Wash the eels and cut into 2-inch pieces.
Dry on paper towels.
Combine the breadcrumbs with sage and plenty of freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.
Coat the pieces of eel very thoroughly with the crumbs.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook very gently for 3 minutes.
Add the pieces of eel and fry a little more briskly until crisp.
Remove to a heatproof baking dish.
Coat with the oil and garlic from the frying pan but discard the bay leaves.
Pour the wine into the dish then cook, uncovered, in the centre of a moderate oven (350°F, Mark 4) for 35 to 40 minutes, turning the eels over once.