Whether you buy fresh bagels from your local bakery or bagel shop, you make homemade bagels or you buy pre-packaged bagels, knowing how to store bagels properly is important.
Here, we discuss the best way to store bagels including proper storage on the counter or bread box, in the fridge and how to store frozen bagels. Let's talk about how to keep bagels fresh!
Looking to make your own bagels at home? Try these New York Bagels or these Jerusalem Bagels (no boil bagels) with a smear of cream cheese! Then be sure to enjoy them for breakfast. Learn about toasting your freshly made bagel in the air fryer as one way to enjoy it.
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Why is it important to store bagels properly
There's nothing quite like the softness of a fresh, warm bagel. Keeping bagels fresh prevents hard and/or moldy bagels. It also prevents stale bagels which occur due to moisture loss after a couple of days.
This is your complete guide to keeping bagels fresh longer by choosing the proper storage method. Please note this information is relevant mainly for fresh bagels bought from a bakery, bagel store, and even homemade bagels.
Packaged bagels such as Thomas Bagels or frozen bagels may last longer, as they likely contain preservatives. Checking the expiration date on the package is your best bet to ensure this type of bagel is stored properly and for the right length of time.
What is the shelf life of bagels
Bagels are best served fresh and warm. If you have leftover bagels or bought extra, you will want to consider if you will be eating them over the next few days or if you want to store them for eating in the coming weeks.
When stored at room temperature, fresh, whole bagels will last up to 5 days. 2-3 days is the average time. The first thing to do when bringing home bagels is to transfer them from the brown paper bag and into an airtight bag such as a large ziploc bag or an airtight container. Be sure to squeeze out any excess air from the bag before sealing.
Avoid placing the bagels in direct sunlight as this will decrease the amount of time they stay fresh. It's recommended to keep bagels in a dry, cool place such as a bread box, cabinet, or pantry. If you keep the bagels on the counter, be sure they are out of direct sunlight and your kitchen is at normal room temperature, about 68º-72ºF.
The best option for storing fresh bagels at room temperature is to keep them whole rather than storing sliced bagels. Sliced bagels will loose too much moisture and you'll be left with hard bagels.
To revive a hard bagel, run it quickly under a slow stream of water from the faucet. You want to get it a bit wet but not overly soaked with too much water. Place the bagel half in the toaster oven until golden brown or place in the microwave oven at 50% power for 30-60 seconds, or until warm.
How long can bagels last in the fridge
To get a few more days out of the life of your bagels, store them in the fridge. The cool temperatures of the fridge help prevent mold growth that may occur when bagels are left on the counter for too long. It's a great way to get an extra day or two out of your bagels.
Bagels will last in the fridge for a short period of time before drying out. The best thing to do is wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in a sealed ziploc bag. Remove as many bagels as you need and toast until desired doneness or microwave at 50% power for 30-60 seconds, or until warm.
Try wrapping a damp paper towel around the bagel before microwaving. This helps bring back the softness of a fresh bagel by adding moisture.
Bagels that are stored properly in the fridge will last up to one week after you purchased them. To keep them even longer, consider freezing your bagels!
How long do bagels last in the freezer
Knowing about how to freeze bagel dough is an important element of learning to make bagels. For example, freezing bagels is a great way to store them for up to 3 months. The cold air prevents mold growth and allows your bagels to last a long time.
To freeze, slice bagels in half and place bagel halves facing each other, so the cut sides are facing each other. Wrap each bagel in plastic wrap. This provides an extra layer of protection against freezer burn. I would not recommend using aluminum foil for this as it can be difficult to remove when frozen.
Place the wrapped bagels in a freezer-safe bag and store for up to 3 months. Remove one frozen bagel at a time or as many as desired. Unwrap from the plastic wrap and microwave on 50% until thawed then toast.
- Store fresh bagels at room temperature in a brown paper bag or a sealed plastic bag. Store in a cool, dry place for 3-5 days
- To keep bagels for longer, store in a sealed bag in the refrigerator
- When sliced, bagel halves will dry out quickly. To revive a hard bagel, run it quickly under a slow stream of water from the faucet. You want to get it a bit wet but not overly soaked. Place the bagel half in the toaster oven until golden brown or place in the microwave oven at 50% power for 30-60 seconds, or until warm
What to do with leftover bagels
A great idea is to make them into bagel chips! To make, slice bagels horizontally into ⅛-inch slices. A typical bagel should yield 6-8 slices. Place bagel slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush both sides with a 1 to 1 ratio of olive oil and melted butter. Sprinkle with desired seasonings. I typically use garlic powder, onion powder and Italian seasoning.
Bake at 350ºF until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool. They will crisp as they cool. Store in a ziploc bag at room temperature up to two weeks.
Another great option for leftover bagels is to make pizza bagels. Cut bagels in half, spread each half with spaghetti sauce, top with shredded mozzarella, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Place in toaster oven until cheese is bubbly.
Homemade bagel recipes
FOR ALL MY FAVORITE BAKING TOOLS INCLUDING THOSE USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE, CHECK OUT MY BAKING RESOURCES PAGE!