The Bagel Bites Cooking Instructions: Buy & Cook Or Make & Bake?
Bagel bites are a perfect size for kids’ parties but also small family gatherings or a super-bowl night! Plus, they are easy-peasy to make if you follow my bagel bites cooking instructions!
My son's birthday is coming up soon, and I have started the preparations. Organizing a birthday party for a kid might seem like an easy task, but it really is not so as there are so many details to it. The most difficult thing is to make sure your kid likes everything in the end since, otherwise, you have failed greatly.
The tricky part is that a teenager does not really know what he (or she) wants. When I ask my son about something related to his birthday party, I mostly receive the same answer – “whatever mom.”
Unfortunately, that does not mean that he really does not care (that would make my life a lot easier!), but rather that he is too disinterested or preoccupied with some other teenage stuff that we adults cannot begin to grasp (although we were once teenagers too).
So, what can a mom such as I do?
Try to incorporate as many things that he enjoys in his daily life, plus take notes from his friends' birthday parties and details he was excited about! In short, you must turn into a genuine detective - a Sherlock Holmes, mom!
During my thorough investigation, I have discovered that bagel bites are a great hit at the birthday parties nowadays! The good news is that there are two paths to choose from - buy the ready-made ones in your supermarket and heat them up or make your own batch!
The first option is a quicker one and therefore great for busy working moms, the other one is a healthier one but requires quite a time and effort!
So, let us move on to the bagel bites cooking instructions (both options included) and get you ready for your kid's birthday party too! It might be an annual event, but it takes a year to plan it too!
To best use your time in the kitchen, check out my kitchen cheat sheet!
The Bagel Bites Cooking Instructions: The Buy & Cook Option
When it comes to the bagel bites you buy frozen; the manufacturers usually offer three options to cook them at your home: a convection oven, a microwave oven, or a toaster oven. I personally prefer the convection oven, but you can choose the method that best suits your needs.
Extra Tip: Bagel bites come with a crisping tray. You should use this tray to cook the bagels in the microwave but remove it if you use convection or a toaster oven to bake this delicious pastry!
Although the ready-made bagel bites come in different tastes and varieties (different toppings) which require somewhat different cooking options, I have tried to find the best one-fits-all solution. Here it goes:
1. Cooking Bagel Bites in a Convection Oven
Do not thaw the bagels but rather bake them right out of the freezer:
- Preheat the oven to approx. 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking pan (I use aluminum sheet pan) with an ungreased baking sheet and arrange the bagel bites about half an inch apart from each other.
- Place the sheet pan on the oven middle rack.
- Let the bagels bake for 10 minutes (or until the topping has melted and the cheese browned a bit).
- Remove the bagel bites from the oven, and let them cool for a minute or so before serving.
2. Cooking Bagel Bites in a Toaster Oven
Once again, the bagel bites need not defrost!
- Set the toaster oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and allow for it to heat.
- Use a nonstick cooking spray to grease the toaster oven tray.
- Place the bagel bites on a tray about half an inch away from each other.
- Put the tray in the toaster oven and let the bagels bake for about fifteen minutes.
- Remove the baked bagel bites from the toaster oven and allow for a minute or two for them to cool before you serve them.
Further Reading: Discover My 5 Best Toaster Oven Recipes – Barbara’s Cooking Guide
3. Cooking Bagel Bites in a Microwave Oven
Cook the frozen bagel bites!
- Take the crisping tray out and remove the plastic wrapping.
- Place the crisping tray with bagels into the microwave.
- Set the microwave to the highest setting and the timer to two minutes.
- Do not take the bagel bites for a minute or two after cooking as to let them cool down.
The Bagel Bites Cooking Instructions: The Make & Bake Option
To be completely honest I have tried the ready/made bagel bites and found them quite satisfying.
However, I could not shake off the quilt of cooking the processed food for my kids. I agree that sometimes it is inevitable, but it should be avoided as much as possible.
Our kids are exposed to all kinds of food when they are out or at school, and I want to make sure that I provide the healthiest possible meals when they are at home. It is my small contribution to their health.
After all, you know that I am used to cooking a lot, and bagel bites will, therefore, be a piece of cake to make!
The best thing about making your own bagel bites is that you can choose the ingredients yourself or let your kids do it. This allows you to choose healthier options such as whole grain bagels, fresh mozzarella cheese, lean turkey sausage, homemade tomato paste and fresh organic veggies.
Another great thing about homemade bagel bites is that you can include your kids in the preparation process as well. They can choose the ingredients and toppings for their bagel bites - that will make them enjoy them more once they are done!
They will also be unable to complain that you have done something wrong (and teens are prone to that, believe me!)!
The process is simple, and the options are endless! Read my homemade bagel bites cooking instructions and get creative - on your own or with your kids, it is up to you!
The Recipe for Homemade Bagel Bites
I have used 20 bagels and created forty bagel bites for my kid's birthday party if that is too much for you can simply divide all the ingredients listed here in half!
The other option, which I wholeheartedly recommend, is to prepare all forty bagel bites, use as much as you like, and freeze the rest. In this way, you will have the ready-made (but healthy!) pastry whenever an unexpected guest comes by, or your kids crave for a quick snack!
Extra Tip: If you choose to freeze the bagel bites, do not thaw them before cooking but rather just add a few minutes to the baking time!
The ingredients you will need to make 40 bagel bites
The Bagels - 20 whole grain bagels from your favorite bakery; or if you choose to make them yourself:
- Half a cup and three additional tablespoons of warm water
- One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- One teaspoon of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
- Two cups of unbleached all-purpose flour (you can use the whole-grain one as well or combine the two - I usually go for the last option)
- One teaspoon of salt
- Sesame seeds
Pizza Sauce - you can buy it, or make it:
- A can of tomatoes (28 oz) - drained, peeled and chopped. Save the liquid!
- One tablespoon of garlic powder
- Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- One tablespoon of brown sugar
- Three tablespoons of homemade tomato paste
- Two teaspoons of dried oregano
- One teaspoon of dried thyme
- A quarter of a teaspoon of dried bay leaves
- A handful of torn fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Making the bagels
- Use a bowl to combine the warm water, yeast, oil, and sugar. Let it sit for about fifteen minutes or until it becomes foamy.
- Add salt and then slowly add the flour and mix until well combined. I use an electric mixer fitted with the bread hook (high speed for ten minutes), but you can do without it too. The dough should form a ball and appear elastic and shiny.
- Take a large bowl, rub inside with some olive oil and place the dough ball inside. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or aluminum foil and let it sit for an hour or so or until the dough doubles in size.
- Place a large bowl of salted water on a stovetop and bring it to a boil. Divide the dough into twenty little balls and use your finger to make a hole in the center of each one. Drop the tiny bagels into the water for a minute or so. Use a skimmer to remove them and place them on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on.
- Place the bagels in the preheated oven (395 degrees) and bake them for about 15 minutes, or until they become golden.
- Let the bagels cool.
Extra Tip: You can eat the hot bagels with some butter too!
Making the pizza sauce
- Set the stove top to medium heat and heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes while stirring vigorously.
- Reduce the heat and then add the remaining ingredients. Let the sauce simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Take the sauce off the stove top and use a hand blender, to puree it to the preferred consistency.
Preparing the bagel bites
- Divide each bagel in half with a serrated knife and then place them all cut-side up on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Broil them for a couple of minutes or until the top becomes golden and crisp.
- Spread some sauce on every bagel, and then add the chosen toppings. Do not overdo it as otherwise the topping will melt everywhere and create quite a mess!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the bagel bites for up to fifteen minutes or until the cheese melts and becomes bubbly.
How Did The Birthday Party Go? Were the Bagel Bites A Big Success?
As you already know, I have chosen the homemade option, and guess what? They turned out great and wowed all the kids (and parents).
In fact, as soon as I have served them the bunch of hungry teenagers ate them in less than five minutes! My boy did not thank me, teenagers seldom do that, but he did not complain either which in his language means a thousand thank you! 🙂
I am just sorry that I have not had the time to take a photo! So I hope you will follow my bagel bites cooking instructions and then make a picture for me to see!
Comments and suggestions are more than welcome as well!