Dear Udi’s: We Deserve Better

why does udi's bread have holes?

Dude note: I’ll be sprinkling pics of Udi’s bread throughout this post. All pictures were taken directly from Udi’s Facebook page in the past 30 days. Keep reading past each pic.

If it seems I’ve been laying it a bit heavy on Udi’s lately, well…I’m not gonna argue. And I know some of my fellow celiacs kinda wish I would leave them alone. But honestly, all I’m trying to do is help them, which in turn will help us.

Why am I giving them a hard time? 3 reasons.

1) They DOMINATE the gluten-free market, making it more difficult for the smaller brands to get seen.

2) Because of reason 1 (see above in case you’ve forgotten already), I think they have a responsibility to the gluten-free community.

3) Because of reason 2 (see above in case…oh never mind), I think they are failing in that responsibility. Big time. And we deserve better. Much, much better.

udi's bread

But this is not an Udi’s bashing post. I don’t need you to take action. Unless by action, you mean stop buying their products until they get their sh*t together, than I’m all for it.

Let me take this back a few years; April 15, 2013 to be exact. I wrote a post about the holes in Udi’s bread. The good folks at Udi’s were kind enough to respond when I asked “What are you doing to ensure that none of your future loaves of bread will have these holes?” Here is what they said:

“We have invested in new equipment and have moved to 100% inspection of our loaves. We have also employed stricter ingredient specifications that will avoid excessive holing. The result of these changes should be showing up on shelves now! Do keep in mind that our products can be kept frozen for 6 months so it may take a little while for all loaves to rotate out of circulation.”

Cool. Aware of the problem. Taking care of it. Problem solved.

Or so we thought.

udi's breadudi's bread

I mean, correct me if I’m wrong…but I don’t think this is supposed to happen (unless it’s a Halloween mask).

udi's bread

And even after seeing a few of these new pictures, I still wasn’t going to do an Udi’s post.

But then, fate intervened. I had dinner at a friend’s house last weekend and they made burgers. She got me the only rolls that were available at the store. Yep…Udi’s.

I went in with high hopes. It didn’t take long for those hopes to completely fall to pieces…literally.

udi's bread

You can see on the left they were cracking right out of the bag. After a few bites, it turned into the picture on the right. On the bright side, they tasted like absolute crap.

So I decided to do a post about them. But before I got around to it, I got a message on Facebook from a fellow celiac begging me to leave Udi’s alone. Not because they loved Udi’s or because it’s not lame that so much of their bread has craters in it. But because it’s pretty much the only brand available to her and she does not want them to go out of business.

Now…as much as I’d like to think Udi’s gives two craps what I have to say, they are run by Boulder Brands, a huge and quite profitable company. Me? I’m just a wee blogger.

But STILL, something just wasn’t sitting right with me. I didn’t like the fact that two years later, the problem is worse than ever. And I didn’t like the fact that they simply kept giving the same canned response to anyone who complained on Facebook.

“I am so sorry to see that your loaf had holes in it – definitely not the quality we expect from our products. Please send my coworker a note at the following link and she’ll follow-up with you and provide you with a replacement coupon.”

Every response. The exact same. (And what’s with the “coworker”?)

udi's bread

So I decided to go ahead with the post.

But FIRST, I wanted to give Udi’s a heads up that I’d be blogging about their church bread (holey…get it??). So I called Boulder Brands on Tuesday and spoke to customer relations. She listened and said she would have their marketing department call me same day. Crickets. 24 hours went by.

So I sent them a DM on Twitter, repeating that I’d like to get their side before my post so it’s not like a Michael Moore documentary and both sides are actually presented. Finally, someone called me an hour ago.

udi's bread

They wanted to discuss the issue with me…so they offered to fly me out to Denver asap, get a behind the scenes look and shoot a video. Seriously. But then I got flashbacks to my Cheerios trip and since I still wake up screaming in the middle of the night, I kindly declined the invite.

I said “Look…I’m writing a post tomorrow. Send me an email explaining 1) why this is still happening after all this time; and 2) how can not only the machines produce such holes, but how does bread like this possibly get through quality control. That’s all I would like to know.”

udi's bread

Then she asked me what quality control was. Just kidding. She said she would have an email sent shortly.

So now…I am going to take a break while I await their email.

Here…look at some pretty pictures while we wait.

udi's breadudi's breadudi's bread

Hey. How I’ve missed you. Just heard back from the VP/GM of Udi’s (fyi…I’m the CEO, CMO, CTO and CFO of this blog) and here is their official statement.

“We realize that holes have been an ongoing issue for gluten free breads for quite some time, and we understand your frustration. We’ve tried a variety of methods to reduce holes over the past couple of years, including tweaking our formulation, without success. Through extensive research, investment, and a lot of persistence, we’ve identified and recently installed state-of-the-art technology in our production facility to inspect every loaf of bread so that we can pull any loaves with holes. We are still working on getting it up to speed, but we are optimistic about consistently delivering solid loaves to our consumers in the very near future.”

So there you have it. They are working on it. Very similar to how they were two years ago. Take it for what it is. I’m sure they want the problem fixed as much as you do.

udi's breadudi's bread

But until then…we deserve better. So I ask you to support some of the smaller companies; companies that put their heart and soul (and money) into making the best damn gluten-free products as possible.

I’m talking about companies like Jennifer’s Way. Like the one and only GF Jules. Like Canyon Bakehouse. Like Jakes Gluten Free Market.

These are good people who make great products and they deserve our business. And as a bonus, I have coupons to all of their products right here.

As always…thanks for listening. That goes for you too Udi’s. I seriously hope you straighten things out sooner than later.

In the meantime…we want something else! Tell ’em Hawkeye.

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127 thoughts on “Dear Udi’s: We Deserve Better”

  1. Years ago, when I didn’t know better, I ate Udi’s, because it’s everywhere. But their breads were never that great, and I think their product has gone downhill since they were sold to a major corporation. I’ve found much better GF breads, some of which you listed above. A few you didn’t mention are Against the Grain, Mariposa (butter croissants!) and Bread SRSLY (sourdough!). We deserve better bread, and lucky for us, it’s available!

      1. Christine Sturges

        I also LOVED Against the Grain but I also can’t have dairy and all their pizza crusts and baguettes have dairy in them 🙁

        1. Try their Vermont rolls. They’re dairy-free and in my opinion, better than their other products. I use them as sandwich bread or sometimes I’ll slice them in half to use as personal sized pizza crusts.

      2. Dear Gluten Dude – I shop at the commissary and have never seen an Udi product there. I love Against the Grain and Food Should Taste Good. #rookiegf #nonceliacgf #youarethebest Thanks! Holly

    1. I have tried several gluten-free breads; besides being on a gluten-free diet, I am also on an anti-inflammatory diet, so any nightshade (potato, tomato) or dairy is also out. I have found a couple of Udi’s breads to be the only ones that do not cause a reaction in me. While the holes are not the best presentation in the world, I don’t care because this brand is the only one that works for me. Unless I bake my own bread, I will stick with Udi’s, and so far, I have not discovered how to get my own gluten-free baking right.

  2. Udi’s bashing makes me sad. It is the only brand I’ve found that doesn’t taste like cardboard or worse! I love the texture and have not had holes in my loaves for a long long time. The hamburger buns are good too as long as you store them in the freezer.

    1. I like to bake my own in my bread machine and my bread mix of choice is GF Jules it is truly amazing ! But sometimes life is busy and then for convenience and time management I want to but pre made breads so I have found a few brands that I can buy locally Aldi’s GF bread is great like Canyon Bakehouse you can eat it straight from the package and don’t have to freeze it. I tried Jennifer’s way baked goods last time I visited NYC but I can’t spend enough to make it worth my while in shipping it’s so expensive, so it’s a treat .

  3. I never buy udis bread, it’s always been a disappointment. I have found brilliant glutenfree bread at Romeos gluten free bakery (islington in london,UK). Tastes fantastic, is soft inside, lovely crust, ZERO HOLES. They, a small bakery, have managed to find a way to make great gf bread so It is possible 🙂

      1. GO TO ROMEO’S! It’s across from Islington town hall and is amazing! I had pancakes, fruit, fresh juice, and bacon for breakfast/brunch one day. Mmm.

        London’s great – Honest Burger does a REAL gluten free burger (LOVED it), the Truscott Arms have someone in the family coeliac and I got gf fish and chips there. Mmm.

    1. I cannot speak for us all, but I know for me it is very difficult to find any of the ingredients (aside from the common ones like eggs) for GF breads in local stores. It is difficult enough to find ready made GF products much of the time. I might sometimes order certain GF items, but then there is also the extra cost of shipping, then the waiting to receive my items. If the things I need were available locally more readily, I would purchase a bread machine and just make my own, thus eliminating the lack of time issue. It took YEARS for any store local to me to get any form of GF products, and YEARS more for there to be any variety.

      1. I’ve found ordering online to be an easy way to get GF ingredients, particularly the less common ones not available locally. (Although I live within 5 or 6 miles of two Whole Foods markets, two local markets that carry a lot of GF ingredients, and a health food store that also has quite a few. But it still costs money to drive around to the different places looking for stuff.) Ordering online, I can get a wider variety of things, and most places will give you free shipping if you order enough, which usually isn’t difficult with GF ingredients. And once I’m over the free shipping amount, the prices aren’t always that bad. For some things that I use a lot of (like GF rolled oats) I can order in larger quantities and save more money. (I’m fortunate to have a dry basement where I can store some of the bulk items.) It certainly takes a lot less time to order online.

  4. I’ve repeatedly been disappointed with Udi’s bread. And the regular bread slices do taste like cardboard. I love Canyon Bakehouse and am very happy that after repeatedly submitting requests to my local Wegmans to see them now carrying the brand – and bonus – they carry a larger variety of CB products than any other store around me. I do like some of Udi’s products, but the bread is worthless. The tortillas are great, when you can find them not broken into a million pieces.

  5. Maybe it’s because I live in NYC, but there are SO many other options (I’m lucky enough to live a subway ride away from Jennifer’s Way Bakery).
    Hell, the bread machine I bought has pretty much paid for itself. The bread is pretty good considering I suck at baking. And NO HOLES!
    My favorite burger place (Bareburger) has switched to hemp milk buns, which hold together better, have no adverse effects, and taste GOOD.
    Udi’s may be the most convenient, but there is better, and it’s worth looking for.

    1. I stopped eating at Bareburger for two reasons. One, I don’t like these buns. I don’t like dense, vegan style baking. I always think of the scene in “About a Boy” where he throws his mum’s loaf of bread in frustration and it is so dense it kills a duck. Two, they have gotten shady about cross contamination. I was always fine there, but recently got horribly glutened and as sick for a month. A coworker who is just GF as she is slightly intolerant even reported that there was enough in it for her to get sick. They are just another victim of becoming so large they start to no longer be able to serve some of their first customers the food that used to bring them in there in the first place.

      1. Sorry to hear that Tiffany. The manager of the Bareburger on Laguardia Pl location told me his mom has celiac, so he takes it very seriously. I haven’t had a problem at any of the other locations, although I have had to explain it in detail once or twice.

  6. I do like Udi’s bread, but I don’t buy it because of the holes and because I rarely eat bread at home. However I am curious about the fact that when I buy food at a restaurant that serves Udi’s, there are never any holes in the bread. Sandwiches at Jason’s Deli; no holes. Burgers at Red Robin; no holes. Toast at a small breakfast joint; large bread slice, no holes. What’s up with that?

      1. No, they just do like they do with any food that doesn’t meet their standards…return it to the supplier and get a credit back for it. I know because I asked that very same question of my Jason’s Deli!

        Most people don’t realize that you can return groceries like this for being defective. As long as you don’t abuse the policy, almost all the grocery stores around me will let you replace it with a different loaf. Then they ask for credit from the vendor for the bad items. Eventually, if they get enough returns, the store stops carrying the food item, so most vendors want to avoid this.

        When we have to pay $6 for a loaf of bread, I’m darn sure I’ll return it if it looks like this. Aldi’s bread is $3, tasty, and it doesn’t have any holes like this!

  7. I’m one of the lucky ones. I have the most fantastic gluten free bakery, Unrefined Bakery (Dallas), just blocks from my house. In fact there is another one within a reasonable distance as well. Yes some items can be expensive but the quality is fantastic and consistent. Several kinds of breads and rolls including Paleo, egg free, yeast free. The most amazing cupcakes, cookies, sweet rolls and sweet breads. Pizza dough, pie dough, biscotti. Not once have I ever had and issue with a bad batch, holes etc. We know it can be done. I seriously just think Udis doesn’t care.

    I do occasionally buy store brands. Canyon Bakehouse is really good IMO. And Rudi’s makes my favorite burger buns but it’s so hard to find those. But still, in 4 years of gluten free , I’ve never experienced holes in any other brands any where. Ridiculous that they can’t get it right.

    1. Long time fan of Unrefined here. Always reliable, and great to support a family-run business who takes such pride in their product.

  8. We bought Udi’s recently at a $.99 store. I use it to make grilled cheese sandwiches on the waffle iron. We buy The Essential Baking Company Super Seeded Multigrain at Costco. (Yes, Costco sells different gluten free bread in different markets.)

    For really good bread, I bake it myself. I LOVE Gluten Free on a Shoestrings bread recipes. The GF Sally Lunn is currently my husbands favorite.

  9. GD – I think some of those photos were taken with my camera! I wish my CD child liked Canyon Bakehouse, because I think it is better and hate trying to put together Nutella for breakfast or a PB&J for lunch on holey bread, but she wasn’t thrilled with my “switcheroo”. But, she does love the bread that I make, so I will just do more of that – and when I am up to full production – you can add Ami’s Cakes and Confections to your list! I make the best bread, French Bread, dinner rolls, hamburger buns and Rosemary Boules you’ll ever try. See… ya should come to the MN for GFFAF for a taste test! I will be bringing treats for Jules and Erica!

  10. Well done and very important information and very similar sounding to everyone’s complaint and answer.

    We buy bread form Betsys Bakery and Jennifers Way.

  11. The Corporate machine get’s the win again. You are a great advocate dude. Please keep up the fight for us/with us.
    In the meantime i will keep going to 10 different stores to find the Glutino white sandwich bread that is the best GF bread i’ve tasted.

  12. When I was first diagnosed there was no Udi’s bread….yet. Then when I found Udi’s it was far better than the crappy brown rice and millet bread “bricks” I’d been eating so I really thought it was fantastic! But in the past 3 years or so it’s gone to absolute shit. I don’t know why. It really did start out pretty good and I was so excited to be able to have sandwich’s again. I had truly been too sick to bake my own bread so this was really something special. Since their bread has gotten so bad I have been branching out and trying other brands and I’ve been really impressed. Gluten free bread can be done right and Udi’s used to do a good job, so I’d like to know what happened and why it’s taken until now for them to see that something needs to be done. I know they’ve received letters and comments about this for a very long time now.

    Also, I love this M.A.S.H. episode. Hilarious and perfect for this situation! 🙂

  13. In the Northwest, Franz bakery has DELICIOUS gluten free bread that absolutely SMOKES Udi’s in terms of taste, texture and moistness. I think part of that is because they keep it local and don’t have people freeze their product for 6 months! The Great Seed bread, I cannot tell the difference between it and regular Great Seed bread that I used to eat. So if you are in the region, I would ask your grocery store to carry it.

    http://franzbakery.com/category/products/franz-gluten-free/

    1. Amy is 1000% correct! If Franz bread is in your area, (I even see it in Austin) There SHOULD be a store that carries their Gluten Free. It is the BEST. They had a few issues with their expire date but omg..this is great bread. I work at a Franz Outlet Store, and it is a HUGE hit. People purchase 5 or 6 loaves at a time and feeeze it. $4.99 a loaf in the outlet store makes a great deal. Usually a dollar more in grocery stores. Kroger, Fred Meyer, Walmart, King Sooper etc carry it here in tiny little Klamath Falls oregon ao it should be not that hard to find. Make the FRANZ bread company know that you the Franz Guy to bring it to yout lical area if you can’t find it. Send them an email. The bread truck guy pretty much decides what breads to carry.

  14. Wait. What’s up at Udi’s? They have two products. The crap with holes that they sell to grocery stores.. And then there are the products that get to Red Robin and Costco.
    The bun that I get at RR is decidedly different (better) than the one I can get at the store. The Udi’s bread from the grocery store, has holes, and crumbles easily, but the Udi’s bread at COSTCO is a much larger loaf and does not have holes.
    Are they upgrading the restaurant supply line, but forgot they have the other old line? Or will they eliminate the old weird stuff with the new better RR and Cco methods that are clearly and consistantly better?

    1. Costco in Manassas, VA always has holes in the Udi’s bread.
      Does anyone know another store which has the large loaves? The membership costs are too high.

  15. I love Jennifer’s way! Their bagels tastes like bagels and not cardboard dense versions. I like udi’s hamburger buns, never had a problem with them. I hope they they mean what they say about doing better, I stopped buying their loaves because I didn’t think their quality was worth the cost.

  16. Udis is the only brand that is easily accessible to me (and that doesn’t taste like cardboard). If the other brands like you mentioned were available I would definitely give them a chance. However I do have to say, I have been using their bread and hamburger buns for over a year now, and never had a loaf with holes or quality like the pictures are showing. Not doubting those pictures but wondering why my grocery store is getting the lucky batches?

    1. We often buy Udi’s burger buns and the baguettes, since diagnosis a year ago. We don’t get holey or crumbly ones at our grocer’s either. I haven’t seen a poorly behaved burger bun from them at all. I remember the first couple baguettes we bought had holes but that was also a year ago and no holes since. I wonder if they have more than one processing facility and are having better luck at some than others? Or perhaps they really have been working it out, but some locations are going through old inventory slower? We are in the Pacific North West.

      1. We also started buying Udi’s because of a diagnosis a year ago. We are on the North East coast , so maybe we just have luck of the draw?

        1. Every single time I’ve bought Udi’s in the past several years the loaves I get look exactly like the pictures you’re seeing. Each time I keep hoping it will be the way it was when I first started purchasing it. They have huge holes (buying air!) and crumble and fall apart. I’m surprised anyone gets bread that doesn’t look like this. The strange thing too is that I often buy Udi’s from many different stores here in my area so it’s not just one supplier who gets these bad batches.

  17. I have to say, by your own admission after the Cheerios trip you are a different type of blogger and I agree. It’s not often that I read a blog post and feel, “Yay! I’m so glad I read that. I learned so much and I feel so optimistic.” Usually I feel depressed about yet another gf issue you’re taking to task. I don’t always expect sunshine and puppies but it’s tough always reading the negativity that exists in your blog. I used to rely on Udi’s bread but found the Aldi’s brand which is cheaper and quite good. Better than most. I look for Canyon when I can but rarely come across it. I have to admit after all the loaves of Udi’s I’ve purchased over the years, I almost never received a holey loaf. Luck of the draw I guess. The hamburger buns are dry but so are most of the gf brands out there. I’ve never had one fall apart. I understand the frustration that exists and am glad that people feel they have an outlet through you to express it. But of all the Celiacs out there and the gf blogs I can read, yours is becoming a place I rarely visit.

    1. Ouch.

      I do indeed point out a lot of BS. I also point out a lot of good stuff too. And I help other celiacs who are struggling. And I’ve gotten people’s money back who got screwed by a celiac tour group. And I got Disney to drop their gluten free episode. And I got people to see the light that Bart from Bart’s Bakery is not a good person.

      All of that does not come with sunshine. But my goal is always the same: to help the celiac community.

      If you do not feel good about coming here, no hard feelings.

      1. Keep on rockin’, GD. This is by FAR my favourite GF blog and one of the few I bother reading regularly. Not that the others aren’t good at what they do but they seem more focussed on recipes that are often beyond my culinary scope (I’m getting better, though!). As far as that goes, I find recipes in more general food blogs, ones that simply happen to be GF or can easily be made so.

        This blog seems to be one of the few I’ve noticed that says, “You know what, the social politics of having to eat GF (whether you’re celiac, NCGI or whatever), and everything else that goes with that really sucks. Here’s why.”

        When the broader population thinks GF, they think Jimmy Kimmel and second-rate food. They don’t think about stuff like having to deal with celiac when you’re in the military, or being forced to pay thousands of dollars for a university residence meal plan that you can’t use. But these are the kind of stories that the public should be hearing and that even the GF community should be sharing amongst themselves. Many are fighting this battle alone; hearing that others are having similar struggles makes it feel less lonesome, and while that’s not the be-all and end-all, it still counts for something. This blog is one of the few platforms where these stories have a voice.

        As far as being overly negative goes… well, just last week, the very last post before this one, in fact, was about “Things That I Love”.

        1. Hey John, this is so well said and exactly why I read Gluten Dude’s blog all the time. I like knowing what’s going on, hearing others stories and interacting. Most other blogs just talk about recipes and while that’s great it doesn’t get to the heart of what having Celiac disease really is and what it’s like to live with it every single day. I doubt that people who post only cupcake recipes ever get hate mail.

          Advocating for any cause is never about sunshine and flowers. It’s about getting down and dirty and getting to the truth and heart of the matter at hand. It’s extremely important and I appreciate honesty and I like listening to someone just like me (Celiac) who faces the same battles every day. It does make me feel less alone and like I matter.

          People who have Celiac disease are dismissed and misunderstood on a daily basis. We are always defending ourselves just so that we can stay healthy! What other disease can you think of where people have to defend their health and safety on a regular basis?

          Thank you Gluten Dude for this blog. Thank you for your time, research, tears, loss of sleep, and care for all of us suffering the same thing you do. Thank you for doing the dirty work and taking the hits just so that we can all eat something that resembles normal healthy food.

          1. Thanks, CD. Although I’d say even the GF cupcake bakers get an occasional bit of flak from haters who wonder why they’re trying to “force” the rest of the world to give up gluten. Probably not as much as here but haters gonna hate — especially when the threat of change looms.

  18. What’s funny is I buy the bigger loaves at Costco. They rarely have holes. Not sure if the process is very different for the bigger ones?

  19. I’ve been buying Udi’s bread at Costco for over a year. The loaf is large and the bread does not have holes. However, if we ever buy a regular sized Udi’s loaf at the grocery store, it is sure to have holes running through the center. They must use another bakery to make the loaves for Costco?

  20. Happy Camper is a great brand in Oregon. And in NY Hudson Valley and Mass Berkshires The Gluten Free Bakery of Chatham is very good.

    Udi’s blows even without holes.

  21. Hey Dude! Great post–I think companies should definitely be held accountable for less-than-superior product quality, and I love supporting the little guy. I actually have never gotten a holey loaf, but maybe I’m just lucky?

    But? But. Every time you post something about Jennifer’s Way Bakery I salivate and get so so excited. And then I see that her bagels (and muffins!) sell from $3 for each individual bagel–without including the costs of shipping.

    I’m a grad student, dude–I want to do what I can, but I can only do what I can afford. Here’s hoping for more affordable, high-quality gf products from reputable companies!

    1. Understood. And that’s why it bums me out ever more that Udi’s seems just not to care.

      I will say this…it costs money to do gluten-free right. And Jennifer does it right. Not only are her products gluten-free, but made with the best ingredients possible as well. Compare her ingredients to a similar Udi’s product. Night and day. She is always offering specials to help with the cost. Currently, you can get a bag of bagels half off for every bag you buy. And don’t forget, you can always use the coupons I offer here: http://glutendude.com/gluten-free-coupons/

  22. Thanks for your post Dude! Didn’t find it to be too “bashy”! Just the facts…. Gotta say, I’m a HUGE fan of Udi’s, and I haven’t had holey bread in a while. I’ve also moved on from their bread. While it works in a pinch and I still like it well enough Adli’s Live Gluten Free bread is, for my money, the best GF bread on the market! It actually feels like gluto-typical bread (it skishes!) and it the ONLY GF bread that I’ve ever eaten straight outta the bag! YUM!!!

    So, my point in this comment is 1) Thanks Dude and 2) Get thee to an Aldi ….

  23. Udi’s is the most economical and convenient bread for our family to buy. We buy it at Costco and I look through the packages to try to ensure the holes are kept to a minimum. We have 4 out of 6 of us in our family with Celiac Disease and have to make sandwiches every day for school, so we need a large loaf. The other vendors you note would be ones I would love support and we do get better bread when we go on vacation but with a family of 6 we can’t be ordering from Jennifer’s Way and buying Canyon Bakehouse (we would go through at least 2 loaves a week) or Jake’s Market. I wish better food wasn’t a special treat but as you have noted it costs more to make GF food which I understand. So until we get rich or the kids move out of the house we are very grateful to have found Udi’s at Costco…holes and all!

  24. Hey GD! I agree with your overview of Udi’s bread and stopped buying their goods up until my new discovery (not really new just few many not be aware of it) at Costco’s.

    Costco’s has a really large loaf of bread from Udi’s that is huge and not filled with holes. The loaf is $6.99 each for a large 30oz package. It has a green colored bottom and is marked “Whole Grain Bread”. Well worth trying.

    I am very fussy about food and we grab 3 loaves each visit. Nice to have enjoyable French toast in the morning!

    Thanks!

  25. Although I prefer Rudi’s – the multigrain loaf is great, and I don’t have to toast it to make it taste good (like Scharrs) – I have only had one loaf of Udi’s that looks like the ones in the pictures. I think I’ve just been lucky. But, I don’t think it’s bashing them to ask them to live up to what they have promised.

    1. Interesting. I’m just finishing a loaf of Rudi’s “Original”; I found it too sweet (not inedibly so, but not very good, either) and it had an egg-sized hole in it. It was the first loaf (and the last) of Rudi’s that I’ve bought. Definitely an incentive to keep working on a recipe to make my own. My early attempts at GF bread haven’t been great, but they’re as good as anything I’ve found commercially. Except for a slice of Udi’s GF bread that I got in a restaurant a couple of days ago. It had nice texture, good flavor, and no holes. Maybe there’s something to the idea that there are separate commercial and consumer product lines.

  26. I agree that it’s not bashing them to expect bread that you could actually use for a sandwich without the insides falling out! Not sure how you’d spread condiments on that bread, either. I do eat Udi’s raisin bagels sometimes and like them OK, but that’s the only product I ever purchase from Udi’s. I buy GF bread from a local allergan-free bakery in Atlanta, Pure Knead, and it is great tasting and looks just like regular bread–no holes. They have a pretty big operation (bread and buns available in all local Kroger groceries, and they supply buns to several local hamburger chains) and make consistent non-holey bread, maybe Udi’s should find out what equipment Pure Knead uses. Clearly it can be done.

  27. I really like Udi’s baguettes, but you are definitely taking your chances on whether you’re going to actually get bread inside or just a shell! Canyon Bakehouse breads are far better quality within the store-bought brands.
    Here in Ottawa, Ontario the best gfree bread is made by Pete’s Bread, 100% gfree bakery, nonGMO, nutritious ingredients and it tastes so amazing! No one can ever tell that it is gluten free 🙂

  28. I really think the mass produced breads have the worst results sometimes. Franz, a local brand for me, will sometimes have holes in it’s bread. Schar too. Canyon Bake House bread is by far the best and tastiest. Three Bakers Bread is pretty good too (which my store had for like two seconds before replacing it with more Udi’s). I JUST wish that it was easier to buy some of the more obscure brands online without having to pay and arm and a leg for shipping.

  29. I’ve been lucky enough to never see a hole in my loaf of Udi’s bread. I did, however, notice that their hamburger buns were “different” lately. They used to be my favourite. Now, the buns are rock hard and manage to crumble to pieces before I even finish my burger. Not cool for $6.00! I think that they should offer up the product faux pas, at a blemish discount.

    On a side note, I really wish Canada had more gluten free variety.

    1. Fellow Canadian here. I’ve pretty much given up on bread. I’ve tried Glutino, Udi’s, President’s Choice, Silver Hills and Kinnikinnick. None of them were particularly enjoyable. PC was by far the worst. Kinnikinnick and Silver Hills were probably the best, although the latter was rather small even by GF standards. The slices are only about as wide as slider buns and about half as thick as regular bread slices.

      I *hate* eating ersatz food, something where you can’t help but notice it’s just a pale imitation of the “real” thing. I want to eat something that’s a real food in its own right. Fortunately, with Nature’s Path, I can get that for cereal and waffles. But the brands of bread I’ve mentioned all rub me the wrong way. If NP could ever do for bread what they do for the rest of their GF line, they’d have a winner. As far as I know they don’t produce any breads at all, not even the regular kind; if they did, I suppose it would retail for at least $8 or $9 a loaf but would probably be worth it.

  30. LOVE Canyon Bakehouse! Our Target carries it in the produce/special bread area and not the freezer! No one notices it’s GF when I serve it.

  31. I would just like to add that Canyon Bakehouse bread is far superior to Udi’s in taste and quality. It is one of the few GF breads that has the texture and taste of actual bread.

  32. Gluten Dude,
    I just want to tell you that I greatly appreciate your efforts to help us all in the Celiac Community.

    To add my two cents on the “holy” bread conversation….. My recent loaves of UDI’s have been tremendously better, no holes. However I do think their buns have changed…..for the worse, especially the hamburger buns….not even edible. I’m in complete shock however about all the posts above me that say Canyon Bakehouse is far superior to Udi’s! I used to buy Canyon Bakehouse by the case as I was new to Celiac disease and I have limited access to gluten free foods in my town, so I shop out of town. EVERY DAMN loaf of Canyon Bakehouse………no matter the type (whole grain/white/cinnamon raisin) was a complete HOLE….basically it was crust only, I wish I would have taken pictures because no one will believe this post I’m sure. I”d like to see Canyon Bakehouse’s quality control and behind the scenes production. To any Celiacs looking for another bread option, try Kinnikinnick………best tasting bread/buns ever….tastes like the real deal! The hot dog buns are absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!

  33. I make egg in the hole with my holy bread! Make lemonade out of lemons! Only problem is, my husband keeps asking where the middle piece is.

  34. schar and canyon have gum free options. If you are in the bay area, zest in san carlos makes HUGE loaves for about $6-7. It is really good to slice and freeze with wax paper. I have no idea how they avoid holes without the backing to implement xray vision technology. It must be a gift.

  35. Does Audi’s pay for shelf space? They dominate at stores in the bay area, and I’m wondering if they are engaging in the common practice of paying stores to have more space and better placement, leaving little room for other options.

  36. I am putting a good word in for Three Bakers 7 Ancient Grains. I buy it frozen at Meijer. They also have white and ‘rye’. No holes and you can toast it or make a sandwich right out of the bag.

  37. I live in the UK and thank god every day for Marks and Spencer’s GF products, their bread is amazing….. if you guys visit, stock up and freeze 🙂

  38. My local 99 cent store sells a ton of gluten-free products and often I see Udi’s bread in the freezer section. I’ve seen very few holes in it and I do stock up when they have it. I don’t really care since I’m not paying top dollar but I can see if you are making a sandwich and payed a hefty (regular) price for it. I just care they it weighs what it says on the label and it is edible, no matter what it looks like!

  39. Buying GLUTEN FREE Breads can, and is costly. I’ve tried several times to give your company a chance as I purchased MANY different bread items. EVERYTHING I bought was full of HOLES. I’M TALKING ABOUT POT HOLES. I REFUSE to WASTE ANYMORE money on your products.
    I have switched to Three Bakers, Canyon Breads. They are completely HOLE FREE, and they are NOT DRY!
    Many people are UNHAPPY with your bread items. You’re loosening many customers because YOU WON’T TAKE THE TIME OUT TO IMPROVE YOUR RECIPE.
    I WON’T buy another thing from the company. You will not get one penny from me for 1/8 th piece of “so called” bread, surrounded by a crust.
    It sickened me ever time I opened up the loaf.
    Don’t bother me with Emails…I’M DONE WITH YOU!

  40. Wow! We have far, far better GF breads here in little old New Zealand. We have a choice of good brands, none of them “holy” like Udi’s. We’re very lucky!

  41. Thank you for highlighting this story. It is true that it can be a challenge to bake gf bread without holes as I have been doing this for our bakery since 2010. I bake fresh gfdfsf bread every day and it’s hard work to get it to be great. It takes me around 3 hours from start to finish to hand make a batch of bread, mixing it up, rising it, baking it, cooling it then slicing and wrapping it and sometimes I do have a loaf that has holes in it but mostly I pay attention to make sure that it’s as perfect as I can make it. Our bakery in Temecula, CA, is small but we are all dedicated to baking great bread and other products and sometimes it is frustrating that millions of people see the Udi’s brand as Number One. Many of our customers (and we) would disagree as they know what goes into baking a truly great loaf of gf bread. Support your local gf bakers!:)

  42. Former Udi's Employee

    I know someone who worked at Udi’s when they opened shop up until several months after they were acquired by Boulder. This has always been a problem, but to see how it is now being handled and communicated – completely different and a shame. They’re losing touch with their most important part of their business… the customer and community. Looks like the key people who made Udi’s GF such a great company are now long gone. Too bad. Canyon is the brand I buy and recommend.

  43. Thanks for contacting udi’s and trying fix it. I agree with you. They need to offer quality products. Especially since their bread costs so much. I bought a few loafs that had holes and returned them. I ended up making my own bread. I will definitely avoid buying udi’s, I usually do though since their costs are higher.

  44. I love Canyon Bakehouse bread. I wonder if the Udi’s read with all the holes comes even close to the weight listed on the package? If not wouldn’t that be fraud?

  45. Former Ambassador

    I was an ambassador for Udi’s early on. LOVED the company, loved the people I worked with, felt they had a deep commitment to the gluten-free community. As the company grew, so did the size of the holes in bread. Then things got so questionable, I declined any further involvement. Sending ambassadors to Wal-Mart where the sample people had ZERO training in safe handling of gluten-free products was worrisome. Seeing them toast bread in dirty toaster ovens was beyond concerning. Not seeing this addressed immediately was the breaking point. And it continues…seeing their name emblazoned on ads for restaurants who offer their buns or pizza crusts but don’t use safe handling practices is simply wrong, misleading to the gluten-free community who had great trust in Udi’s in the beginning. This goes far beyond holes in their bread, there is a giant hole forming in their reputation.

  46. Wendy Lavender

    You said it Gluten Dude. How is it I can buy GF bread in Oz that isn’t holey. It ain’t fluffy but there are no holes. Are they trying too hard to make it fluffy?

  47. If you want outstanding gf bagels, bread, muffins etc you’ve got to check out Gluten Free Creations Bakery in Scottsdale, AZ. I live in OK and get goodies shipped to me at least once every couple of months. I’m not kidding she makes the best gf food I’ve ever tasted. http://www.glutenfreecreations.com

  48. I’m always amazed at the fact gluten-free bloggers do not know about the hidden gem Outside the Breadbox in Colorado Springs. They ship everywhere and they are the absolute best bread, cheese cracker, pizza crust, buns, and graham cracker company I have seen on the gluten free market. Worth your time to check them out!
    http://www.outsidethebreadbox.co/

  49. I’m glad you did this post right now. I want to say, at first I was excited about Canyon Bakehouse, but the honeymoon is over. The slices are too small to make a sandwich. Its ridiculous, especially at six bucks a loaf. I may as well not bother. Sorry but gluten free or not I have to get my money’s worth.

  50. In the midwest (Cincinnati) Rudi’s is available at Kroger’s. It’s gluten free, dairy free, and soy free, great for the Hashimoto’s crowd, and nut free too. The cinnamon raisin bread is the only one I’ve tried and it’s awesome. J loves it and he does not need to eat gluten free. Eggs, bacon, fruit, and Rudi’s Cinnamon Raisin bread is a perfect breakfast. With coupons and sales the regular price of $4.79 can be down to $4.39 or even $3.89. It is in the freezer section, and we keep it in the fridge, with an extra loaf waiting in the freezer. Rudi’s Organic Bakery in Boulder Colorado. Seriously great bread….no holes! http://www.rudisglutenfreebakery.com and Facebook, rudisglutenfreebakery.

  51. originaltangerine

    I tried Udi products years ago, when they were the only GF product in local stores. I disliked it so much, I determined not having sandwiches or whatever else bread-related was a better choice than that mess. Not only did it have holes, literally shatter when you touched it, and have the texture of a dry dish sponge, they charged a premium price for it! Nope, not my money! It was possibly a decade later that local stores started carrying more GF bread products, so now on occasion I will buy a loaf. The ones I have tried have been better products for a lower price!

  52. I started buying all my bread from ALDI’s.. its less than $3 a loaf and pretty darn good too !! Its NOT frozen so its fresh soft DOES NOT FALL APART Bread !!!! Trouble is my store rarely has the white in stock, only the whole grain… (also not bad)… and its only bread… no buns. I have never and now WILL never buy the way to expensive UDI’s or anyh frozen product. They are all horrible !!!! JMHO

    1. Oo I am excited to hear that Aldis sells GF anything! I hope the one near me does, it will give me a reason to go there a little more often!

    2. I’m near Tampa, and the Aldi here has the 12oz loaf for $4 ($.33/oz). As compared to 16oz for $6 ($.375/oz) from DeLand Bakery, which I’ve been using the past year. Udi’s is $6 for a 12oz loaf at the store; $5 on their website (but FedEx 2-day ship added). The highest price of the three ($.50/oz). The Udi’s I get at Walmart NG, and usually has holes; the last time I called, a month or so ago, they apologized, mailed a few coupons, and stated that they’ve gone to another new facility (same basic msg. as 2 years ago). DeLand is about 50/50 for holes in a given loaf (and little or no customer relations), but it’s good otherwise and available in a local shop. The Aldi bread is good as everyone else in this thread has said, and the three loaves I bought the other day, thanks to these suggestions, have no holes. The only thing is, Aldi locks it shopping carts up and the cost is $.25 to unlock. They do not bag your groceries, and do not accept credit cards. It’s a jolt on the first visit. But they have good bread that’s worth returning for!

    3. Actually the Aldi brand GF bread does come frozen. Maybe you’re just getting it from the shelf after it has thawed. But all of the GF breads are shipped in frozen to Aldi. I’ve picked up a loaf at Aldi right after they stocked and it was still frozen. I hate they have changed distributors in the last 2 years. The bread used to come from Ireland – now it’s Canada and isn’t as good as before. More holes than before and the taste isn’t as before. Still decent and way better than Udi’s though. Also I checked at Target when they were out of stock with the other products and Canyon Bakehouse bread is also shipped frozen then placed out among the baked goods. It will thaw of course but it is shipped in that way. I had the employee go back into the stockroom and he pulled me 2 loaves – both frozen.

  53. Thanks for keeping it real as always, Dude. The blessing in all of this is that we gluten free consumers are lucky enough to have choices now, which we didn’t always have.
    I’ll stick to making my own homemade GF bread because nothing beats that amazing yeast smell permeating my kitchen, and fresh homemade is always best, but to have other store-bought options that beat out crumbly, holey bread any day is something I celebrate! Having been diagnosed with celiac in the 1990s, I can tell you we’ve come such a long way! Nothing makes me sadder than my fellow GF’ers thinking they have to settle for mediocre anything! So glad you’ve issued a rallying cry to demand even better. Onward!

    ~jules
    https://gfjules.com/

  54. Hey, what do you guys think the best store bought GF hamburger rolls are? I do not have the best selection around here and am sick of eating the self destructing Udi’s ones that taste like cardboard. Was thinking of putting an order in for Canyon Bakehouse.
    thanks

  55. If you have an Aldi’s near you, give their Live G-free bread a try. It’s fresh- not frozen, bigger slices, cheaper, quite tasty and NO HOLES. Their flat wraps are also good and don’t fall apart. Way to go Aldi’s!

  56. My husband and I love Kinnnikinnick — difficult name, but delicious bread (and pretty darn tasty pizza crust!). Maybe it’s because they’re a Canadian company, but they don’t seem to have as many issues with cross-contamination and poor quality as some other corporations.

    We also use a lot of “bread alternatives,” like making pizza potatoes (baked Goldens with pizza sauce, sautéed mushrooms, Daiya and other toppings), which are rich and satisfying in a way that GF breads often are not.

  57. Just bought a new loaf of Canyon. It is alot better than the last few loaves I’ve purchased. The slices are fuller shaped and a decent size to make a sandwich. I hope this trend continues. I really do like their bread and want to continue buying it.

  58. That is just pathetic. I can remember the baguettes with the holes though. Hubby tried the bread once and wouldn’t go near it again. Said it tasted like cardboard. This was way back in our beginning gluten-free days. The hot dog buns were hard to swallow. Dry, dry, dry. Tasted like my french bread probably would if it was 5 days old.

    He was using New Grains, a local Utah company, for awhile as he needs a bread that will hold up to mayo for his lunch (Canyon Bakehouse was good but too soft), but we moved to a new area recently, and they only sell New Grains frozen bread here. It fell apart after I thawed it just like your Udi’s hamburger bun did.

    He’s taking Franz white bread to work right now. We get it at Costco. It’s reasonably priced since it’s in a two-pack. He loves that bread.

    Since I write online, I usually make my own hamburger buns or french bread from scratch and eat my gluten-free sandwiches that way. Haven’t gotten a regular loaf of homemade bread to work for us yet.

  59. I’m a baker for a small, gluten-free bakery near Seattle. There’s no excuse for the holes in Udi’s bread. No excuse whatsoever!

    1. I agree with you. Aside from the occasional quarter size hole, no other GF bread I have ever eaten has been as bad as Udi’s.

  60. How’s this for irony? I was googling to see what else I could find on this issue of holes in Udi’s bread, and I come across this 2008 article posted on another blog, “How do you make that [ciabatta] bread with the big holes?”

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2008/09/22/%E2%80%9Chow-do-you-make-that-bread-with-the-big-holes%E2%80%9D-secrets-of-ciabatta-revealed/

    The article — which includes about three dozen photos in its how-to advice — is *totally* overthinking it… just BUY it from Udi’s! LOL

    1. On a serious note, I also discovered this troubleshooting guide, although it seems to be re: avoiding holes in conventional, non-GF bread. Not sure if any of this is applicable to GF bread, but it certainly makes bread baking sound more complicated than I ever figured. I’ll leave it to others who have the proper baking experience to comment on that.

      http://www.progressivebaker.com/downloads/Bread.pdf

  61. Fantastic post, GD, and definitely not bashing at all. Thank you for this. Very respectful post. I honest to God thought that I was the only person having this issue – that I must have gotten a couple crappy loaves or something. Like others, I tend to buy Aldi’s GF bread or Canyon Bakehouse. Hopefully Udi’s will finally get this taken care of ….

  62. One more thing about Udi’s — it has almost zero nutritional value! The best bread mixes I have found are Breads from Anna — http://www.breadsfromanna.com. Her orders arrive shortly after having been placed, and each one makes a 2-pound loaf! Anna will also custom blend a mix for those whose allergies are not served by the products on the website. And the mixes are available in many stores, too.

  63. Have you tried Udi’s Chia and Millet Bread? I really like the taste and the texture – and haven’t seen the huge air voids in this variety yet.

    Once get the image of a Chia pet out of your head, I’d recommend trying it.

    dave

  64. I am dying laughing right now. The one thing I have learned about UDI bread is to buy it from Costco. It comes in a bigger bag and I have not had the problems with the holes that I did with the smaller loaves. Thanks for the laugh!

  65. Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White and Jennifer’s Way Dinner rolls and bagels make me very, very, VERY happy! And I hear that Jennifer is working on hamburger buns and french style bread?!?! Don’t mind me, I’ll just sit and hit reload on her website until they appear 😉

  66. I personally love the taste of udis bread but yes the holes are disappointing ..I absolutely love their buns though but there is a trick to them..wrap onw with a damp paper towel and microwave for 20 seconds. Perfect, squishy bun. Works on the bread too…

  67. I rarely buy GF bread but this store near me had a buy-one-get-one-free sale so I bought a couple loaves today. Not Udi’s, but from a long-established conventional bakery that just made its first foray into GF bread in the last couple years with a certified product. Not sure about the other loaf yet but the first one checked out fine; every last slice is solid from crust to centre, not the slightest hole to be found anywhere.

    If these rookies can get their act together, you’d think Udi’s should be able to figure it out. You have to wonder if as the leading GF outfit on the market they’re just taking the customer for granted. Dangerous game for them as more competition enters the playing field.

  68. I recently caved and bought Udi’s for 7 + bucks because let’s face it…it looks gorgeous (and of course because holes like that are never visible from the outside right?) I guess they don’t test any bread in any specific lot and thas how it gets past quality control…”what quality control?”

    I had this same exact situation. I would say it was in about 75% of the bread. I thought it was an isolated case and didn’t realize this is typical with Udi’s (as I am new here) I almost returned it to costco, but it is quite far. But still, I never bought it again because it proved too difficult to make sandwiches with, and I didn’t want to chance it with $7.00 and then some! The grilled cheese was just grilled bread as all the cheese leaked out onto the pan 🙂 and we all know even the worst GF bread can make a 1/2 way decent grilled cheese. But not this time.

    ~t

  69. It is true that Canyon Bakehouse tastes so much better than Audi’s, but they have an equally giant hole problem. I usually bake my own, but sometimes we have to buy some in a pinch. The last 3 or 4 times (over a span of 6+ months) have seen basically half of each slice up the holey abyss.

  70. To my avail and many complaints to the company and telling them to fire all the bakers,properly train new ones and start over,after 20-25 crap loaves with big holes making the bread useless and them responding to complaints when they feel like it,i am on the look out for a new company,hate to do it but why deal with a company that treats the heart of their business,the customers as shit,so sad,will lets you know when i find a new great company,see ya rookies!

  71. I stopped buying Udis except for their tortillas, which i will also be no longer buying having found a good gf recipe. When I first started getting loaves with holes on occasion I would just roll with it because it was only a piece or two, but gradually got worse and worse as well as the slices getting smaller and smaller and look like the pics you posted. My area has some gf bread choices but I am just going to work on making my own, if you want something done right do it yourself.

  72. IT’S HERE…..maybe! The current loaf of Udi’s I purchased around 12/1/17 was not only without holes but the slice was larger in size like a real slice of bread. It still falls apart when adding a lot of condiments to a sandwich, yet such an improvement to the old and nice to have a whole piece of bread for a change.

  73. Another really good brand of GF bread for savory sandwiches, that does not come in toy size slices either, is BFree.
    The Doctor told me last week that I may not be a Celiac after all but instead I may have this other more serious disease CVID. I cannot wait to hear the news next week and stuff down a whole pizza, two hotdogs and three beers down my piehole….

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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