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Can You Freeze Bagels? A Comprehensive Guide to Preserving Freshness

When you walk down that grocery store aisle while glancing over those freshly baked bagels blessing the store’s shelves, you must have wondered how to use them. Or how to keep those bagels fresh to use for some time later? Or if that’s not, then this one must have crossed your mind, “can you freeze bagels?”.

Well, in all the above scenarios, one thing is expected: you need clarification about whether to buy that scrumptious round bread. Since we can’t see you in pain, we have decided to pen down a guide on how to keep bagels fresh as well as how to store bagels, especially poppy seed bagels. We have also answered some of the most asked questions like, “How long are bagels good for”.

So, without any further ado, let’s learn how to keep those bagels fresh and edible for a long time.

Can you Freeze Bagels?

 

Best Way to Freeze Bagels
Source: Hila at Home

Fortunately, you can ACTUALLY freeze bagels. The problem is that most people need to freeze them properly. Or they place them in the fridge to keep them fresher longer, only to discover that the bagels harden and become tasteless. Your bagels will get freezer burn if you just put them in a freezer bag and call it a day, leaving you with challenging, undesirable, defrosted bagels you will discard.

To keep your fresh bagels from going bad, freeze them if you’ve had them for over two days. If you don’t like wasting your bagels (like everyone else), you must learn how to freeze them properly.

What’s the Best Way to Freeze Bagels?


Although most people put their entire bagels in a freezer-safe bag, there are more effective ways to freeze bagels. The issue with freezing bagels this way is that they fail to protect them from freezer burn. The best thing about bagels is their crispy exterior and soft interior, and if you are losing that because of the freezer burn, there is no point in preserving those bagels.

The crunchy exterior of your bagels will peel off if they get freezer burn. Moreover, it requires more time to defrost an entire bagel than just its two halves. So, it’s better to cut the bagel in half and freeze each half to achieve a soft and chewy texture. If you decide not to eat the entire bagel, you can also choose to defrost one half at a time! Plus, a frozen bagel is hard to slice, so you can quickly pop each half into the toaster this way.

Step 1: Slice the Bagel in Half


Cut your bagel in half lengthwise with a sharp-edged knife while it’s still on the cutting board. You could also use a bagel slicer.

Step 2: Use Plastic Wrap to Encase Each Half


Tear off a plastic wrap, then encircle each half to trap moisture and air. Ensure there are no air bubbles by completely sealing each half when wrapping. Next, cover with aluminum foil.

Step 3: Put Inside a Freezer Bag


Seal the bagels and store them in a freezer-safe bag. Depending on how many bagels you are freezing, you might need an extra-large freezer bag.

Step 4: Put the Date on the Label


On the freezer bag, write the date. This will enable you to determine how long they can be kept in the freezer. Bagels can generally be stored in the freezer for up to four months.

Step 5: Put in the Freezer


Bagels should be kept frozen. Since the bagels are soft before freezing, you should avoid placing anything heavy on top of them in the freezer to prevent denting and damage. Choose a secure place in the freezer that won’t crush them while being stored.

Which Way is Best for Defrosting Bagels?

 

Best Way for Defrosting Bagels
Source: thethawtimes.com


When it comes to defrosting frozen bagels, there are plenty of options. Depending on how soon you want to enjoy your bagel, you can choose various methods. While defrosting in a microwave is the quickest method, room-temperature defrosting is the optimal choice. Let’s go over each approach, its advantages, and disadvantages.

1. Room Temperature Defrost


To thaw, place your bagel on the countertop and let it sit there for two to three hours. This is a good option if you need your bagel for something else, like a baked French toast, bread pudding, or sandwich. The bagel retains its optimal texture and flavor when it gradually thaws at room temperature.

2. The Toaster’s Defrost


You can take your bagels straight out of the freezer and toast them in the toaster or toaster oven since they are already cut in half. To get a crispy brown crust and a chewy center, the toaster will quickly defrost the bagels and warm them up.

You have to use a higher setting in the toaster than normal if you decide to defrost your bagel. This is due to the fact that bagels are frozen and thicker than typical sliced bread. We suggest choosing a starting point in the middle, say level 3 out of 6. If it’s not quite defrosted, then add a little more toasting time. Every toaster varies slightly.

3. The Over Defrost


Toaster, no? Your bagel can be defrosted in the oven. Set the oven’s temperature to 350°F. After removing the plastic wrap, turn the bagels over and put them face down on a baking sheet. For three to five minutes, bake. After flipping them over, bake for a further three to five minutes. On the inside, they’ll be warm and toasted brown.

4. The Microwave Defrost


My least favorite method for defrosting bagels is the microwave because it results in a hard, unpalatable bagel. Because bagels contain a lot of gluten, they can easily become extremely hard when overheated in the microwave. As such, proceed with caution when defrosting in the microwave.

Step 1: Take your bagel’s plastic wrap off. Place it on a plate and cover it with a paper towel.

Step 2: Preheat your microwave to 50% and give it a 30-second duration.

Step 3: After flipping the bagel, give it another 30 seconds in the microwave. Your bagel should be perfectly defrosted without being too firm.

Frozen Bagel Breakfast Sandwich Recipe


For a quick and simple breakfast on the go, there are numerous ways to prepare a frozen bagel breakfast sandwich that you can reheat. The idea is usually the same whether you assemble your bagel breakfast sandwich for freezing using non-frozen or frozen bagels.

You must first get your filling ready. This includes frying any kind of egg, slicing any kind of cheese, frying any kind of bacon or sausage and/or preparing any other filling you might want for a breakfast sandwich.

After that, you should allow each filling to reach room temperature. This is crucial to avoid any steam becoming trapped in the bagel and making the sandwich mushy.

You can toast your bagels while your fillings are cooling (if the bagels are frozen, make sure to defrost according to the directions before toasting).

After the fillings and bagels cool, put together your bagel breakfast sandwiches and cover each one with a piece of foil, plastic wrap, or beeswax paper.

For up to 60 days, store them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag.

Every recipe has different instructions when it comes to the time to eat. Some people remove the sandwich from the plastic wrap, parchment paper, etc., wrap it in a damp paper towel, and then microwave it. Others should unwrap the sandwich and reheat it in the microwave for about two minutes, or longer if necessary, depending on how thick it is. The sandwich can also be reheated in an oven or air fryer. You can experiment with different reheating techniques if you’re experimenting with making your own sandwiches, but otherwise, we’d suggest following each recipe’s instructions for reheating.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How Long are Bagels Good for?


Fresh whole bagels can be kept at room temperature for up to five days and, on average, two to three days. When bringing bagels home, the first thing to do is to take them out of the brown paper bag and place them in an airtight container or large Ziploc bag.

Can You Unfreeze and Refreeze Bagels?


As a general rule of thumb, a product can be refrozen if it contains no produce, dairy, or other ingredients that could spoil quickly. This is particularly valid for prepared items like sub rolls and frozen bagels.

How Do You Defrost a Bagel Without it Getting Chewy?


Before placing the bagel in the microwave, wet a paper towel and wrap it around it. Place the bagel inside the microwave and microwave for 10 seconds on high or until it defrosts.

How Long Do Bagels Take to Defrost?


When you’re prepared to defrost and eat another fresh bagel, Retrieve it from the freezer and allow it to thaw over the counter for approximately half an hour. Set your oven to 400 degrees. On a baking pan, arrange the bagels and bake for 4 minutes.

Why are my Bagels turning White in the Freezer?


When food is improperly stored in the freezer, moisture seeps out and condenses into ice crystals, leading to freezer burn. This ice coating “burns” the food, leaving it less flavorful and with a drier texture, even though it is still edible.

How can you assess whether a Bagel is bad?


It can be challenging to determine at times, particularly with blueberry bagels, where you wonder if the spots are mold or just blueberries!

Look for any white or blue/green mold around the exterior. Check to see if it smells off as well.

Discarding anything you need clarification on is a good idea. There’s no reason to take a chance of getting sick.

Conclusion


To wrap up, freezing the bagels is an excellent method for extending their shelf life as it ensures you always have a supply of fresh bagels. However, preparing and storing them properly is significant to ensure their quality for a more extended period. From the ideas discussed above, one of the most effective ones is to wrap them tightly and avoid exposure to air. This can be done in an airtight bag or a container, as it will help preserve the flavor and texture. Having read this guide, you now better understand how to preserve your bagels. Use these methods and keep enjoying.

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