What to do with three-day-old bagels?

I always end up with a few extra bagels when I buy them from the bakery and the fresh ones get stale so fast.  I’ve tried freezing the leftovers, as my younger sister recommends.  But those are soon forgotten and later found too frost bitten to reheat.  So the other day, I tried something a little different with the leftovers – bread pudding.

It was effortless and yummy.  I did some research and went with an adaptation of Paula Dean’s recipe.  The bagels themselves were already sweet and seasoned with cinnamon swirls.  So I cut the bagels into bite sized cubes and soaked them in a mixture of egg, milk and sugar.  Three bagels turned out to be just the right amount for the liquid portion of Paula’s recipe.  After baking it for 45 minutes I topped off each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I’m hoping for leftover bagels next time I buy a dozen for my family just for an excuse to try out this recipe again.

Leftover Bagel Pudding

Adapted from Paula Dean’s “The Best Bread Pudding”

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut 3 sweet bagels (like cinnamon swirl, cinnamon raisin, cranberry and honey wheat) into bite-size pieces.

Mix together:
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Then soak bagel pieces in liquid for at least 10 minutes.  Then pour into a baking dish and bake for 35-45 minutes

In the spirit of creative uses of leftovers and in anticipation of the many leftovers we will all have in a week’s time, the New York Times article, “A Radical Rethinking of Thanksgiving Leftovers”, has some ideas.  I may restrain myself from overindulging this Thanksgiving if just to have more leftovers to reinvent the next day!

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