Bagels can get stale and rock-hard really quickly, so if you ever find yourself with a surplus of Montreal bagels, here are a few things you can make.
Anything bread can do, bagels can do better, right? Well, maybe not better but definitely just as well. Bagel pieces can easily be transformed into tasty stuffing. Mix in earthy mushrooms, caramelized onions, and woodsy herbs like thyme and rosemary, and you are ready to bake. Sounds like a Sunday supper side to me!
This creamier and more eggy version of stuffing is a riff on the classic bagel and cream cheese combo. It’s not that sweet so you can even justify eating it for breakfast. This would be great with chocolate sauce and can be made in advance. Feel free to mix chopped nuts, chocolate, or dried fruit into the bread pudding mix before baking.
Here's my recipe.
¾ cup white sugar
1½ cups milk
½ cup cream cheese
5 to 6 cups cubed bagels
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper.
Whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and cream cheese, whisking until the cream cheese melts. Gradually whisk the warm milk/cream cheese mixture into the eggs and sugar.
Add bagel cubes into the custard and mix thoroughly. Allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes to soak up the liquid.
Transfer the mixture into the pan and level the top. Bake, covered (with tin foil), for about 45 minutes. After 40 minutes, you can remove the foil and allow the top to brown for the remaining 5 minutes.
This traditional Tuscan bread soup can be made with Montreal bagels, as neither contain salt, so they are the perfect substitute for this application. Loaded with black kale and white beans, this soup can’t be any heartier or more comforting.
Running with the Italian theme, Montreal bagels can also be used as the base for the bread salad known as panzanella. Cube and toast them with plenty of good extra-virgin olive oil until crispy, and then toss with roasted veg, and dress with your go-to vinaigrette (simple red wine vinaigrette would be ideal here).
This is probably the most obvious option available. Day-old Montreal bagels can easily be blitzed into breadcrumbs and applied in a ton of ways, from breading to binders. Just make sure the bagels aren’t too old or it will be like trying to grind little bricks in your food processor.
Sure you can buy bagel chips, but if you already have bagels at the ready, why not make your own? You can simply slice them thinly and bake until golden brown or toss the slices with seasoning or spices and brush with oil before baking. With the plain chips, smear them with a liberal helping of dill-flavoured cream cheese, drape with lox, and top with capers. OK, is it snack time yet?
Melty cheese on toasty, doughy bagels. Yes, you could argue that the hole in the middle makes it a bit more difficult to cook with than it would be with normal bread, but you’ll just have to eat the melted cheese that falls through. Just make sure you make the toasts on a lined tray. It’s a shameless and effective strategy for consuming more cheese.