Scientist finds way to keep pesky bagel seeds in place

Former Microsoft engineer Nathan Myhrvold figures out the perfect way to keep toppings on "everything" bagels from falling off.

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Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton

We dare you to bite into an everything bagel and not have most of the toppings fall to the floor. 

Scott Stein/CNET

Anyone who's eaten an "everything" bagel knows that most of the toppings like pretzel salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and caraway seeds usually end up in your lap the minute you bite into it. 

This seedy mess is an annoying problem if you want to keep your kitchen -- or more likely your computer keyboard -- free from bagel debris. But if you happen to own a restaurant that serves everything bagels, it could mean hefty fines from the health department when loose seeds and bagel bits land on the floor, attracting mice and other rodents. 

Enter our hero Nathan Myhrvold, food scientist and former chief technology officer at Microsoft. He recently figured out how to keep everything bagel toppings from falling off. 

As co-author of the new cookbook series "Modernist Bread," Myhrvold offers an interesting way to prevent seed spills on these popular bagels. He's created an easy recipe for a heavy, starchy coating to apply on bagel tops before adding seeds and other tasty toppings. 

Myhrvold's extra-sticky starch recipe uses modified tapioca starch, water and the garnish of choice.

This substantial coating also offers a solution for those of us who really do want to add everything to a bagel such as sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, dried onion flakes, walnut pieces and my favorite topping choices -- chocolate chips and gummy bears. 

Just be careful not to add every topping on a single bagel, unless you have adventurous tastebuds that can handle a gummy bear, onion and coconut extravaganza.

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