Why It Works
- Cutting the bagel in this unorthodox manner exposes more of the tender and dense inner crumb, allowing it to soak up that much more garlic butter.
- Those same slits act as custom-made pockets for melted fresh mozzarella cheese.
Sliced vertically in the now-infamous St. Louis style, a tender, doughy bagel becomes the perfect vehicle for melted garlic butter and gooey fresh mozzarella cheese. It's the cheesy garlic bread you didn't know you needed in your life.
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces; 115g)
- 6 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
- Kosher salt
- 2 bagels
- One (8-ounce; 225g) ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- Warm marinara sauce, for dipping (optional)
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until foaming. Add garlic and cook until sizzling and fragrant but not browned, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Season with salt.
Using a serrated knife, make about 7 vertical cuts through the bagel, making sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom. Spoon garlic butter into each of the bagel's slits, distributing it evenly.
Place bagels on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crispy and golden in spots, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a butter knife or bench scraper, pry open each bagel slit and stuff a slice of mozzarella down into it. (You may need to trim the mozzarella to fit in order to minimize overhang.)
Return to the oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer. Serve warm, with marinara sauce for dipping, if desired.