Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hello Again Hole-y Bread

As evident by my lapse in posting I have been busy as a gluten free bee lately baking up a storm for holiday orders. Gift baskets, birthdays, holiday parties, fundraisers, meetings, and presents for lucky gluten free girls and boys. Since so much of my time is spent in the kitchen baking sweet treats I have not had as much time to prepare leisurely meals for myself so I have had to mix up my cooking regimen a bit. Now just because I am busy does not mean I’m going to toss in the towel and microwave a frozen dinner or even worse make a run for the border (no offense to all you Taco Bell lovers out there, admittedly I use to be one too!). What I did do though was revisit a favorite quickie meal of my youth, one that I use to make when I was of an age where I was just barely tall enough to reach the knobs on the oven and use of a stove involved parental supervision. While this meal is most definitely quick and easy it by no means sacrifices nutrition or deliciousness one itty bitty bit.


Back in the day when I was a busy student/theater worker one of my go to meals between school and work was a toasted bagel. Spread with sweet cream cheese, topped with peanut butter, or smeared with butter and jam, warm toasted bagels were always a quick, delicious and filling meal for a girl on the go.  When I gave gluten the boot, bagels by default were shoved out of the picture as well, for a while at least. After a few months into the diet one day while shopping I noticed gluten free bagels in the freezer section of one of my local stores, at this point in my new gluten free diet I was still feeling scorned by many a disappointing frozen gluten free baked good experiences so I shyed away from the round, holey baked goods not wanting to develop any negative feelings about a food I use to enjoy so very much.


Flash forward a few years of gluten free eating and baking later and I find myself at the grocery store, taking a quick break from my baking to pick up a few missing ingredients and searching for something delicious and quick to prepare for myself for dinner. I made my way to the alternative breads section as I always do to check for new products and peruse the tasty gf offerings. They had all my usual prebaked bready favorites, brown rice tortillas, Kinnikinnick pizza crusts, and sweet brown rice bread. I went to reach for the tortillas thinking I would just make a quick quesadilla and that’s when I noticed them, right between the flax seed bread and some vegan muffins a bag of big, fluffy, sesame seed speckled Glutino bagels.  Now I knew from past experiences that Glutino had proven to be a pretty reliable source of scrumptious gluten free baked goods, their mini pretzels are my favorite and their cinnamon raisin bread when toasted is one of the yummiest frozen breads I have found. So I figured there was a pretty good chance that their bagels might be a tasty choice and plopped a bag of 5 in my basket and headed for the check out.


As soon as I saw the bagels I knew what I was going to make, as much as I love bagels with sweet toppings it was well past dinner time and all I had to eat that day was taste tests of many of the baked goodies I had been preparing since I awoke that morning so I needed something with a bit more substance than a bagel with sweet goodness on top.


One of the first cookbooks I received as a child had a recipe for pizza in it, now mind you this was a recipe book for children in the 6 to 7 year old range so there would be no oven involved in the original recipe.  This pizza recipe involved a bagel, pizza toppings, and a mommy to pop the completed pizza in a toaster oven to cook. Since I don’t have a toaster oven I improvised and used a big girl oven, otherwise the method for preparation was about the same and the end product just as delicious as I remember it.


Gluten Free Pizza Bagels



2 gluten free bagels, sliced in half

Tomato sauce

Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Deli ham, cut into small pieces

Pineapple, cut into small slices

Sprinkling of dry Italian herbs



Pop the bagels in the toaster and while they are toasting gather the ingredients you are going to be using as toppings. I decided to make a Hawaiian pizza but feel free to use whatever toppings you like best on your pizza.  Once the bagels are toasted set them on a cookie sheet and then add your toppings. I like to start with a swirl of tomato sauce, then add a sprinkling of cheese, a few pieces of ham and pineapple and finish with a dash of dried Italian spices like oregano and basil. 

Once the bagels are topped pop the cookie sheet in the oven set to broil until the cheese melts and starts to bubble up a bit.


Enjoy your pizzas right out of the oven with a glass of vino or grape juice if you really want to reminisce on childhood meals past.


As with many of their other products the Glutino bagels did not disappoint and in fact tasted just as good as I remembered bagels to taste. I am already looking forward to making some of my sweet bagel favorites with them. In fact I think I might have found the perfect excuse to open that last jar of peach butter I have been saving from last summer. 

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