A gluten-free “toast-test” with the BELLA Dots 2.0 toaster

I was intrigued, although a little skeptical, when I first heard about it: a toaster with a gluten-free setting that can help people properly toast gluten-free foods. But within just one breakfast, the BELLA Dots 2.0 toaster had convinced me that its gluten-free toasting abilities were for real.

The BELLA Dots 2.0 toaster is a stylish little toaster with a fun, slightly retro look and feel. There are four gorgeous colors available—a gleaming gold, sleek black, a pinkish coppery hue, and fire-engine red—and no matter which one you pick, it looks the perfect blend of ultra-modern and 50’s diner. This two-slot toaster is an attractive addition to any counter.

The toaster is easy to use, with a high-lift lever and cool-touch exterior. Its extra-wide slots accommodate a variety of sizes of bread and other products, and its slide-out crumb tray is helpful for keeping the toaster tidy. But the best thing about it is its variety of settings—toast, reheat, defrost, bagel, waffle, and gluten-free.

Toasting gluten-free products in this toaster is simple—all you have to do is put the food into the toaster, select your desired level of browning/toasting, push the lever down, and press the rightmost button (with an anti-wheat symbol—very cute!) that lights up when pushed.

Before the BELLA Dots 2.0, I had a dinky old toaster that didn’t toast gluten-free foods particularly well—the bread never came out evenly toasted, and sometimes it came out too dry. I had a completely different experience using the BELLA Dots 2.0 to toast gluten-free bread products—they ended up tasting better than I’d ever imagined they could.

A Toast-Test with BELLA Dots 2.0

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been toast-testing—and then taste-testing—many of my favorite gluten-free bread products in the BELLA Dots 2.0 toaster. Here’s how they stacked up:

Udi’s Multigrain Bread: This was the first product I toasted in the BELLA Dots 2.0 toaster, and my first impression was WOW! This is the bread I eat most often, and the difference in quality was apparent in my first bite. The bread had toasted evenly, and it didn’t feel at all dry. The texture was much improved in comparison to how it used to toast in my old toaster.

Udi’s Cinnamon-Raisin Bread: I took two frozen pieces of this bread out and toasted them, wondering how the toaster would handle bread that was both frozen and gluten-free. I needn’t have worried; the bread toasted perfectly. I’d never gotten that result when I toasted gluten-free bread from frozen in my old toaster!

Food for Life Brown Rice English Muffin: Even though I’ve been gluten-free for four years, I still crave “real” English muffins. In my old toaster, these toasted up poorly and were very dry. But in the BELLA Dots 2.0 toaster, it toasted surprisingly well. The outside was slightly crispy and the inside was soft and spongy, just like an English muffin should be. Out of all the foods I toast-tested in the BELLA Dots 2.0, this might have been the best.

Udi’s Plain Bagel: Using my old toaster, bagels sometimes came out more like hockey pucks. With the BELLA Dots 2.0, my bagel came out tasting and feeling like an actual bagel. The bagel was well-toasted, but not at all hard or hockey puck-like. In addition to tasting good, it was also easy to bite and chew.

Canyon Bakehouse Deli Rye Style Bread: This proved to be the biggest challenge for the BELLA Dots 2.0, but I think that’s more because the bread’s consistency is a little different. For whatever reason, this bread seemed moist, and that made it more difficult to toast. On the first go-round, the bread was still retaining moisture and didn’t seem completely toasted. So I simply toasted it again, and after that second toasting, the quality was excellent. Since this was the only product I tried that didn’t quite toast as expected, and it was also the only bread product that seemed unusually moist, I’m chalking this up to the bread—not the toaster.

Final Impressions

Overall, the BELLA Dots 2.0 toaster is really impressive. From its appearance to its ability to toast gluten-free foods really well, this toaster is a winner. The best part: For all its bells and whistles, the price is extremely reasonable. BELLA Dots 2.0 toasters are just $29.99 and Target stores and Target.com.

If you regularly eat gluten-free bread and breakfast products, do yourself a favor and get a BELLA Dots 2.0 toaster. It toasts gluten-free products better than regular toasters, and it likely won’t take long for you to notice the improvement. And remember, if you have Celiac disease or are gluten-intolerant, make sure to toast only gluten-free items in the BELLA Dots 2.0 toaster—this reduces the risk of cross-contamination.

Disclaimer: Some of the products mentioned in this article were provided to me for review purposes. Under no circumstances has this affected the integrity of the article. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t cover it here. See my personal disclaimer for more details.

I first posted this article on Examiner.com.

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