Love buying and freezing a bunch of freshly-made bagels to store for a whole week or even longer? You’re not alone. Who wouldn’t love to have an extra stock of bagels you can just grab, heat, and eat on the go when your morning becomes so hectic, right? But imagine grabbing one bagel and finding out that it’s already stale. That would be a mood killer. How would you prevent that from happening? We scoured the internet for the freezing method only suited for bagels.
Freezing bagels is easy. But don’t be tempted to just toss them in the freezer and expect them to retain their original flavor. To freeze the bagels the right way, you need to carefully follow the steps below so you can make sure your bagels stay fresh longer:
- Cut the bagel in half.
- Wrap each half in saran wrap.
- Place the wrapped bagels in resealable freezer bags.
- Store in the freezer.
But hold your horses before running down to your kitchen and start cutting your bagels. There are more to the four-step bagel-freezing method. Continue reading below to find out what they are.
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How do you freeze and defrost bagels?
You now know the steps on how to properly freeze bagels. Next, let’s deep dive into the finer details of each step, so you can be sure to keep your bagels taste fresh after being frozen.
1. Cut the bagel in half
To safely cut the bagels in half, lay the bagel on a flat surface. And then gently press it with your hand. Using a serrated knife, cut the bagel sidelong with a smooth motion, making sure that the knife is parallel to the table. Halfway through, stand the bagel and continue cutting until the bread is cleanly separated into two.
Though it may sound easy, cutting this calorie-rich bagel cleanly in half using a knife is considerably hard. If you’re someone who loses their patience easily, don’t make the mistake of standing the bagel then cutting it directly like some experienced master chef and end up as another bagel laceration injury patient.
Why bother with cutting the bagels before freezing? Cutting the bagel will save you from the horror of cutting a thawed frozen bagel that’s filled with moisture due to the freezing.
2. Wrap each half with saran wraps
Get a large saran or plastic wrap sheet to completely cover the slices individually and prevent exposing the bagel from the air in the freezer. If the bagel is still warm, let it cool before wrapping it to avoid moisture buildup in the wrapper.
When wrapping, make sure the sliced surface of the bagel faces down the table. This helps in further ensuring that the inside of the bagel will be subjected to less air exposure.
3. Place the wrapped bagels in a resealable bag
Put the bagels in a freezer-ready resealable bag and label accordingly. If you are freezing bagels with different flavors, we suggest packing them differently. This will help keep each bagel's flavor distinct when you eat them in the future. Nevertheless, you can still put them all together if you prefer it that way.
Remove the excess air from the bag using a vacuum sealer or the water vacuum sealing method by submerging the bag in a bowl or bucket of water until the zipper line.
You should only freeze any food, vegetables, or fruits using a resealable heavy-duty freezer bag. The reason? You can squeeze as much air out to reduce the risk of possible contamination and freezer burn.
4. Store in the freezer
Place the wrapped bagels in the freezer, preferably near the bottom or at the back part, so you ensure they’re frozen with minimal change in temperature around them.
When you’re starting to miss good bagels, there are several ways you can defrost your frozen ones. Here’s how:
1. Leave it at room temperature to thaw
Take the frozen bagels out of the freezer and leave them on your counter to thaw overnight.
2. Toss them into the oven
If you’re worried that thawing the bagel at room temperature might ruin its flavor, heating it in the oven on the day you are going to eat it will be the best option.
Preheat the oven. And spray a little water on the frozen bagel. This will make the bagel exterior crisp after toasting. Then, leave the bagels in the oven for about 15–20 minutes. And you got yourself a sweet-tasting, crispy bagel again.
3. Toast frozen bagels
Don’t have an oven? Heat the sliced bagels using the toaster just like you would with a loaf of bread. You can enjoy your toasted bagels in about 5 minutes.
How long can you freeze bagels?
You now have bagels whenever you crave one for breakfast or are facing a busy day. You can store them in the freezer for the next 3 to 4 months, which is the best time frame if you want to let them taste almost like freshly baked bagels after reheating. Just make sure the temperature in the freezer remains below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
But if you still haven’t fully consumed your stock of bagels within that time, you can certainly extend storing them in the freezer for at least 2 more months. However, the more time they spend in the freezer, the less tasty they become. And they even become harder after reheating in the oven.
How do you keep bagels from getting freezer burn?
No matter how long or short you freeze bagels, there is still a possibility that they will get freezer burn, which can affect the overall quality of the bagel. But you can lessen the chances of this occurring if you completely let the bagels cool down first before storing them.
Furthermore, wrapping the bagels with saran wrap and placing them inside a vacuum-sealed container can decrease freezer burn from damaging the bagels. How so? These two steps prevent the bagels from losing moisture that catalyzes freezer burn.
How do you keep bagels from going stale?
With all the freezing tips above, you can now store your extra bagels longer. Sadly, they do not guarantee that your bagels will taste like freshly baked ones. Time is the enemy of all things; the moment you store the bagels in the freezer, they will slowly lose their original flavor. Thankfully, not completely. Thus, the earlier you consume them, the less likely you will eat bland-tasting bagels.
And if you’re going to consume the bagels within 2 days, store them at room temperature using a paper bag. The paper helps retain the crispiness of the crust and its flavor. Extending the shelf life at room temperature for 4 or 5 days is also possible using a plastic bag as storage. Just remember to toast them before eating.
Storing bagels the right way can provide you a hearty addition to any breakfast anytime, whether you’re up against a busy weekday or taking your time off on a Sunday. And if you want to keep a supply of bagels without having to visit your favorite bakeshop, freezing is the way to storing more bagels for breakfast. Nothing beats freezing in extending the shelf life of bagels. So pop your extra stock of bagels in the freezer by following the steps on this blog.