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Bagels in the freezer

Anyone have experience on how long one can keep bagels in the freezer before noticing a significant difference after defrost and toast? thanks in advance.

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  1. We regularly freeze bagels when we get them, and they are always fine for at least two months. After two months we are always out of them, so none are around longer than that.

    1. Most Lenders bagels are sold frozen, and they seem to last indefinitely.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        The Lenders in my freezer are so going at it with the fruitcake I got at my first bar mitzvah.

        1. re: Veggo

          Sorry, those are not bagels. They are a bagel food substance.

          1. re: Veggo

            I take Lenders "bread rings" to the carnival for the ring toss. UGH!!

            1. re: Motosport

              Moto, not much hole in them thar rings...you might have to buy your own teddy bear!

              1. re: Veggo

                So far I have yet to win a Kewpie doll!

          2. If you are toasting the bagels, they should hold in the freezer for at least a month. For eating untoasted, a week or 2.

            1. The trick is to slice them before freezing then straight in the toaster. They should last a long time. The sooner you get the bagels in the freezer the better.

              5 Replies
              1. re: DowntownJosie

                "The sooner you get the bagels in the freezer the better."

                Thanks for the reply. I buy and make my own bagels. When I make them, the ones i store I make sure they go right into the freezer after cooling a bit. However, the ones i buy in NY dont get into the freezer after 3-4 hours. Any idea if there is a window of time of sorts that I should be working with to get my bagels into the freezer? thanks in advance

                1. re: majordanby

                  You're talking about the NY ones, right? By the time we fly back to NorCal, ours have probably been 'at rest' for 24 hours. The freezing technique I described above works fine for us.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Good to know since when I go into the city I usually get bagels to bring home and it is a good 4 hour window.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I used to live in NorCal. Now in the east coast. Schmendrick's made a good bagel (but $3 per bagel!!). I usually made mine or got them at authentic bagel co in oakland on my back from the JLS market.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Same here- if i show up at my parents without bagels when i visit i might not have a ride from the airport!
                        They end up frozen within a day of purchase, so prob 36hrs or so old

                  2. When we go to NYC, we bring home a couple of dozen. We wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and then into a zipping bag. Toasted they last as long as it takes us to eat them :) But we try to ration them so probably a couple of months. I did try to FoodSaver one and that was a BIG mistake. Flat as a flitter!

                    1. Real bagels should never be toasted, not do they need to be. Fake bagels (i.e. Lender's and other supermarket brands) do need to be toasted because they are simply rolls with no texture.

                      Slicing before freezing is a very good idea so you can go straight into the toaster, frozen, sliced, or do half a bagel at a time if you wish. If you have a non-frost-free freezer, the bagels will keep forever. If your freezer has a defrost cycle, the repeated heating and refreezing will take its toll and your frozen baked goods will suffer the most; they'll be good for a month or two at most.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: acgold7

                        Odd how almost every Real Bagel Bakery offers toasting.

                        1. re: chefj

                          Real bagel bakeries offer toasting because they have patrons who prefer a toasted bagel -- no idea why as the taste of a fresh baked bagel, untoasted is far superior.

                          1. re: masha

                            They offer Toasting because there is nothing wrong with toasting a Bagel whether it is a pre-made piece of Junk from the Grocery Store or a "real" Bagel.
                            As far as "untoasted is far superior" that is purely a personal preference.

                          2. re: chefj

                            Except for the notorious murray's bagels in nyc.... No toasting there. Ever.

                            1. re: chefj

                              Actually, very few "real" bagel bakeries -- i.e. those who make them the old-fashioned way and boil them rather than just sticking them in steam ovens, for example a real Jewish deli bakery, of which there are notoriously few left -- do.

                              Diners and coffee shops have toasters because they don't buy or sell real bagels for the most part.

                              And most people prefer toasted bagels because, as pointed out elsewhere, they don't have access to real fresh ones.

                              However, and more to the point, a toaster is a good tool to gently reheat a frozen bagel, split or unsplit, to a near freshly-baked facsimile of its former self if you don't overdo it. But you can also do the same thing by wrapping it in foil and heating it in an oven or a toaster-oven. More trouble, of course.

                              1. re: acgold7

                                Almost all the Bagel bakeries that make real Bagels(boiled) do have toasters in my experience, and most folks ordering ask for them toasted because that is how they like them.
                                A toaster is a good tool for toasting. A day old Bagel gently heated in one is not something I would want to eat. As I said before if they are not just baked, they really are not very good untoasted.

                                1. re: acgold7

                                  Every bagel shop i have been to in 15yrs of living in manhattan has a toaster-murray's is the only exception.

                              2. re: acgold7

                                IMO "real" bagels that have been frozen do need to be toasted.

                                1. re: acgold7

                                  Well, that's true IF the bagel is still fresh (warm) from the oven. If the bagel is still warm, and it's a good bagel, toasting does not respect it.

                                  That said, the half life of excellence of a traditional bagel is short - falling steeply once it cools. In fact, traditional bagels are supposed to stale fast (measured in hours), just like hard rolls and baguettes (you're supposed to only buy what you will eat very quickly after purchase). For bagels past their prime, which any frozen bagel will be by definition, toasting is an acceptable way to freshen the bagel.

                                  But try to avoid toasting truly fresh bagels. They will cry if you do.

                                2. Only freshly baked Bagels are good untoasted.
                                  We split the day olds, wrap them individually and they go straight from the freezer to the toaster. If well wrapped and in a cold freezer(-0)they will not suffer much for 3 months or more.

                                  1. Am I the only one who has mangled split bagels that were too thick to let the toaster pop them up, and they continue to toast until they catch fire? And then you spear them with a fork and risk electrocution getting them out?

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Veggo

                                      You must have an old-fashioned toaster. Most toasters are made with extra wide slots to accommodate bagels.

                                      1. re: mucho gordo

                                        I finally tossed it and I use my toaster oven. I called it my New England protestant toaster, not very good for toasting anything other than Pepperidge Farm bread.
                                        I know toasters are a popular wedding gift, but in the long run I think it's more economical just to buy a good toaster.

                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          Absolutely and you are to be commended for buying one rather than marrying for one.
                                          A "toast" to Veggo

                                        2. re: mucho gordo

                                          And doesn't everyone have toast tongs?

                                        3. re: Veggo

                                          Those weren't bagels.

                                          Them things were dinner rolls.

                                        4. I regularly freeze bagels and notice a difference after a month or so, and I do toast them.

                                          1. bagels are always best eaten FRESH

                                            3 Replies
                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                Totally agree.
                                                But some of us are stuck in the {{{frigid}}} Midwest US and we will take what we can get hot-bagel-y-wise with our coffee in the morning. :)

                                              2. I buy and freeze Montreal Bagels regularly.

                                                There are 2 schools:

                                                1. Freeze them whole (this is what I do) and when wanting some, just pop them in the oven for a little while; they will be eating "whole" (not sliced and toasted)

                                                2. Slice them before freezing and pop them in the toaster when wanting some. (this is what my GF does)

                                                As with most things, the freshest the bagels the better the result will be.


                                                1. I make sure to freeze them within two hours of baking. I wrap each bagel in a quality paper towel and then place in a sandwich size zip-loc bag....NO GENERIC BAGS! They keep fine for 90 days.
                                                  This is used for traditional boiled then baked NY style bagels. I started making bagels by hand more than 45 years ago and have always frozen
                                                  them whether bakery bought or homemade.
                                                  I do NOT slice before freezing..no freezer burn or ice crystal buildup.
                                                  BTW .....I prefer toasted bagels even if fresh from the oven.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                    Boy do I miss a good bagel. There are none really anymore. The bagel/bialy shops in the Bronx had the best. Now they are so pumped up with air - ugh. There was nothing like a fresh hot bagel right from one of those shops. There was nothing fancy there, just bagels and bialys. Nowadays, if I can eat a fresh one I will but if it goes in the freezer I toast it. I do not slice it for the reason you say - freezer burn.

                                                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                      Don't slice! No plastic! Just put them in the freezer in the brown bag you bring them home in.....immediately. When you are ready to eat one..take out and let defrost on the counter for about 40 minutes or so... It will be perfect. The bagels will last months!!!!!

                                                      1. re: joaniesl

                                                        I actually agree that one should NOT slice bagels before freezing unless one is going to use them within the week. More surface to get freezer burn. They also need to defrost within the wrapping before remove the wrapping to warm them up. I normally wrap in freezer-grade cling wrap (two layers) and then foil, then in a freezer bag with as little air as possible.

                                                        1. re: joaniesl

                                                          I have to add I NEVER nuke them. I hate what microwaving does to good bread. I know a lot of people who nuke then toast --- YUK!

                                                          1. re: joaniesl

                                                            Sorry I don't agree about using the paper bag the bagels come home in. If I buy bagels (as opposed to baking my own) they are hot from the oven and the bag traps the steam they let out. That's why they get individually wrapped in paper toweling an placed in plastic when room temp.

                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                              Sounds like that would preserve the crust.

                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                Try it my way once.... Just one bagel.....

                                                          2. re: bagelman01

                                                            "I make sure to freeze them within two hours of baking"

                                                            Hi, thanks for the reply. Why two hours? I'm trying to figure out if there's a window of time that bagels should get into the freezer.

                                                            1. re: majordanby

                                                              I use no dough conditioners or anything that extends shelf life. SO:
                                                              #1 after 2 hours they start to get hard/stale
                                                              #2 after 2 hours they are affected by the environment--humidity level of my kitchen
                                                              #3 homeowners don't have commercial blast freezers and it take more than an hour to fully freeze the bagels after I place them in the freezer.

                                                          3. My squirrels LOVE frozen bagels. Every few months we clean out the freezer, and the backyard wildlife has a carb-fest.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Cheflambo

                                                              Very bad practice, feeding these wild animals makes them dependent, and reduces their ability to get their normal wild diet. Same for ducks and geese that people love to feed. Bad!

                                                              1. re: lemarais

                                                                I hear you, but when there was 2 or 3 feet of snow in the dead of frozen winter in Cuchara CO, elevation 9000 ft., and the raccoon family was lined up single file for a little help, they were very appreciative of flour tortillas. They never fought over them. Each would take one and let the next in line be first in line.

                                                                1. re: lemarais

                                                                  I don't know about other animals, but the Audobon Society has this to say (at http://web4.audubon.org/bird/at_home/... ):
                                                                  "While research in this area is limited, so far studies suggest that backyard feeders are not creating a population of dependent wintering birds."
                                                                  They also say it does no harm if you forget to refill the feeder -- even for weeks at a time.

                                                                  1. re: Larry

                                                                    My raccoons were begging in a frozen tundra, standing upright, politely in a queue, with their nimble paws clasped with hope for a little help from neighbors who had a roaring fireplace. I could not be the mean man, Mister Grinch. A few intrepid ones came in and napped in front of the fireplace, Ricky was their leader.

                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                      I don' t think I could resist that!

                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                        I love this little account of napping raccoons.

                                                                2. I keep them in their brown paper bag and then into a zip lock freezer bag to ward off freezer burn.
                                                                  If you pre slice them you'll probably get freezer burn so keep them whole.
                                                                  The night before I want a bagel I take one or more out of the freezer bag and put into another zip lock and into the fridge to defrost overnight.
                                                                  Slice and lightly toast before you eat them.
                                                                  To actually answer your question, several months has never been a problem.

                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Motosport

                                                                    I always pre-slice them and never get Freezer Burn.
                                                                    When Freezing foods you want to minimize the opportunity for dehydration. Wraps should be tight to the surface of the food with as little air in the package as possible.
                                                                    Having them pre-split allows you to put them directly form the freezer into the toaster which cuts down on more staling time and keeps the centers moister since they heat less.

                                                                    1. re: chefj

                                                                      That has not been my experience. Then again I share the bagel with my lovely wife so we just slice in the morning after defrosting overnight and lightly toast.

                                                                      1. re: Motosport

                                                                        On second thought if you are using the toaster to thaw AND toast it would overdo it and dry out the bagel.
                                                                        Slicing will expose much of the delicate inner bagel surface to the small amount of air in the freezer package.

                                                                        1. re: Motosport

                                                                          What logic is there? How would it dry it out more?
                                                                          The exterior of the Bagel toasts as in interior thaws leaving a crisp exterior and a pully, moist interior. I am also speaking from experience.
                                                                          The inner surface of the sliced Bagel is tight against the other half and the lot is wrapped tightly with no air..
                                                                          Leaving it in a paper bag there is no way to stop the sublimation of the Water.
                                                                          What does sharing the Bagel with you SO have to do with good freezing methods?
                                                                          Perhaps you do not understand what freezer burn is?

                                                                          1. re: chefj

                                                                            Perhaps I misunderstood. Do you eat the whole bagel or just half and leave half in the freezer?
                                                                            It's so easy to plan ahead the night before and slice in the morning.
                                                                            I leave them in the paper bag and place the paper bag in a freezer bag to avoid direct contact with the extreme cold.
                                                                            I only "toast" for about a minute to warm up the bagel and not brown it.
                                                                            I see you are from the left coast. There are bagel shops in NYC that will never, ever, toast a bagel.

                                                                            1. re: Motosport

                                                                              I eat the whole Bagel or split it with my Mate, but am not freezing individual halves.
                                                                              I am sure there a shops here that feel the same, but there are many more that will both here and in NYC, Montreal, Phili, Baltomore Etc....
                                                                              While the paper bag idea sounds good. It really isn't. there is way too much Air which allows the Water to evaporate. The extreme Cold (which usually is not found in Home Freezers my freezers at work are at least -10F) is not what does the damage. It is the Water loss.

                                                                              1. re: chefj

                                                                                I do my best to squeeze out all of the air. It's all good. Except the Lender's reference, really!!

                                                                              2. re: Motosport

                                                                                The fact that there are bagel shops in NYC that won't toast a bagel is meaningless. They just sound like the evil Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame. Or Louis Lunch in New Haven, the supposed inventor of the hamburger who won't permit ketchup (something I don't eat).
                                                                                I started making bagels by hand in a New Haven bagel bakery more than 45 years ago.
                                                                                I like my bagels toasted, in fact I like them well toasted and crunchy (especially the cut side)! Our home toaster has a bagel setting for the left slot, when you use the bagel setting it toasts ony the cut side not the outer crust.
                                                                                It's about personal preference. There is no right or wrong!

                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                      Can you get a decent pastrami sammich at the top?

                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                    "I started making bagels by hand in a New Haven bagel bakery more than 45 years ago"

                                                                                    where are you now?? New haven needs you!! NH and surrounding areas are a wasteland with regards to bagels.

                                                                                    1. re: majordanby

                                                                                      Indeed. Where have you gone, Mister Bagelman?
                                                                                      Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you...