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How to Keep Bagels Fresh for Many Days

how to keep bagels fresh
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / JayMantri

Delicious bagels will be eaten quickly, but if you find yourself with leftovers, they shouldn't be thrown out. Learn how to keep bagels fresh with these tips.

Bagels are a perennial American favorite and a common fresh food staple in most kitchens. Whether you are a fan of the iconic New York-style bagel or your bagel allegiances lie with those from Charlottesville, one thing is certain; no one likes a stale, dry bagel. Wondering how to keep bagels fresh? There are some super simple ways to store them and revive those that might already seem past their prime. 

How to Keep Bagels Fresh

Refrigerated bagels will go stale faster.
Refrigerated bagels will go stale faster.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / RaviKrishnappa)

Believe it or not, refrigerating bagels actually makes them go stale a lot quicker than storing them on the counter. The best way to store fresh bagels in the short term is in paper bags at room temperature. Stored in this way, bagels will be perfectly fine to eat within a day or two of buying them.

If you opt for keeping bagels on the shelf for a little longer, wrap the paper bags in an extra plastic bag. Paper bags will keep the crust and flavor of the bagel intact, while plastic bag retains moisture and stops the bagels from becoming hard and dry.

Doing this will mean you can keep bagels at room temperature for up to five days without them becoming a chore to eat, although you will likely need to toast the bagels before eating them. Beyond the previous two methods discussed, the ultimate way to store bagels while ensuring long-term freshness is to freeze your freshly-bought bagels as soon as you get back from the store or local bakery.

Cold Storage of Bagels

Wondering how to keep bagels fresh? Freezing them is the best option.
Wondering how to keep bagels fresh? Freezing them is the best option.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / JAQ-WoJ)

Freezing bagels immediately means that they will keep for four months, assuming you have them in an airtight plastic bag – though you can also freeze bagels without plastic. Just make sure the bagels are not still warm, otherwise, they will sweat in the bag. For added convenience you should consider pre-slicing the bagels before you freeze them, this means that you don’t need to thaw them later and can just put your bagel slices directly into the toaster.

The rule of thumb is, the fresher the bagel is before freezing, the fresher it will be once you thaw it out later. Stale bagels can still be frozen of course, but when thawed out they will still be pretty stale, so toasting them is the way to go…along with a generous amount of (vegan) cream cheese, naturally.

Reviving Stale Bagels

Stale bagels can be revived in the oven after spritzing with a little water..
Stale bagels can be revived in the oven after spritzing with a little water..
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Ncpancy)

If you forgot to store or freeze your bagels, and a few extras are left to go stale, it’s not the end of the world. You can revive them easily enough meaning you don’t need to compost them or throw them out. While they will never be as good as they are fresh, this method of softening the bagel will make them easier to eat. 

All you need to do is lightly spritz your stale bagels with a little water (remember less is more, you don’t want your bagels soaking wet!) before placing them in a preheated oven at 300ºF to 350ºF for 8 to 10 minutes. Basically, all you want to do is bake just long enough for the bagel crust to regain some of its crunchy texture and for the dough to be warm and fluffy inside.

Keep in mind that once you defrost a bagel or bake it to revive it again, you shouldn’t re-freeze them again, so if you dip into your frozen stash bagel stash or want to use up those stale leftovers, you should plan on eating right then and there.

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