Tech guru solves seedy problem

Tech guru solves seedy problem

It’s a common problem in the Jewish world, but one that seldom is discussed: When you eat an everything bagel, some of the everything falls off your bagel and onto other things, including your shirt.

Good news: There’s a solution.

Grateful bagel noshers should direct their thanks to Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft’s former chief technology officer, who became an expert in high-tech cuisine. In 2011 he published the $500, five-volume “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking.” On Tuesday, the sequel will be published. It’s called “Modernist Bread,” and it claims — plausibly — that its five volumes are “the most in-depth look at bread to date.”

Which brings us back to bagels. has gotten an advance look at the 1,200 recipes in the volumes, and reports that among them is “an innovative take on preventing seed spills: a starch-based slurry coating applied before garnishing the bagel with seeds.”

“We probably tried seven to eight different types of starches before we found the one that worked,” Myhrvold said in an email to Mic. “Once we found the starch that worked best we then had to play with the water-to-starch percentages. If you add too much, the slurry drips off the bagel, but if you add too little, it’s like working with glue.”

Mic tried an everything bagel prepared the Myhrvold way, and reported: “When I bit into an everything bagel prepared by Myhrvold’s team, not a single seed dropped from the bagel onto my lap.”

The secret: modified tapioca starch, mixed with water, using an immersion blender and thickened at room temperature for two to three hours.

Bonus feature: Myhrvold says the starch glue is strong enough to let you (or an enterprising bagel shop) affix heavier toppings to the bagels, like shredded coconut, cocoa nibs, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.


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