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A tip for toasting previously frozen bagels

Whenever we get blessed with a trip to NYC, we always bring home a couple dozen bagels. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then put them in zipping bags. They toast up pretty well and are still far better than anything we get out here in CA. But the inside is less than stellar. Not really mushy but that's the only word that comes to mind.

Today we decided to treat ourselves to lox and bagels for lunch. I cut the bagels in half and put them cut-side up in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. After that, then I toasted them. We saw a marked improvement. Will probably go for 15 minutes the next time. Yeah, fresh from the baker is best but most of the world don't have that option.

For jfood's derision :) I used creme fraiche instead of cream cheese cause I had it in the fridge and we're leaving town tomorrow. I may have liked it even better than CC. So there :)

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  1. If you have a defrost setting on your toaster, you can use that before you toast the bagels. You can also microwave them (40 seconds per bagel) and then toast them. Had you been throwing rock hard frozen bagels straight into the toaster? Because yeah, that's not gonna work.

    7 Replies
    1. re: small h

      No. I usually take them out of the freezer the night before, leaving them in the plastic til close to time to toast them. Now remember, these have been in the freezer a LONG time. Our last trip to NYC was July 2009!

      1. re: c oliver

        I think it makes little difference if the bagels are frozen for three days or three hundred. The mushiness you describe sounds like the bagels absorbing water as they slowly warm to room temperature. Bread doesn't suffer much from this, but bagels get too chewy and tough.

        1. re: small h

          Where is this water coming from that they're absorbing. These have no freezer burn on them. Actually I don't really care WHY it's happening. I found a solution and a couple of the others here sound good also.

          1. re: small h

            I slice my New York bagels in half prior to freezing them. This allows me to gently pry them open with a knife and put them right into the wide slot toaster without worrying about defrosting. Never soggy, nearly as good as the real thing. Yeah, we import them to Texas too.

            1. re: RGC1982

              Your toaster is better than mine. If I threw a frozen bagel into my toaster, the surface would burn black before the inside un-thawed.

        2. re: small h

          small h, you don't find that the microwave leaves them rubbery/chewy? back when i was able to eat them, even after toasting, that was always my experience...so i deemed the microwave completely off-limits to bagels :)

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            No, it's fine if you don't overdo it. I wouldn't eat a non-toasted microwaved bagel, though.

        3. What a treat to have real NY bagels in your freezer! I will try your method next time.
          What I do is steam them through on one of those collapsible vegetable steamers, then split and toast. I love plain yogurt on a bagel so your creme fraiche sounds great to me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Georgia Sommers

            Usually our flights out of JFK are early a.m. so we go to Absolute Bagel the afternoon before and get our two or three dozen. 'Course we eat one walking back and then we can have more on the airplane. Helps relieve the separation anxiety.

          2. I slice them in half when fresh and lay the halves flat into a vacuum bag, then remove most of the air until the bagels almost collapse. Freeze. No need to defrost before toasting. Remove as many frozen halves as desired and heat in toaster oven. I find a regular toaster does not warm the inside before the surface is burned.

            2 Replies
            1. re: phofiend

              Good idea. The first time we brought them back, I tried the Food Saver and it got my attention REAL fast when the bagel started to collapse :)

              1. re: phofiend

                I actually pre-slice my bagels in thirds before freezing - I get to eat my bagels more often, they're crispier when toasted and fewer calories per serving.