So here is the low down on the Rudi's Gluten free line...
Soft and Chewy?
YES! The Rudi's brand are soft and have a wonderful chewy texture reminiscent of wheat bread. They spring back up instead of cracking when squeezed.
Yes and no. When I first got the bread it was not crumbly, but it didn't pass what I call "The Fold Test." I loved making sandwiches as a kid by folding the bread in half. I have found no gluten-free bread that will pass this test yet, and maybe I never will, but Rudi's White Bread came the closest to passing by far.
After I froze the Rudi's, more of the moisture was taken out and the bread did become crumbly, but not too much so, and it still had a pleasant light chewy texture to it. This is in stark contrast to the gluten-free gummy glob of goo that is supposed to pass for bread. Rudi's is nothing like these bread bricks, and is very much like, well, bread!
YES! Rudi's made this bread rich in flavor and gave it just a touch of sweetness. They use sugar, honey and molasses to sweeten their breads and rolls. You won't find any high fructose corn syrup here.
The better quality gluten free breads often cost a little more than the "more" you'd pay for the frozen brick GF breads, but the cost is worth the difference. Expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $7 a loaf depending where you live. If you are near a Costco's, you can pick up two loaves of Rudi's for about $7, That's $3.50 a loaf! Since I'm not a member at Costco's, I'll be hitting up my buddy Vince at my local Whole Foods for a case discount. :)
NO! This is a big pet peeve of mine. Food manufacturers have long been putting fillers, preservatives, colors and even flavor enhancers in their products. These chemicals have been approved individually (and I think the FDA process for that is a bit dubious) but I bet if you put all them all together in a barrel it would have to be halled off to a toxic waste facility.
Well, evidently this is a pet peeve of Rudi's as well because you won't find any of that stuff in a loaf of their bread. They stick with the basics, and as an organically based bread company with an entire wheat based organic line, you can bet they know their sources. You will find things like potato, rice, egg, honey, molasses and flaxseed in their breads. Nothing with poly-this or nitrate-that is anywhere on the label.
In future posts I'll go into detail about each of Rudi's gluten free products and how they fared in each of my tests. I'll also fill you in on what my family said about each. Now lets go have some fun! Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich anyone? :)