From storing homemade or store-bought bagels to preserving them for the long term, this guide will surely help you. Learn how much time they have left before going stale and what methods work best to keep your favorite bakes fresh.
Don't you agree that one of the best ways to start your day is to have a bite into a warm, perfectly baked bagel?
If you are a fan of bagels, you probably buy more than one at a time.
So the questions of how to keep your bagels fresh and how much time you have until they go stale raise themselves.
There are two options: use the pantry or the freezer. Trying to refrigerate bagels is possible but should be avoided: bagels will go stale faster.
So, once you bake a batch of homemade bagels or come back home from a store or bakery, you should divide bagels into two groups.
One group will contain bagels you and your family will finish within the next few days.
Another group will keep bagels longer and go to the freezer.
Use the guide below to learn how to store bagels, how to prolong their shelf life, and what to avoid.
Please consider that this guide covers the storage of traditional plain bagels.
It means different types of bagels with additives or added mix-ins, such as blueberries, have different shelf life and storage instructions.
How to store bagels for up to a week
The good news is that you can safely store fresh bagels at room temperature (about 68°F or 20°C) for 5-7 days, ideally for a couple of days.
Check bagels for mold or discoloration every two days if you keep them up to a week.
Let the freshly baked bagels cool down completely before placing them in a brown paper bag, then a plastic bread bag.
Please, make sure to press the air out of the plastic bag before sealing it to control the moisture.
You can keep the store-bought bagels in the original packaging, but check it for holes and tears.
Nowadays, some bakeries and bagel stores use thin perforated bags for their goods. In this case, transfer bagels to a bread bag.
How to freeze bagels
To keep your bagels fresh for longer than 5-7 days, try freezing them.
Ideally, freeze fresh bagels right after making or buying them or at least within the first two days you receive them.
You can also freeze the 5-7 days old bagels, but check them for molding.
The best idea is to slice your bagels before freezing. Why? Because you will be able to toast them without thawing; so they will be ready.
Use a bagel slicer (the best gift for a bagel lover) or a serrated knife to slice bagels in half.
This extra layer of protection is essential to prevent freezer burn. Now is the time to label the bag with the date to know when your bagels are near expiration.
If you are short on time, you can skip the wrapping of each bagel, but be aware of possible freezer burn.
Also, don't freeze store-bought bagels in the store's plastic bag. It should be at least placed in a resealable, airtight bag for better protection.
Store your bagels in the freezer for up to 3 months to maintain the optimum quality.
You can extend the freezing period to 6 months, but bagels will start developing freezer burn and won't taste good even after the proper toasting.
How to defrost them
While there are tips for defrosting most food items, you should not defrost bagels. Why? Because they may turn slightly stale while thawing.
If you want a bagel along with your morning coffee, don't defrost it - just toast the frozen one instead.
Remember that you can't refreeze bagels once defrosted (not recommended, though) and toasted. They will lose their texture and taste.
How to toast bagels
Heating or toasting bagels are the best ways of reviving stale bagels stored for up to 5-7 days.
Using the oven is the best way to toast your bagel. Preheat the oven to 350°F or 177°C.
And use a little trick if the bagel is extremely dry. Sprinkle the surface of the bagel (whole or the one sliced in half) with a bit of water and place your bread on the middle rack of the hot oven.
You can also place it on a cookie or baking sheet without greasing it, but direct placing on the rack works best.
It usually takes about 5 minutes to toast the bagel, but check the level of crispiness according to your liking.
To get your bagel crispier, extend the cooking time for an additional 5 minutes. Then, check your bagel every 2-5 minutes until you are happy with the result.
A toaster or preheated toaster oven are other good options to revive your bread too.
You can also use the microwave oven to warm the bagel for 20 seconds, covering it with a damp paper towel. Continue with 10-second increments until the desired bagels' texture.
But how to toast a frozen bagel? To enjoy the frozen bagel any time of the day, you don't need to thaw it.
Just bring it to a toaster and use a crispy setting or use the oven preheated to 350°F or 177°C and warm up your bagel for about 10 minutes.
Check your treat for crispiness, and cook it a few extra minutes if desired. Then spread cream cheese or peanut butter and enjoy!
What to avoid with storing bagels?
First, don't refrigerate bagels as they dry out faster than at room temperature and tend to stale faster.
As an exception, you can refrigerate bagels in hot or humid conditions for one day at maximum before serving.
Also, try to keep them away from direct sunlight and moisture and heat to preserve bagels fresh.
Do bagels go bad?
Storing bagels on the counter at room temperature longer than a week (in most cases 3-4 days) will result in mold growth and should be discarded.
As a general rule, discard bagels with any stains and discolorations (white, greenish-blue, or black spots). Also, throw away those that smell unusual.
Also, it is not recommended to use bagels stored in the freezer for longer than six months, according to some authors, one year.
This is because bagels will develop freezer burn that will affect their texture and taste.
In conclusion, a good bagel is great for breakfast and can last up to 5-7 days.
If you want to store your bagels for longer, it is best to freeze them.
Make sure to follow these useful tips to maintain the original freshness of bagels.
And please share this post with your friends and family to help spread the word.
Stored at room temperature, bagels ideally last for about 2 to 3 days, maximum up to 7 days. To extend their shelf life, you should freeze them.
To keep your bagels fresh, store them in a paper bag at normal room temperature, and they will last for up to two days. For even longer storage, up to a week, store them in a sealed bag in the pantry. To keep bagels for longer, please, freeze them.
It is a tricky question. According to some sources, it is not recommended to store bagels in the fridge since bagels tend to dry out. However, other sources say that it is ok to refrigerate bagels.
Yes, just wrap sliced bagels in plastic film, then aluminum foil, or put them (being wrapped in plastic) in a Ziploc freezer bag or freezer-safe airtight container and freeze them.
Stored in the right conditions in the freezer (at 0°F or -18°C), bagels will maintain optimum quality for about 3 -6 months (according to some sources, up to one year).
Yes, with proper storage in the freezer. Frozen bagels usually have a "best before" date, which means the manufacturer estimates how long the bagels will maintain optimum quality.