Bagels originate from Poland and are a part of the Jewish culinary arts. Bagels didn’t surface in America till the early 20th Century in the east side of New York City. Now, Bagels are the new normal. There is nothing as refreshing as having a well-baked bagel for a quick breakfast as you try to beat the traffic to work.
If you are a big fan of eating Bagels, you would know they come in packs and you could only manage to eat about two or three at one go. Bagels dry out very quickly and get stale. You might have tried preserving them in the refrigerator for a few days and still find out that they go stale. How do you keep these things fresh anyway?
Can you freeze Bagels? Yes, you can. You can prolong their shelf life for an astounding 6 months. You do not need any prior preparation to freeze bagels. However, most people have debated if it is best to slice bagels before or after you freeze them.
Bagel cuts are the most common hand cuts that plague the ER wards of most hospitals in the US. Bagel cuts can serve as a replacement for bread in sandwiches. Since people enjoy the taste and texture better. But, slicing your bagel before you freeze can increase the chances of freezer burn.
How to Freeze Bagels
Freezing Bagels is pretty easy. No stress, no lengthy preparation, no special equipment. Here are tips to help you keep your bagels fresh and in optimal condition for when you’re ready to eat them again.
Step 1: Storage
This is the most important thing when it comes to freezing bagels. Bagels are very prone to freezer burn, which is just like freeze-drying when you think about it. But, it makes your bagel too dry and chewy.
Most Bagels come in some kind of paper bags when you buy them. From experience, these paper bags have been pivotal to keeping the freezer burn away. All you need to do is to let the bagel cool to room temperature.
Don’t try storing Bagel while it is still warm or hot. It could make your bagel soggy, or make it moldy from the moisture that the condensation will cause.
Fold the paper bag with the bagel in it. This should help you expel as much air as possible. Then, placed the wrapped bagels into a heavy-duty freezer bag. Press it flat before you seal it.
Another way to store bagels is to use plastic wrap to wrap them first. Although for some people it is bad because it is not eco-friendly. But, if you have a large batch of bagels to freeze, they are your best bet. Wrap each bagel in plastic wrap individually and place them in heavy-duty freezer bags.
Step 2: Freezing
Once you have the bagels properly bagged, don’t forget to label them. Labels are a great method of keeping track of what you have stored in your freezer. State the contents of the bags and the date of the freeze. Then place the bags into the freezer to freeze.
Remember not to leave the bagels in there for longer than 6 months. Freezing bagels can be easy, and the same process goes for store-bought ones or homemade ones. For homemade bagels, you might not have those paper bags, so make do with plastic wrap.
How to Thaw Frozen Bagels
The sweet thing about bagels is that you do not need to thaw them before you reheat them.
To reheat them in the microwave, take them out of the freezer and transfer them into the microwave and blast them at full power for 10 to 12 seconds. Since the brands and power levels of microwaves differ, please use your discretion.
If you want to toast your bagels in the oven or toaster, slice them first with a sharp serrated knife. Place the bagel on a chopping board with the side down. Then, slice in a horizontal direction.
Don’t apply too much pressure on the knife, use a back and forth motion and let the knife do all of the work. Sprinkle the sliced bagels with about a dozen drops of water and bake at 350°F in the oven till it warms through and through. You can add any topping of your choice and enjoy your bagels
Can You Freeze Bagel Dough?
Yes, you can. Bagel dough can be frozen and kept at the best quality for a maximum of 4 months. Flash freezing must be observed during the freezing process to help the dough set before you freeze long term.
This answers the question for people who just want to freeze the dough so they can make bagels anytime without worrying about having to make the dough first.
What Can Make Bagels Tough?
Some bagels contain gluten that hardens when you reheat them. So, this could be one reason why your bagel is tough.
Most times, your bagel gets tough because you have overstretched the storage period, or did not freeze or preserve them very well. Loss of air and lengthy fermentation can also make your bagels tough.
Do Bagels Go Bad In The Fridge?
In the fridge, you have about 3 days before your bagels go stale.
Here’s a fact you should know, Bagels dry out in the fridge faster than they would if kept in airtight bags in your pantry. So, if you need your bagels to last for a few days, keep them airtight at room temperature and away from light, they should be fine for a week or more.