Many people enjoy a fresh bagel in the morning for breakfast, though not all of them have enough time to run to the store for a new batch or bake every day.
The good thing is you can buy a bunch of bagels and freeze them for later consumption. Bagels can stay fresh, chewy, and soft for about six months in a freezer.
Read on for tips on how to freeze your bagels.
Can You Freeze Bagels in Their Original Packaging?
If you’ve made your way home with store-bought bagels you wish to save for future consumption, you may wonder whether it is okay to freeze the tasty treats and conserve them in their original packaging.
After all, the original packing could save you from having to purchase freezer bags if you lack them. In this regard, the usability of your bagels’ original package depends on its material.
If it’s a plastic bag, you are good to go. Other materials, such as paper, are not ideal for long-term storage in the freezer as they are easily damaged and could ruin your bagels.
Imagine preserving your bagels to enjoy at your convenience only to find them soaked and inedible; it’s tragic.
However, if you opt to store your bagels in their original plastic bags, you must take precautions to ensure they are well preserved. Here are a few tips that will come in handy.
Slice the Bagels
Take the scrumptious pastries out of the bag and cut them in half before placing them back in for storage. This will save you from the daunting task of slicing frozen bagels when you want to consume them; you could get injured.
Inspect the Bags
Store-bought bagels often come in thin packs susceptible to wear and tear. Check whether the original packaging has any holes before placing your bagels in for storage. If the bag has any blemish, don’t risk using it to store your pastries—opt for a re-sealable plastic freezer bag.
Remove Excess Air
After a successful inspection, place your bagels in the uncompromised original packaging and squeeze out the air. Press out as much air as possible to lock out the possibility of moisture accumulation during storage.
Carefully Seal the Packaging
Re-seal the bag slowly, ensuring you do not leave any opening that might let in the air. You can use the original package’s twist tie to achieve an air-tight seal or knot up the open end.
Although freezing bagels in their original packaging is an option that could save you time and money, you may have to reinforce it if you wish to store your bagels in the freezer for an extended period.
In such circumstances, enclose each bagel in plastic wrap to protect them from oxidation and freezer burns before re-packaging them in the bag.
Can You Freeze Bagels Twice?
Bagels can last about six months in your freezer if stored correctly, and you’ll still enjoy tasty pastries. However, you may wonder what to do after you’ve taken your bagels out of the freezer, prepped and consumed to your fill, and still have some left over.
Should you refreeze them, or will they simply go to waste?
The general rule for pastries is that if they don’t contain any dairy or produce that can go bad quickly, you can refreeze them after defrosting. So, don’t be quick to waste your bagels by throwing them away. You can repackage and preserve them in your freezer once more, and they will still be fresh the next time you crave them.
However, there is a slight downside to freezing bagels twice; their quality might substantially reduce. They may lose their fresh taste and chewy texture, so you may not enjoy them as much as a freshly baked bagel.
You can help restore the bagels and enjoy a crispier and fresher taste by popping them in a toaster before consuming them.
How To Defrost Frozen Bagels?
After taking your bagels out of the freezer, you need to defrost them before enjoying them with a refreshment of your choice.
While freezing your bagels allows you to savor them at your convenience without worrying about them going bad, proper defrosting restores them to as close as freshly baked as possible to enjoy the treats.
Let’s go through a few defrosting methods so you can enjoy the tasty round bread after taking them out of the freezer.
Moisten and Bake
Run water over your frozen bagels for about thirty seconds to moisten them, and arrange the pastries on a baking sheet. Set your oven to 350°F, slide the bagels in, and let them defrost for about five minutes. You don’t have to preheat your oven; just place the bagels and you are good to go.
Alternatively, you could use a toaster to prep your sliced frozen bagels after moistening them. Place the frozen halves in a toaster and defrost them till they are warm and crispy.
It would be more convenient if your toaster had a bagel setting. Check the manufacturer instructions for your toaster’s specs to confirm if it has the settings.
This is the best way to defrost your frozen bagel if you are in a hurry. However, using this method, you can only defrost one or two bagels at a time.
Pick the bagel out of the freezer and wrap it in a wet paper towel before placing it in the microwave. Turn the machine on and heat your bagel at 10-second intervals until it is completely defrosted and ready for consumption.
If you aren’t time-constrained, you can complement this method by searing your bagels in an oven or toaster for about two minutes. Doing so gives the bagels a crustier texture, making them more enjoyable.
Why not treat yourself to a tastier bagel if you have the time?
If you do not have an oven, toaster, or microwave at your disposal, there is an alternative by thawing your frozen bagels at room temperature.
Take the bagels you wish to defrost out of the freezer, place them on a tray, and leave them in a cool, dry place to thaw overnight. The pastries will defrost and be ready to consume when you wake up the next day.
While this is the most energy-efficient way to defrost bagels, it’s only ideal for freshly baked bagels stored in the freezer for a few weeks.
How To Store Bagels in the Freezer?
Like many baked products such as bread, bagels do not stay fresh for long once they are out of the oven. Therefore, it is crucial to store them if you do not intend to eat them immediately.
There are short-term storage methods like putting them in the pantry or refrigerator and long-term methods like putting them in a freezer.
Storing bagels in a freezer is the best way to preserve them if you do not intend to eat them soon. That is because it helps retain the bagel’s freshness for as long as six months.
The following are the steps you should follow when freezing bagels.
1. Slice the Bagels
It is advisable to slice your bagels in half before placing them in the freezer. Pre-slicing helps you avoid the process of thawing out the bagels in the future before cutting and then toasting them. When pre-sliced, you can take them out of the freezer and pop them into the toaster.
The best way to slice the bagels is using a bagel slicer; however, if you do not have one, you can use a sharp and serrated bread knife.
However, it would help if you were careful in the next steps of the process since slicing the bagels increases the surface area exposed to the cold, which can increase the risk of a freeze burn.
2. Wrap the Bagels in Plastic Bags
After slicing, find several plastic bags and wrap each bagel separately. Ensure the plastic bags are large enough to cover the bagels completely since the bags serve as a barrier that protects them against freezer burns.
You can also place a wax wrap between each sliced bagel to make it easier to separate them once you take them out of the freezer.
3. Place the Wrapped Bagels in a Resealable Bag
Place all the bagels in one resealable bag, like a ziplock bag, before you put them in the freezer. The bag provides an additional layer of protection against freezer burns, similar to how people wear several layers of clothing to avoid frostbite.
The ziplock bag also helps keep your freezer organized by preventing its scattering all over.
Note that you should remove air from the zip lock bag before sealing it and make sure you label the bag indicating the date of storage to help you know when the expiration date is close.
Lastly, do not freeze bought bagels in the wrapping provided at the store; always transfer them to a ziplock bag.
4. Put the Bagels in the Freezer
Once you properly wrap the bagels, proceed to place them in the freezer. However, where you put the bagels within the freezer is a critical factor in contributing to freezer burn.
Therefore, you should place them somewhere with minimal direct exposure to the cold freezer air and away from the freezer door.
Ideally, you should place the bagels you do not intend to eat in the next 48 hours in the freezer. Immediate freezing helps retain moisture, which ensures the bagels are as fresh and soft as possible after thawing.
Once baked bagels cool down or you get home with store-bought bagels, follow the above step and put them in the freezer.
However, if you cannot finish the bagels you set aside for the first two days, you can still wrap and freeze them since they still have some freshness.
How To Freeze Bagels Without Plastics?
Many people have concerns about using plastic to store items in their homes. That is because plastic is non-biodegradable and once exposed to the environment, it can take years to break down, contributing to the existing pollution problem.
Luckily, there are other ways of wrapping your bagels before freezing them that do not require the use of plastic.
One benefit of parchment paper is that it is readily accessible to most households. However, it does not help retain the freshness and taste of bagels as long as plastic; thus, you will have to consume them before the end of three months.
They are an alternative to parchment paper. Though, if you do not already have a supply of paper bags in your home, do not buy some for purposes of freezing your bagels; you should consider other methods instead.
Wax wraps can keep your bagels fresh in the freezer for about a month. Their most significant benefit is that they are reusable though it is advisable to hand wash them in cold water after use. There are also plant-based wax wraps for those who practice veganism.
Most people have at least one plastic Tupperware container in their home. If you do not have one, you can purchase a glass Tupperware container.
These containers are ideal for freezing food since they are airtight with thick walls to protect against freeze burns. However, it is best to use the glass container for only short periods.
Silicone Stasher Bags
Silicone bags are reusable and easy to clean either by hand wash or dishwasher. You can also use them in the oven.
Freezing bagels is the perfect solution to avoiding the hassle of having to bake regularly or pass by the bakery every day.
The freezing process retains the freshness and taste of bagels for around six months, allowing you to buy them in bulk, freeze them, and defrost as many as you like every day. Lastly, freezing helps you avoid the unfortunate experience of eating a stale bagel.