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Keeping fresh bagels fresh

I need to buy bagels on Thursday, but won't be using them until Saturday. I know the ideal is to buy them the day I need them, but this time I just can't.
So, what is the best way to keep them fresh (or as fresh as possible) from Thursday until Saturday morning.
Should i freeze them? Refigerate them? What/

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  1. Freezing is the best way. I usually slice them before I freeze them and then put them directly in the toaster. Refrigerating them dries them out, in my experience.

    1 Reply
    1. I store my bagels in freezer. Not the same texture as fresh but no worse for wear when toasting.

      if you plan on serving them "as is" then make sure to defrost slowly and not in the sealed bag or you risk them getting soggy.

      1. They go in the toaster frozen. no need to defrost. I grew up in montreal - home of great bagels that last a day. On day 2 or 3 can splash or spritz a little water on them before toasting.

        8 Replies
        1. re: marcharry

          Not to revive the old debate, but Montreal is the Chicago of bagels.

          To the OP - Freeze, thaw for a few hours on paper towels on the counter, slice, and toast. They won't be the same, but they won't suck either.

          1. re: MGZ

            >>"Montreal is the Chicago of bagels."<<


              1. re: Midlife

                Chicago is frequently known as "The Second City" behind New York. So in this case, Montreal is "The Second City" behind New York when it comes to bagels.

                1. re: MGZ


                  These days most New York bagels are awful... giant bready things. It's possible the Montreal bagels are better (I haven't tried them myself).

                  1. re: drongo

                    You may be correct. I just couldn't help myself from makin' fun of a very old Chowhound debate.

              2. Freeze them. If you want to eat them untoasted then don't slice first. Just heat them in oven or toaster oven until warmed through. I wouldn't defrost them first.

                If you are going to toast them then slice first before freezing. You can toast them frozen, no need to thaw.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jpan99

                  My mother taught me to freeze them and then put them in a brown paper bag in the oven and sprinkle it with water... always worked very well!

                2. If you buy them fresh from a bagel store, just place in the freezer unsliced in the same paper bag in which they are packed. Remove about an hour or so on Saturday morning before you are ready to serve.

                  1. I buy my bagels a dozen at a time. I keep them in the paper bag and slip it into a ziploc bag and freeze. They last quite a while.
                    The night before I need one (or two) I put what I need in a ziploc bag in the fridge. They thaw overnight.
                    I slice them and lightly toast to bring them back to life.
                    I would think that slicing before freezing would cause freezer burn.

                    1. Freeze. The best bagels, btw, should stale within hours (like the best hard rolls), and should have a steep decline even within the hour after being removed from the oven (but when they are very fresh, should not be toasted, as that's something reserved for bagels past their prime). A bagel that doesn't is one that has been compromised into a modern convenience food.

                      25 Replies
                      1. re: Karl S

                        "when they are very fresh, should not be toasted, as that's something reserved for bagels past their prime"

                        I couldn't agree more. In fact, they probably shouldn't even be sliced - just torn.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          Teeth sinking into a fresh out of the oven bagel = heaven!!

                          1. re: Motosport

                            My order at any good bagel shop is always the same, "What's still warm?" You know a place is really good when the counterperson says nothing, turns, and just puts one in the bag.

                          2. re: MGZ

                            I disagree...............
                            as someone who has eaten bagels for almost 60 years, started making them professionally when they were hand cut and rolled, and later cut and rolled by machine, I am somewhat of an authority.
                            I love my bagels toasted, especially if they are sesame seed. The toasting releases some more of the oil in the seeds and gives them a special crunch.

                            As for tearing as opposed to slicing> one tears a piece of the fresh hot bagel by sticking one's hand into the bag as soon as one leaves the bagel shop. BUT as soon as one is home, or office, etc. and ready to eat the bagel, tearing is uncouth. You should slice and be able to evenly spread your butter or cream cheese, or nicely build a a layer of lox, tomato and onion.

                            BTW> I was born, bred and raised in New Haven, where the Lender family developed and expanded bagels that would be ingtroduced to the general American public and take this bread product of the eastern European immigrant Jewish community mainstream

                              1. re: MGZ

                                what are pizza delivery bags good for? certainly not for pizza

                              2. re: bagelman01

                                I sometimes see sleeves of Lender Bagels in the market. How do they compare with the ones you get directly from them? The ones I get probably have more preservatives in them than the fresh ones.

                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                  it has been many years since Lenders had a location where you could get fresh baked bagels. They only bake for supermarket and institutional distribution (generally frozen). From time to time they have had made attempts at marketing fresh bagels in the bread aisles, but these were nothing like what they baked fresh in their stores or factories.

                                  Short history of Lender retailing:
                                  Originally out of the garage behind home on Legion Ave
                                  1960s Built plant on RT 1 West Haven, opened 'Bagel Board' restaurant in Front
                                  1970s or 80s opened restaurant location in front of Caldor in Hamden, then a branch in New Haven, West Hartford and NYC. When Lenders was sold to Kraft, the family kept the restaurants and had to rename them S. Kinder
                                  1990s closed the restaurants, Marvin and Murray went intoi the investment business

                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                    Interesting the way they started. I recall back in the late 40's there was an Italian bread bakery that started in a garage on Church St across from the school. The aroma emanating from that garage was magnificent. They did so well that eventually they opened up a store on Dixwell near Pershing

                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                          Lupi-Legna. I knew Rudy Lupi from the golf course. There was no Legna. The world would be a better place with more Lupi bread.

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            I never knew the name, just the fantastic bread.

                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                              now combined with the Marchigiano bakery on Washington Ave in the Hill section of New Haven

                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                  don't know, as I moved out of Hamden 7 years ago

                                2. re: bagelman01

                                  saw a white CLS in my 'hood the other day...vanity plate...wondering if it was you

                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                    Not ME. My daily driver is a black Jag, no vanity plate. Otherwise we've a Black Lincoln /wife's name (vanity) and a Silver Audi (never goes to NH).
                                    I was in NH Sunday and Today, both in the Jag...went to see mom at Tower One, lunch in their cafe. Mom had toasted sesame bagel with nova, cream cheese, tomato............
                                    I had Toasted poppy bagel with butter. Definitely served bagels that had been frozen

                                3. re: MGZ

                                  I second this. Fresh bagels should be eaten as is. Toast day old bagels only.

                                  1. re: Jpan99

                                    Last week when we had three feet of snow and all car travel was banned by the governor I was glad to be toasting older bagels.

                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                      bagel, my Florida Publix has the fresh and frozen Lenders - I usually get the frozen onion for lox, cream cheese and capers. I just wish they were a little larger - one is barely enough, two is too much. I suppose we both knew some of the Lender family over the years.

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        Bagels have grown in size over the years and have little resemblance to traditional bagels we grew up with.

                                        The NYC Bagel Bakers Union which ran a closed shop from its beginning round 1900 til demise in the 1970s set the standard. A bagel should weigh 3 ounces. None of these 5-6 ounce carb queens we see now.

                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                          "A bagel should weigh 3 ounces. None of these 5-6 ounce carb queens we see now."

                                          Well, my friend, we have now found a solid point upon we can agree.

                                          1. re: MGZ

                                            My late father was incensed at the 'new' oversized bagels that were all he could get at the fresh bagel bakeries in his area of Florida. So, he always sliced them in thirds, the middle went into the freezer to be used later to make stuffing or bread crumbs and he ate the top and bottom third, considering it a 'proper' sized bagel.