Contrary to belief, the bagel actually dates back to the early 1600s in the Jewish communities of Krakow.
The late 19th century saw the emergence of bagels coming to the US, especially the Lower East Side of New York as a result of Jewish immigrants from Poland sailing across the Atlantic to the land of the free.
By 1915, there were so many bagel makers in New York City that they formed their own trade union.
Bagel stalls and bakeries lined the streets of NYC and soon enough businesses across the boroughs of the city were curating their own recipes and filling options to satisfy the increasing demand for these little baked goods.
Nowadays, bagels are sold and enjoyed by millions all over the globe but not everyone is storing their beloved bagels the correct way. Today we’ll be giving you a few tips on how to store your bagels and how to make them last as long as possible.
How long do bagels last?
If the bagels are kept in a dry area, properly sealed at room temperature they can last up to 3-7 days.
When stored properly in a freezer, they can keep up for 3-6 months but after time, their flavor will decrease, so it’s best to eat them as soon as possible.
Storing your bagels in dry storage
If you buy bagels in your weekly grocery shop, then you’ll have to use them up pretty quickly as they can go stale only within a matter of days.
If you’re going to keep your fresh bagels in a pantry, you should place them in a brown paper bag and then put this brown paper bag into a resealable plastic bag to keep them as fresh as possible.
Before sealing your plastic bag, you should try to press out as much air as possible to lock out any moisture. When removing a bagel from the bags, you should repeat the process of removing the air and sealing again.
Freezing your bagels
If you love buying bagels to last you throughout the week, then the best way to keep them for as long as possible is to freeze them. Bagels can keep fresh for up to 3-4 months in the freezer as long as they’re kept at a consistent frozen temperature.
You should try to wrap up each bagel in plastic wrapping to protect them from freezer burn, and then place them in a resealable freezer bag to keep them completely protected.
You don’t have to wrap each individual bagel before freezing, but you should be aware that they will develop freezer burn more easily and may affect the quality of the bagel.
Pre-slicing your bagels before freezing them will save you a whole load of time, as you can pop them into the oven or toasted to dethaw straight from the freezer. Pre-slicing before freezing will also save you the difficulty of trying to cut the bagels whilst they are dethawing.
You should try to freeze bagels as soon as you’ve purchased them to retain the fresh taste of them even if you eat them in 3 months.
If you’ve forgotten about your bagels in your pantry and won’t have time to eat them all before they go bad, you can still transfer them to the freezer to keep for a longer time.
If you really are a bagel fanatic and like to buy them in bulk, then you should consider labeling or using a marker pen on the resealable freezer bags containing your bagels with the date that you first put them in the freezer.
This way you’ll know what’ good to eat or if something has been left there way too long.
How to defrost/dethaw your frozen bagels
The best way to defrost your frozen bagels by placing them in the oven for around 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll achieve a crisp surface whilst the inside is warm and soft.
You should avoid defrosting your bagels in the microwave as the texture of the bagel can be destroyed. Fresh bagels that were stored in the freezer straight away will be the freshest after defrosting.
Storing your bagels in the refrigerator
Ideally, bagels should not be stored inside the refrigerator as they will dry out and become stale quicker than if you were to keep them out at room temperature.
If you don’t have enough dry storage space or don’t want to keep your bagels in the freezer then you can keep them in the refrigerator. They will only last about 1-2 days.
You can try to prolong your refrigerated bagels for as long as possible by storing them in plastic wrapping and also keeping them in an airtight container.
If you happen to have some bagels that have gone stale, you can try to refresh them by wetting the exterior with a damp paper towel and placing them in the oven for 10 minutes.
You’ll have to eat these bagels straight away and you will not be able to store them again.
How to tell if bagels have gone bad?
The easiest way to tell if bagels have gone bad is that they will have mold on the surface, sometimes this mold can differ in color be white or blue, so you’ll need to get a closer look to check it’s not just the crumbs from the bagel itself.
If you can’t see any discoloration on the bagels, then check if it’s giving off a bad smell.
A bagel that has gone stale will have a solid exterior, but if there is no mold or bad smell, they should be fine to consume. However, the flavor will not be as fresh as if you were to eat it when you first bought it.
You can make up for this lost flavor by filling your bagel with an abundance of your favorite filling – bring out the cream cheese!