They’re great with smoked salmon, dill, and cream cheese, they’re delicious with cheese, bacon, egg, and sausage, they go incredibly well with chicken, marinara, and melted mozzarella cheese, and they’re really bought to life when toasted. Yep, we are of course talking about bagels.
There are plenty of baked goods for us to choose from nowadays, yet when it comes to breakfast, a light lunch, or a snack on the go, you can’t beat a toasted bagel.
These delicious, chewy, bready, donut-shaped rings of heaven are synonymous with New York delis and are a staple ingredient in cafes, delis, diners, bistros, snack bars and vans, and kitchens all over the globe. Despite their popularity however, far too many of us are guilty of storing them incorrectly, and we’re paying the price.
One of the most common questions that people ask regarding bagels, is whether or not you can refreeze them. Well, that’s what we’ll be getting to the bottom of right now.
First off, what are bagels?
You almost certainly know what a bagel is, and you probably know how delicious they are, but just so that there’s no confusion, a bagel is a round bread with a hole in the centre, just like a ring donut. Bagels are, however, so much more than that.
Made with a high gluten flour, salt, yeast, water, and malt, bagels are unusual in that they’re shaped into circles of dough and are then boiled in water before being baked in the oven. This gives the bagel an unmistakable crumb, a delicious flavor, and a stunning caramel colored finish.
Bagels may be most commonly associated with delicatessens, sandwich shops, and US cuisine, but they originated in Europe, in Poland of all places. The earliest written recordings of bagels date all the way back to 1610.
Recordings in Krakow, Poland, stated that bagels were a part of community regulations in the city and were to be presented as gifts to women who had just given birth. During medieval times, because of their unusual ring shapes, many believed that bagels possessed magical powers because they looked so different to typical baked breads.
The round shape symbolized the circle of life and was believed to be a good luck charm to symbolize a long and happy life.
How to store bagels?
Bagels are best enjoyed warm, and always taste best when consumed fresh.
Ideally you should consume a bagel within 24 hours. You should never put bagels into the fridge, as this will quickly dry them out and cause them to become dry, stodgy, and stale, which goes against everything that a bagel should be.
Bagels should ideally be consumed within 24 hours of purchase, and the fresher the bagel, the better the taste.
If you do need to store a bagel, store it for 24 hours by placing it into a paper bag, then placing it into a plastic bag and securing it as tight as possible. Never place a bagel into a plastic bag directly as it can cause condensation which would cause it to turn soggy and damp.
Once secured and airtight, consume your bagels within 24 hours.
Can you freeze bagels?
Storing bagels for 24 hours is all well and good, but what about if you don’t want to eat all of your bagels in one day? Do you leave them to become dry and stale, or worse still, throw them into the trash? No, you can instead freeze them.
Yes, in answer to the question, you can indeed freeze bagels, and here’s a look at how.
- Begin by slicing the bagels in half and once again place them into a paper bag.
- Again, place the paper bag inside a plastic bag to help ensure the bagels are protected from freezer burn.
- Ensure the bags are airtight and fully sealed and then place them into the back of the freezer to ensure the temperature remains stable.
- You can even write down the date you froze the bagels for easy reference.
- To make life easier, wrap each bagel in this way individually, rather than in batches. It might take up more space and use more bags, but it prevents the bagels from sticking together in the freezer. When you just fancy one bagel as a late-night snack, you’ll be glad you froze them in this way, rather than having to try to separate several ones frozen together.
Thawing a frozen bagel
Bagels can be toasted from frozen but they’re best when toasted when defrosted, so follow these simple steps to defrost and thaw your bagels out from the freezer.
Begin by removing your bagel, placing it onto a clean plate, and leaving it at room temperature for 20 minutes or so. If you want a softer, chewier bagel, microwave it for 10 seconds, or if not, toast it, butter it, add your fillings, and enjoy.
Can you refreeze a bagel?
Suppose you froze a bagel, defrosted it, and for some bizarre reason, decided you didn’t want to eat it. Would this mean the bagel was no good and needed throwing out, or could you refreeze it?
It turns out that, yes, you can indeed refreeze a bagel in exactly the same way. Just be aware however, that each time you freeze it, it will become drier so you may only be able to consume them toasted, or microwaved or steamed.