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Keeping fresh bagels fresh

bxgirl Feb 18, 2013 11:44 AM

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/

  1. j
    jenhen2 Feb 18, 2013 12:01 PM

    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. re: jenhen2
      Janet from Richmond Feb 21, 2013 01:48 PM


    2. f
      foodieX2 Feb 18, 2013 12:05 PM

      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. m
        marcharry Feb 18, 2013 12:15 PM

        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
          MGZ Feb 18, 2013 12:21 PM

          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
            Midlife Feb 19, 2013 04:26 PM

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


            1. re: Midlife
              CanadaGirl Feb 19, 2013 05:09 PM


              1. re: Midlife
                juliejulez Feb 19, 2013 06:38 PM

                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: juliejulez
                  Maximilien Feb 21, 2013 04:14 AM

                  WOW, just WOW!!!


              2. re: MGZ
                Maximilien Feb 19, 2013 06:36 PM


                1. re: MGZ
                  drongo Feb 23, 2013 01:03 PM


                  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
                    MGZ Feb 23, 2013 01:29 PM

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

              3. Jpan99 Feb 19, 2013 04:51 PM

                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
                  harryharry Feb 19, 2013 07:34 PM

                  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. j
                  joaniesl Feb 20, 2013 05:45 AM

                  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. Motosport Feb 20, 2013 02:29 PM

                    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. Karl S Feb 20, 2013 03:51 PM

                      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
                        MGZ Feb 21, 2013 12:54 AM

                        "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
                          Motosport Feb 21, 2013 04:13 AM

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

                          1. re: Motosport
                            MGZ Feb 21, 2013 04:20 AM

                            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.

                            1. re: MGZ
                              Motosport Feb 21, 2013 07:23 AM

                              My kind of place!!!

                          2. re: MGZ
                            bagelman01 Feb 21, 2013 04:18 AM

                            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: bagelman01
                              MGZ Feb 21, 2013 04:23 AM

                              You can get a hot bagel home?

                              1. re: MGZ
                                bagelman01 Feb 21, 2013 10:31 AM

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

                              2. re: bagelman01
                                mucho gordo Feb 21, 2013 01:01 PM

                                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
                                  bagelman01 Feb 21, 2013 02:45 PM

                                  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
                                    mucho gordo Feb 21, 2013 02:55 PM

                                    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
                                      BiscuitBoy Feb 22, 2013 06:46 AM

                                      Church St, Hamden? Lupi?

                                      1. re: BiscuitBoy
                                        mucho gordo Feb 22, 2013 12:52 PM


                                        1. re: mucho gordo
                                          Veggo Feb 22, 2013 12:58 PM

                                          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
                                            mucho gordo Feb 22, 2013 01:29 PM

                                            I never knew the name, just the fantastic bread.

                                            1. re: mucho gordo
                                              bagelman01 Feb 23, 2013 05:11 AM

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

                                              1. re: bagelman01
                                                mucho gordo Feb 23, 2013 10:29 AM

                                                Not available in Hamden anymore?

                                                1. re: mucho gordo
                                                  bagelman01 Feb 23, 2013 12:14 PM

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

                                2. re: bagelman01
                                  BiscuitBoy Feb 21, 2013 01:09 PM

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

                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy
                                    bagelman01 Feb 21, 2013 02:48 PM

                                    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
                                  Jpan99 Feb 21, 2013 01:43 PM

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

                                  1. re: Jpan99
                                    bagelman01 Feb 21, 2013 02:49 PM

                                    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
                                      Veggo Feb 21, 2013 02:59 PM

                                      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
                                        bagelman01 Feb 22, 2013 05:53 AM

                                        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
                                          MGZ Feb 22, 2013 06:55 AM

                                          "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
                                            bagelman01 Feb 22, 2013 07:31 AM

                                            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.

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