Finagled Bagels

When I first heard about Rockstar Bagels, the New York-style bagels that are a such a rare find in Austin,

Rockstar Bagels were a hit at the June Austin Breakfast Club picnic in the park!
Rockstar Bagels were a hit at the June Austin Breakfast Club picnic in the park!

Texas, despite the diversity of culinary offerings here, from Jodi of TastyTouring, I knew I had to try them! Not only are we deprived of true bagels in Austin, but I grew up in El Paso, Texas, where the only bagel shop in town was closed on…yes…Sundays!…A bagel’s most-wanted day of the week!  It was time to halt my real bagel deprivation once and for all. 


I contacted Joe Humel, the part-time drummer, music-lover, and the modest, kind-hearted and behind-the-scenes face of Rockstar Bagels to place an order for the Austin Breakfast Club’s potluck breakfast held at Butler Park this past Sunday.  While coordinating the order with Joe via e-mail when he was out of town, his dedication to his product was more than apparent.  He fulfilled my request, and set up a time for me to pick up the freshly-baked dough-y delights from his assistant, Amanda, at his shared kitchen downtown right before the picnic (which were de-lish, by the way!). 

Amanda requested that I contact Joe after he returned from his trip to provide payment and to receive a receipt.  Since I try not to have any I.O.U.’s, I planned to meet Joe at his kitchen last night at 8:30 PM, just when he, and his 2nd pair of hands, Ben, were beginning the next day’s bagel batches.  I thought there was a chance I’d just stop by, meet Joe, pay, and leave, but I was pleasantly surprised when the kitchen door was opened and a 30-minute conversation began instantly.  We talked about the bagel business, only open for 3 months, and the need for a larger kitchen space, since the bagels are much in demand among coffeeshops/local food retailers around the city. We talked about starting philanthropic bagel projects to donate to those unable to afford nourishment, bagel-making classes for kids, and Joe’s passion for his business, despite his “sleepless days”, as he calls them, since he works in the kitchen all night, and rarely stops to rest among morning deliveries and his band’s shows.  We also talked about the incredible network of local businesses in Austin that Rockstar Bagels now belongs to, and Go Local Austin, a $10 card that provides users with discounts at local businesses around Austin! (If you are a local business owner and would like more information on participation, please contact me!)  All in all, a deep conversation, I would say!  But, I left Joe’s in a great mood as the result of our discussion, inspired by his passion, and with even more appreciation for the hard work he puts into his delicious bagels.

Now, because we had so many amazing dishes at our potluck breakfast, I ended up with about 1 dozen bagels left over.  Besides eat them just as they are, I decided to get creative with them, and after being in the sun, they became firm.  This is where I “finagled” the bagels. I decided to make bagel croutons for a summer salad! They were so easy to make, and *this recipe can be created with any type of leftover bread, but I prefer the bagels, especially since they already had garlic, poppy seeds, and everything toppings, so the flavor is built-in! Check out the recipe and photos below!

Breakfast bagels finagled into a summer salmon citrus salad with bagel croutons! Viola!
Breakfast bagels finagled into a summer salmon citrus salad with bagel croutons! Viola!

Finagled Bagel Crouton Recipe


  • 1-day old bagels (with garlic, poppy seed, and everything toppings)

  • Olive oil


  1. Wrap a cookie sheet with tin foil

  2. Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit

  3. Carefully use a sharp knife to slice the tough outer crust of the bagels, slicing them into cubes

  4. Place bagel cubes on the cookie sheet

  5. Drizzle with olive oil

  6. Toss with a spoon to coat all cubes lightly with oil

  7. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, but check them as you approach 20 minutes. They will be ready when the croutons are slightly toasty around the edges and have slightly browned.

  8. Add to any salad and enjoy the flavorful crunch!

Double-entertainment Rebeccammendation: Rockstar Bagels, and Finagled Bagel Croutons! If you are entertaining out of town family or house guests for a whole weekend, or just feeding your own family and friends, pre-order Rockstar Bagels to serve at a morning brunch, and make the croutons to serve on a salad for lunch or dinner!

6 thoughts on “Finagled Bagels”

  • Jodi June 10, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Awesome post! Every time I see another picture of those bagels I can taste the delicious crunch and flavor. Yum!

  • lisaiscooking June 10, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Great save with the leftover bagels! Your croutons looks great!

  • TheRebecca June 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Thanks, guys! I remember making home-made croutons when I was a little girl at home w/ my Mom, but bagel croutons are definitely a new treat! Joe is amazing, can’t wait to order more soon!

  • El Chuco June 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I heard you can get Sarita Heller’s flan recipe, i want to make it for a romantic picnic at the park.

  • TheRebecca June 12, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    In order for you to have heard that, you must know who I am. If you want the flan recipe, you’ll need to tell me who you are!

  • The Sistermmendation June 15, 2009 at 12:13 am

    i want a bagel right now! yummy. and your salad looks fantastic!

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