Having breakfast with a warm and fragrant bagel is one of the best ways to start the day. If you like bagels, you probably won't be able to resist the temptation to buy more than one at a time. To keep them as fresh as fresh from the oven, you can store them in the pantry for a few days or in the freezer for up to six months. Do not put them in the refrigerator, otherwise they will deteriorate quickly.
Method 1 of 2: Storing the Bagels in the Pantry (Short Term)
Step 1. Set aside the bagels that you are sure you won't be able to eat within a week
Back from the supermarket or immediately after taking them out of the oven, divide the bagels into two groups, separating those you intend to eat within a few days from those you want to keep for longer. Bagels belonging to the second group should be placed in the freezer.
- Freshly bought or baked bagels can be stored in the pantry for up to 7 days. However, keep in mind that after 2 or 3 days they will start to get stale. The best option is to freeze any that you think you won't be able to eat within a couple of days.
- The bagels that you can find on the market generally can be kept in the pantry for up to 5-7 days before they become stale. Place them directly in the freezer if you think you won't be able to eat them within a week.
Step 2. Seal the bagels in a paper bag to preserve their freshness
Place the paper bag in a resealable plastic bag. This double protection will keep them fresh for a few days. Before sealing the bag, gently squeeze it to let the air out to protect the bagels from moisture.
Step 3. Make sure the bagel packaging is not punctured or damaged
When you buy them at the grocery store, bagels usually come in a thin plastic wrap. If the bag is perfectly intact, you can use it to store bagels in the pantry for up to a week. After checking that the package is not punctured, open it, let all the air out and then seal it again.
- If there is even a single small hole, transfer the bagels to a resealable grocery bag. Make sure you've let all the excess air out before sealing it.
- Once opened, it is generally possible to seal the bagel bag with the special strap. If the strap is not present or not effective, you can close the package with a knot.
Step 4. Preheat the oven to 175 ° C to toast the bagels
Before putting them in the oven, sprinkle them with a little water, then place them directly on the central shelf of the preheated oven. Check them after 5 minutes to see if they are toasted the way you want them. If you prefer them a little more crunchy, leave them in the oven for another 5 minutes (or even longer). Check them every 5 minutes until they are perfectly toasted.
- The water will revive the texture of the bagels once in the oven and make them soft and tasty as if they were freshly made.
- If you are concerned that the bagels will slip through the slots of the oven rack, you can place them on a baking sheet without the need to grease or butter it.
- If you prefer, you can toast the bagels with the toaster, but using the oven will give a better result.
Method 2 of 2: Store the Bagels in the Freezer (Long Term)
Step 1. Cut the bagels in half before freezing them
The simplest way to toast frozen bagels is to put them directly in the toaster. If you cut them before putting them in the freezer, you won't have to let them defrost to be able to cut them. Divide them in half using a bread knife with a serrated blade or a special bagel slicer.
If you are fond of bagels and eat them often, you can buy a bagel slicer online. You can also use it to cut cakes, muffins and sandwiches
Step 2. Wrap the individual bagels in plastic wrap
After cutting them in half, wrap them one by one in a piece of cling film making sure they are completely sealed.
The cling film will offer additional protection against cold burns
Step 3. Place the bagels in a resealable bag suitable for freezing food
To keep the freezer tidy, it is best to bundle the bagels in a bag. This way, you won't risk them scattering in the freezer. The bag will also act as an additional barrier to protect against cold burns. Write the packaging date on the bag using a permanent marker to know by when it is best to eat the bagels.
- If you don't have time to wrap the bagels individually in plastic wrap, you can put them directly in the bag. However, keep in mind that they will be more exposed to cold burns.
- After wrapping the bagels individually in cling film to give them extra protection, it is better to put them in a bag for freezing food, rather than leaving them in their original packaging.
Step 4. Freeze the bagels immediately after purchasing or taking them out of the oven
That way, when you are ready to eat them, they will be as fresh as if they were freshly made. If you've miscalculated and haven't been able to eat all the ones you haven't frozen within 48 hours, you can still freeze them without much worry.
Packaged bagels can last up to a week if you store them at room temperature. While it is best to immediately freeze the ones you think you won't be able to eat within 7 days, there should be no problem freezing the leftover ones at the end of the week
Step 5. Toast the bagels without letting them defrost
There is nothing simpler than toasting frozen bagels. When you're ready to eat them, put them in the toaster and give them time to warm up and become fragrant.
- Unlike fresh bagels you keep in the pantry, frozen ones can be toasted both in the oven and in the toaster to achieve the same result. If you want to use the oven, set it to 175 ° C and let them heat for at least 10 minutes.
- In the oven, bagels may need a few more minutes or extra toasting. Check them frequently and let them heat until crisp and fragrant.
Step 6. Eat bagels stored in the freezer within 6 months
After 6 months, they are likely to start deteriorating due to low temperatures. In addition to developing cold burns, they may be stiff and stale, even after careful roasting. If you haven't been able to finish them in time, the best thing to do is throw them away and buy (or churn out) more. Remember that you will need to repeat the steps to properly store them in the pantry or freezer.