Tie your bagel in a knot!

By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics

Our post on how to cut a bagel into two linked halves was so popular that we thought we’d show you some more mathematical food play: how to knot a bagel. (This also works with inner tubes, but they’re very chewy.)


The bread of a bagel forms a simple loop, which mathematicians call “the unknot.” But there are two easy ways to cut a bagel into a simple overhand knot, or “trefoil” knot. Above is a what mathematicians call “the (2,3)-torus knot toasted with cream cheese.”


Another is the (3,2)-torus knot, shown here with a string following the path of the bagel, to make it clear how it’s a trefoil knot.

Detailed recipes for both of these breakfasts are shown here.