free, are reasonably priced ($5.00 for a loaf of bread, $6.00 for four bagels, $5.00 for 2 pizza crusts). The similarly sounding Rudi's GF baked goods selection is easier to find than Udi's in our area, but I have found some Udi's breads in the freezer section of local supermarkets. The Udi's products are also free of many other allergens, so check them out if you have to avoid soy, nuts, dairy etc.

You can try out Udi's products for yourself with a $1.00 coupon from their website, and you'll also find lots of good information about starting the gluten-free lifestyle, recipes, and other resources there.

Note: I received the above items from the Udi's Bakery to sample free of charge, but, as always here at the Crispy Cook, was under no obligation to post a review, favorable or not. All of my comments and opinions are completely my own.


MewlKitten said...

I love Udi's products. In fact, I had a Udi's cinnamon roll for breakfast today.
I got a similar package from Udi's during the holidays, (I won a giveaway.) And I blogged about it. my fiance (who has no problems with gluten) ate most of my snickerdoodles right away because they are amazing. I had to wrestle some away so I could have some of the deliciousness. I loved that they weren't dry and crumbly like other GF products.
I also enjoyed the pizza crusts. I have not tried the muffins yet, but the cinnamon rolls are very good. Not enough cinnamon flavor for me, and they are a bit dry, but I can look past that because I love cinnamon rolls and It's very difficult to get good GF baked goods.

Suzanne said...

I too am a fan of Udi's whole grain bread. I've been finding it at the new store on West Avenue in Saratoga.
I've not seen/tried the pizza crusts. Where have you seen them?

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I have been meaning to try Udi's bread. If you are looking for the best gluten free whole grain I would go with Bavarian's!