Bagels are a versatile food that many love. Breakfast bagels are usually served toasted and slathered with butter or cream cheese. At lunchtime, a loaded bagel sandwich really satisfies.
But did you know you can also make pizza with the humble bagel? Read on to learn how to make yummy pizza bagels right at home.
How Are Bagels Made?
First off, what exactly are bagels? They are thicker than toast and can be sweet or savory. Traditionally bagels come from the Jewish community, but nowadays, you can find them everywhere.
The round dense bread is hand-shaped into a circle and boiled, then baked creating a chewy texture. This chewy texture makes a great impromptu crust for a pizza.
What is a Pizza Bagel?
A pizza bagel is quite simply a pizza made on a bagel. They make a great afternoon snack or pair them with a salad, and you can make a whole meal out of them. Or use mini bagels and make bagel pizza appetizers for your next social gathering.
What Type of Bagels
The best bagel to use for pizza bagels are plain bagels. If you want your sauce, cheese, and other toppings to shine, a plain bagel will make a great crust and not overpower the different flavors. You can also use savory flavored bagels like:
- Sesame seed
- Sun-dried tomato
- Salt and garlic
If you use a flavored bagel, you may want to use fewer toppings, so you don’t have too many flavors competing.
How to Make a Pizza Bagel at Home
Making pizza bagels at home is fun and easy. The first step is choosing the bagel you want to serve as the crust. Then, slice it, so you have two halves. Next, spread some tomato sauce on the bagel.
Be careful not to put on too much sauce because it will just make a soggy bagel. Add some mozzarella. If you’re just making cheese pizza bagel, then after the mozzarella, just add a sprinkle of Italian seasonings, and you are done.
However, if you want to make a pizza bagel with toppings, then add a thin layer of mozzarella cheese then toppings. We like pepperoni or mushrooms or crunchy green peppers. Then add another sprinkle of mozzarella cheese on top.
The bottom layer of mozzarella and the top layer will melt together, and this helps keep the toppings in place. You can even add a few crumbles of blue cheese or Parmesan Reggiano to balance out the mozzarella.
Cooking Pizza Bagels
Pizza bagels are so versatile. You can make them in the oven, toaster oven, microwave, or air fryer. So whether you cook in a small dorm room, microwave, or a full-size kitchen, you can make pizza bagels.
Place the pizza bagels on a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet—Preheat the oven to 450 Fahrenheit. When the oven is ready, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
If you like the top a little crunchy, turn the oven to broil and broil for an additional couple of minutes. Remove from the oven and wait a few minutes, so the cheese sets and then serve.
Using a toaster oven for pizza bagels makes a darn good pizza bagel. Place the bagels on the toaster rack or toaster tray. We prefer to use the toaster tray for easier cleanup since toppings or cheese usually escape the bagel.
Toast the bagel for five to ten minutes or until the topping and cheese are cooked. You can switch it over to broil for the last few minutes to get the crunchy top.
Microwaves are convenient and easy to use; however, they are not our preferred way to make them. Using the microwave will make a soft, chewy pizza bagel, and you won’t get any crunch. So if you like a softer pizza bagel, this is the way to go.
Since most microwaves have different powers and it’s easy to accidentally overcook anything bread-y in the microwave, we recommend cooking them in 30-second intervals. Check them after 30 seconds, and add another 30 seconds if needed. If you overcook them, they will be pizza rocks and not bagels. Trust us. We have made that mistake before.
If you have older kids or preteens learning how to cook, this is a great recipe to get them started in the kitchen. Teaching kids to make simple recipes helps them be independent. And they will love making their own snacks.
Yes, you can use an air fryer to make pizza bagels. We suggest using parchment paper since the bagels can be messy. If you use a basket air fryer, make sure to use plenty of cheese on top of the toppings and even use a rack to hold them in place.
Basket air fryers have a lot of air moving things around, and the toppings can easily fly off. If you are using a toaster oven air fryer, use foil under the tray for melted cheese drippings for easy cleanup. For most air fryers, cooking at 450 Fahrenheit for around ten minutes should work.
How to Make Bagels at Home
If you are feeling super creative, you can even try making bagels at home. You probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry to make homemade bagels. Luckily you don’t need any special equipment either. But you will need around three hours to make homemade bagels.
For Egg Wash
- 1 Egg
- ¼ c. Honey
Mix the yeast and water and let sit for around ten minutes so the yeast can activate. Then mix all of the dough ingredients. Knead by hand for about 5-7 minutes. Bagel dough is dense, and it’s easier to do by hand than using a mixer.
Place the dough in a large bowl greased with olive oil. Ensure the dough is covered in the oil, then cover and let rise for 90 minutes. Next, divide the dough into eight balls and shape them into bagel form. You can just use a finger to make a hole in the dough ball.
Next, these bagels need a bath, a water bath. Take a wide-mouth soup pot, fill it with water. While it’s heating up, stir in the honey. After it boils, reduce to medium heat and add the bagels a few at a time. Just make sure they aren’t touching. Each bagel should have a one-minute water bath.
Then, lay them on a silicone baking sheet and brush with a simple egg wash. Bake them for 20 minutes at 425 Fahrenheit, flipping them once halfway through cooking. Let cool before slicing.
Now you have homemade bagels. If you don’t have the time to make, homemade bagels just stop in at your local grocery store and get a bag of your favorite bagels to make your pizza bagels.
What’s your favorite way to make a pizza bagel?