The best way to cut a bagel, according to a mathematician

Even the most brilliant chefs love a good kitchen hack. Whether they’re shortcuts for peeling fruits and veggies or quick tips to speed up your prep time, we can all appreciate a tip for making tastier food as quickly as possible.

Now, mathematician Eugenia Cheng has devised a game-changing hack for breakfast lovers everywhere: a way to cut your bagel for optimal cream cheese slathering.

20 Things to do with Leftover Bread
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20 Things to do with Leftover Bread

Read on to learn several ways to use leftover bread.

French Toast With Amaretto Crème

Morning decadence at its best—vegan-style. Simplify this recipe by skipping the Amaretto Crème and serving it with fresh berries and a bit of maple syrup. Although, if you’re a sucker for anything almond-flavored, the crème is a must.

Get the recipe: French Toast with Amaretto Crème

Whole-Wheat Skillet Croutons

Forget the salty, greasy croutons from the store. Keep this homemade version around for salads and soups.

Get the recipe: Whole-Wheat Skillet Croutons

Grilled Dark Chocolate Sandwich

Both simpler and more decadent than a chocolate croissant, a grilled chocolate sandwich is a marriage of bread and chocolate in which the two components are evenly matched.

Get the recipe: Grilled Dark Chocolate Sandwich

Creamed Kale Crostini

Looking for the perfect appetizer for entertaining? Try this creamed kale with two cheeses and red pepper flakes served on toast.

Get the recipe: Creamed Kale Crostini

Sweet-Spiced Bread Sticks

The kids will love these sweet bread sticks—and they're super easy to make!

Get the recipe: Sweet-Spiced Bread Sticks

Toast With Honey Mascarpone And Nutella

This recipe is so simple and delicious. All you need is mascarpone, honey, strawberries and Nutella.

Get the recipe: Toast with Honey Mascarpone and Nutella

Avocado Toast

Also known as “earth’s butter,” velvety avocados add richness to your plain toast, and their heart-healthy fats will keep you satisfied with this snack until lunch.

Get the recipe: Avocado Toast

Chocolate-Bread Parfaits

Turn leftover loaves into creamy, nutty parfaits. This is another one the kids will love!

Get the recipe: Chocolate-Bread Parfaits

The Pizzawitch

This is a white pizza-inspired grilled cheese with taleggio, fresh ricotta, basil, spinach, bacon, red pepper flakes and olive oil—all sandwiched on sliced focaccia.

Get the recipe: The Pizzawitch

Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach & Mushrooms

Bread pudding, an economical dish designed to use up stale bread, is most often associated with dessert. But this version is equally comforting as a savory option, enriched with cheese and studded with vegetables.

Get the recipe: Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach & Mushrooms

Breakfast Fruit Bread Pudding

Studded with strawberries, this breakfast recipe is a cross between a baked French toast and a dessert bread pudding. Swap in almost any fruit depending on what’s in season. Although we typically suggest using whole-grain bread, we stuck with challah for this recipe (because the results are so luscious).

Get the recipe: Breakfast Fruit Bread Pudding

Garlic Bread With Everything

This garlic bread is topped with an abundance of herbs, garlic and butter. A sprinkling of spices is mixed in to perk up the flavors, while a bit of lemon acts as a brightener.

Get the recipe: Garlic Bread with Everything

Egg Salad Sandwich

This high-protein, low-carb salad has gotten a bad rap because of unappealing deli versions served on soggy bread. But, oh, how wonderful an egg salad can be when well made, with its bright yellow yolk, flecks of herbs, and a bit of mayonnaise. This basic salad can be embellished with many flavorings—crumbly bacon, a chopped pickle, diced red bell pepper, capers, olives, chives, dill, or a sprinkling of curry powder. Serve with lettuce, and maybe cheese and tomato, on hearty bread (sliced on the thin side).

Get the recipe: Egg Salad Sandwich

Baked Onion Soup With A Gruyere Cheese Bread Crust

You can’t beat a good bowl of onion soup with beautifully sweet slow-cooked onions.

Get the recipe: Baked Onion Soup with a Gruyere Cheese Bread Crust

Bruschetta With Homemade Ricotta, Prosciutto And Arugula

This is a quick and perfect snack to treat yourself to—and it's an ideal use for homemade ricotta.

Get the recipe: Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta, Prosciutto and Arugula

Roasted Tomato-Bread Soup

Tomatoes, onions and garlic develop a deep, rich flavor when roasted for this warm meal. A mix of different colored cherry tomatoes will add a playful note.

Get the recipe: Roasted Tomato-Bread Soup

Bread & Tomato Salad

Gather tomatoes and basil from your garden, cut up some day-old country bread and make this flavorful, easy salad. It's our take on the classic Italian bread salad known as panzanella.

Get the recipe: Bread & Tomato Salad

Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

Cornbread stuffing, a Southern favorite, is a nice change from more traditional white bread stuffing. This delectable recipe uses Italian turkey sausage, rather than pork, and omits all the butter and cream to cut the fat by two-thirds. This stuffing is lower in sodium as well, and it's so easy to make that it’s sure to become a favorite side year-round.

Get the recipe: Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

Apple-Raisin Stuffing

Do you prefer a stuffing that's a little sweet? Try this exquisite version that balances the savory ingredients with apples, raisins and a touch of cinnamon.

Get the recipe: Apple-Raisin Stuffing

Pineapple & Ham Bread Soufflé

A bread pudding-soufflé hybrid, this dish gets its inspiration from a rich, pineapple soufflé traditionally served as an accompaniment to baked ham. For the best texture and flavor, look for soft whole-wheat sandwich bread without any added malt or molasses. Be sure to use canned, not fresh pineapple—fresh pineapple makes the soufflé too wet.

Get the recipe: Pineapple & Ham Bread Soufflé


Normally, we cut bagels straight down the middle, leaving a top half with all the good flavors and seasonings and a bottom half that only tastes like whatever topping you add. Cheng’s method cuts the bagel in such a way that the top and bottom stay together, but there’s still room to spread on as much cream cheese as you like.

She does this using a mathematical structure called the Möbius strip, a one-sided surface that looks like a twisted rubber band in geometrical depictions. Business Insider revealed exactly how she does it.

You start cutting in the middle of the bagel with the blade of the knife facing left. About half way around, you twist the knife so you’re cutting in a spiral-like pattern. As you reach the place you first cut, your knife will be facing right—and the bagel will still be in tact. That leaves you to put all the cream cheese you desire in the middle. And since you now can see part of the “bagel guts” that you normally don’t get with a typical cut, there’s even more space for spreads.

Now you have a cream cheese-covered, spiral bagel sandwich. Of course, mastering this type of cut may take some time, and it’s definitely more complex than using a bagel cutter. Or you may just prefer eating a bagel in halves. Either way, at least you have a little bit of mathematical knowledge to impress your bagel-loving friends. Speaking of impressive math skills, can you figure out how many triangles are in this image?

[Source: Business Insider]

The post The Best Way to Cut a Bagel, According to a Mathematician appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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