What Exactly is a Pizza Bagel?

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If you like pizza and bagels, you’re in for a treat! Pizza bagels are a tasty and practical snack that blends the best of both worlds. These bite-sized snacks combine chewy bagel sweetness with savory pizza ingredients, making them a favorite for both youngsters and adults. But what is a pizza bagel, and how do you prepare one? Whether you’re a seasoned pizza bagel enthusiast or new to the game, keep reading to learn everything there is to know about this delectable treat!

What is a Pizza Bagel?

Pizza bagels are a tasty and entertaining snack or light meal that blends the chewy texture of a bagel and the savory taste of pizza. They are especially popular with children and are simple to make at home with a few basic ingredients.

Traditional pizza bagels are made with a plain bagel as the base. However, some prefer whole wheat or multigrain bagels for a healthier twist. After slicing the bagel in half, tomato sauce is placed on each side, followed by toppings such as shredded mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. On the other hand, toppings can be tailored to individual tastes, and extra components such as vegetables or different types of cheese can be added.

One of the best aspects of pizza bagels is their adaptability. They are fantastic and perfect for easy weeknight meals or after-school snacks because they can be prepared in advance and frozen. It only takes a few minutes in the toaster or oven to warm the bagel and melt the cheese.

 

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The History of Pizza Bagels

The pizza bagel has an interesting history that spans several decades, with several variants of the food appearing in various locations in the United States. While Anthony DeMauro is credited with inventing the pizza bagel in 1959 at Amster’s Bagel Bakery in South Euclid, Ohio, Amster Pizza Bagel, Inc. did not register Pizza Bagels with the US Copyright Office until 1970.

At the time, the company registered for a product containing six frozen pizza bagels in folding cartons weighing 11 ounces (310 g). As the popularity of pizza bagels grew, Frickaccio’s, a shop in Cleveland’s famous West Side Market, started selling its own version of the snack. Frickaccio’s pizza bagels grew so popular that they were featured on the Food Network and were even eaten by President Barack Obama on a lunchtime visit to West Side Market.

In 1974, at a Western Bagel in Woodland Hills, California, a teenager called Bruce Treitman invented his own pizza bagel. Treitman’s invention comprised a flattened bagel topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, and it is now the most well-known variation of the pizza bagel.

In early 2014, however, Katz Bagel Bakery in Chelsea, Massachusetts, claimed that their own Harry Katz invented a pizza bagel version in 1970. Katz’s version differs from the typical pizza bagel in that it resembles a tiny pizza. Katz uses bagel dough without a hole, which is topped with cheese and tomato sauce, instead of bagel bread with a hole.

Pizza Bagel Variations to Choose From

While the traditional pizza bagel toppings of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni are delicious, many people prefer to add additional ingredients to make their pizza bagel more flavorful and filling.

Fresh veggies like broccoli, bell peppers, or onions are great additions because they may be sautéed or roasted before bringing out their flavors. Sliced or diced olives are another superb addition that can give the pizza bagel a salty, briny flavor.

Thinly sliced chunks of chicken or pre-cooked and crumbled ground beef or sausage can be added to the bagel for individuals who want meat on their pizza. Protein alternatives such as sliced ham or bacon can also be employed.

Many like to top their pizza bagel with spices or herbs such as oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, or red pepper flakes to enhance the flavor. Before toasting the bagel, add these to the tomato sauce or sprinkle over the cheese.

 

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What You Need to Make Pizza Bagels

A few basic supplies and tools are required to prepare a pizza bagel at home. The following is a list of things you will require:

  • Bagels. The first thing you’ll need is, of course, bagels. Plain, whole wheat or multigrain bagels make excellent pizza bagels.
  • Olive oil. Brushing the bagel with olive oil before adding toppings helps keep the bagel from becoming mushy.
  • Toppings. The toppings you select will be based on your unique tastes. Marinara sauce, shredded cheese, pepperoni, cooked sausage, sliced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and fresh or dried herbs such as oregano or basil are also popular toppings.
  • Aluminum foil. Using aluminum foil simplifies cleanup and keeps the toppings from adhering to the baking pan.
  • Baking sheet. This will be required to cook the pizza bagels. A normal baking sheet will suffice, and a nonstick baking sheet will make cleanup even easier.

Plain bagels

Cooking Procedure

1. Pick the Bagel You Will Use

The type of bagel you use when preparing pizza bagels is entirely up to you. Plain bagels are a traditional choice that works well as a base for pizza toppings. If you want to spice up your pizza bagel, try a flavored bagel such as sesame, everything, jalapeño, or even a cinnamon raisin bagel for a fresh touch on the classic.

While you can certainly use a bagel from your favorite local bagel shop, the recipe for pizza bagels was created using grocery store bagels, which are more widely available and frequently less expensive. These plain, unflavored bagels are ideal for this dish since they serve as a neutral foundation for the toppings to flourish.

2. Cut Your Bagels, Oil Them, and Then Toast

It is critical to achieve the correct texture when preparing a pizza bagel. As previously stated, the bagel should have crispy edges, a toasted (but not soggy) bottom, and a chewy center. To produce this texture, cut the bagel in half and start brushing a little olive oil on each cut side. This not only adds taste but also keeps the bottom from getting soggy. Once the bagel has been oiled, place the cut-side-up halves on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in an oven that is preheated to 425°F for 5 to 8 minutes or until evenly golden-brown.

This toasting stage ensures that the bagel holds up well to sauce and other toppings. It produces a well-toasted base that is firm and crispy. If you want, you can use a toaster oven set to the same temperature, which will work just as well. Baking the bagels on a sheet pan coated with foil keeps them from sticking and makes cleanup a breeze.

3. Top the Bagels According to Your Preference

The toppings are added after the bagel halves have been toasted. To begin, put some marinara sauce on each side of the bagel, being careful not to use too much sauce as this will result in a soggy pizza bagel. One to two tablespoons of sauce per half bagel is usually plenty. However, this depends on the size of the bagel. After the sauce has been added, the cheese and toppings can be added. Typically, shredded cheese is used, with about 1/3 cup per side being a reasonable amount. You may add any toppings you like, from traditional pizza toppings like pepperoni to more gourmet options like prosciutto or caramelized fennel.

Pickled jalapeño slices, pineapple pieces, mushrooms, thinly sliced summer squash, or roasted butternut squash are some alternative pizza bagels toppings that work well. Salami, soppressata, crumbled bacon or sausage, anchovies, or prosciutto can all be used as meats. After adding the toppings, the pizza bagels are ready to return to the oven, this time under the broiler. This process will only take a few minutes, long enough to melt and brown the cheese in areas.

When the pizza bagels are finished, a few finishing touches can be added to elevate them to the next level. Some individuals like to drizzle honey, balsamic vinegar, or extra-virgin olive oil, while others like to sprinkle fresh herbs or red pepper flakes. 

Storing the Pizza Bagels

Making and freezing pizza bagels at home is an excellent method to always have a quick and easy lunch or snack on hand. To freeze pizza bagels, prepare them up to the point of broiling according to the recipe. Once assembled, place the bagels on a baking sheet. Then, place them in the freezer until solid. Once the pizza bagels are frozen, put them in a zip-top freezer bag or any kind of airtight container to keep them fresh for longer.

Frozen pizza bagels can be frozen for up to two months. When you’re ready to eat them, preheat your oven to 400°F and bake the frozen pizza bagels for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese becomes melted and the bagels are heated through. This method allows you to keep a stash of handmade pizza bagels on hand for quick and easy lunches or snacks, eliminating the need to buy store-bought pre-made frozen choices.

Overall, a pizza bagel is a creative and delicious take on regular pizza that satisfies both bagels and pizza needs. It’s a quick and easy dinner or snack that can be created with basic ingredients and customized with a variety of toppings. A pizza bagel is a versatile and gratifying snack that will leave your taste buds delighted, whether you want a basic combo of sauce, cheese, and pepperoni or more gourmet toppings like roasted veggies and prosciutto. So, why not try this simple but delectable recipe and enjoy the ideal blend of pizza and bagel in every bite?

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