We were lucky growing up that we lived very close to some food destinations easily traversed by two kids on bikes.
Summertime meant hopping on our rides and grabbing grub ourselves.
One of the best places to go was the bagel shop. And if I wasn’t ordering the cinnamon sugar bagel toasted with butter and a sandstorm of raw cinnamon and sugar (not surprising if you visit my blog often), I was all over the tomazzo bagels.
It wasn’t even a contest when you surveyed the display windows for the top dog around the joint. While other bagels bore a sheen of boiled and baked goodness with their nutty or fruity contents peeking through, there was but one monster bagel that towered over the rest with both visual appeal and mere stature.
This baby was chewy but uniquely soft. It was painted with a tomato paste that roasted to be thick and dark, but without being sticky. Like a marinara that baked in the sun, it protected the pale and moist bagel beneath it. Atop the red robe was a thin, melted layer of crusty mozzarella cheese.
Those of you who have had one of these before know I’ve been hole-ding out.
The creme de la creme was the hole- or lack thereof, due to the cheese that had been baked into the center.
Oh man oh man were they something else.
Today I am sharing with you my attempt at the Tomazzo Bagel. The base recipe was borrowed from King Arthur Flour and then the rest was from my hungry memory.
Chewy, saucy and cheesy. Every craving is knocked down in one with these perfectly portable tomato mozzarella bagels. An impressive and mouthwatering baked bread applauded by humans sized small to tall.
Dough from King Arthur Flour
- 1/2 C bread flour
- 1/4 C cool water
- 1/8 tsp instant yeast
- 4 C bread flour
- 1 1/4 C cool water
- 1 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- one inch deep water in a large 10″ diameter pan
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1 C pizza sauce or homemade sauce (I used a mixture of tomato paste, canned basil stewed tomatoes, sugar, salt, dried oregano, grated garlic, vinegar, red pepper flakes)
- 12 slices good mozzarella (not fresh as it will be too wet so use a low moisture mozzarella)
- Night before: Stir together the starter ingredients, cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and place in warm room to work overnight.
- Following morning: Starter should be bubbly and smell of yeast. Place all dough ingredients in a mixing bowl with the starter and mix to combine. Knead with dough hook until stiff, but not dry dough forms. Due to using bread flour instead of all purpose, this will take longer than anticipated.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and roll it around in a ball in the thin oil coating. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in volume.
- Gently deflate dough and then allow to rise 30 minutes more in a warm place.
- Cut dough into 12 equal pieces and gently poke a hole through each piece. Spin dough with hole around on your finger to make the hole larger. Place on a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet once formed. Cover bagels loosely on top with plastic wrap and place in warm area to rise for 30 minutes. The rise will be slight.
- While rising, prepare water bath by combining the sugar and water and get water to simmering temperature (not boiling). During final rising time, preheat oven to 425F.
- After rise, place three to four bagels at a time in the water for one minute on each side. If water gets cooler than simmering during this process, increase heat.
- Tap bagels on paper towel to absorb excess moisture and then place them on a lined cookie sheet. Boil and prepare only 6 bagels at once, bake and then repeat with the remaining bagels.
- Use a pastry brush to paint pizza sauce on entire surface of each bagel. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove, quickly paint with more pizza sauce and top each bagel with one slice of cheese. Return to oven to bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Place on a cooling rack and then repeat with remaining half of bagels. As the bagels cool completely, they become more chewy. Enjoy!