Bagel chips and finding our way home
With working half-time at the South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Freeport, NY, I often arrive on a Thursday for a four- to five-day stint in residence. I come prepared with single-serve meals that husband Stephen and I have stored in wonderful glass-bottomed and plastic-top containers. I divvy my food between the refrigerator and the freezer, and peruse what has been left from Sunday refreshments. On one particular day, there was a half a grocery bag filled with bagels that had been sliced in half and in half again.
And yep, you guessed it, bagel chips jumped to mind.
I tossed the bagel bag into another plastic one and tucked it into my insulated Trader Joe’s bag for processing when I got home. (When making bagel chips, it doesn’t really matter if the bagels are a little stale. In fact, when they are slightly stale, they are easier to slice.)
Once home, I sliced them up, which yielded about 16 cups, coated them with butter (you can use oil, if you want to bring down the saturated fat level), laced them with spices and baked them in a 325° oven for 20 minutes or so. I like Tex Mex flavor, so my go-to is usually garlic, smoked paprika, chili powder and salt.
The chips are easy and tasty, and I really enjoy them as a topping on the broth soups we have been having lately. They also make great croutons.
Because some of them were quite large, I decided to chop them up a bit—and, boom, it hit me. I thought I could package them up and call them “Hansel and Gretel Bread Crumbs” and give them away as cute presents from my kitchen. As a prototype, I bagged up a couple of bags, vacuum packed them and made a quick label, ideal for taking croutons for a salad lunch with a dear friend.
And thus was born: “Hansel and Gretel Bread Crumbs: savory bagel chips, perfect for salads and soups. May you always find your way back home.”
Food has a way of doing just that: leading us and others home.
Create your own flavors and enjoy.
Homemade bagel chips
8 bagels, cut into ¼-inch slices (sometimes you can find them reduced at your local grocery store; 2 bags of frozen bagels would work as well.)
½ cup butter, melted
2 tsp. garlic powder or garlic salt
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. chili powder
salt, pepper and additional spice amounts to taste
Melt butter in a small skillet, add spices. Using two half-sheet trays, pour 2 Tbsp. of butter mixture into the bottom of the trays. Put half the chips into each tray and use spatula to spread around in the butter. Using a pastry brush, dot the rest of the butter over the chips. Toss with spatula to coat more or less evenly. Bake in a 325° oven for 20 minutes. Adjust spices to your taste. Turn off oven and allow to remain in warm oven for another 20 minutes. Store chips in airtight container.