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Bagels in the freezer

majordanby Dec 14, 2013 05:42 AM

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.

  1. Tripeler Dec 14, 2013 05:46 AM

    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. Veggo Dec 14, 2013 05:55 AM

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

      5 Replies
      1. re: Veggo
        ipsedixit Dec 15, 2013 10:50 AM

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

        1. re: Veggo
          wincountrygirl Dec 15, 2013 10:56 AM

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

          1. re: Veggo
            Motosport Dec 16, 2013 09:29 AM

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

            1. re: Motosport
              Veggo Dec 16, 2013 10:00 AM

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

              1. re: Veggo
                Motosport Dec 16, 2013 10:11 AM

                So far I have yet to win a Kewpie doll!

          2. m
            masha Dec 14, 2013 06:30 AM

            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. d
              DowntownJosie Dec 14, 2013 06:48 AM

              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
                majordanby Dec 15, 2013 07:11 PM

                "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
                  c oliver Dec 15, 2013 07:14 PM

                  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
                    wincountrygirl Dec 16, 2013 03:45 AM

                    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
                      majordanby Dec 16, 2013 04:21 PM

                      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
                        Ttrockwood Dec 16, 2013 06:25 PM

                        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. c oliver Dec 14, 2013 08:05 AM

                    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. a
                      acgold7 Dec 14, 2013 10:22 AM

                      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
                        chefj Dec 14, 2013 10:30 AM

                        Odd how almost every Real Bagel Bakery offers toasting.

                        1. re: chefj
                          masha Dec 14, 2013 12:51 PM

                          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
                            chefj Dec 14, 2013 02:37 PM

                            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
                            Ttrockwood Dec 14, 2013 02:24 PM

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

                            1. re: chefj
                              acgold7 Dec 14, 2013 11:22 PM

                              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
                                chefj Dec 15, 2013 08:39 AM

                                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
                                  Ttrockwood Dec 16, 2013 06:27 PM

                                  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
                                c oliver Dec 14, 2013 01:38 PM

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

                                1. re: acgold7
                                  Karl S Dec 15, 2013 05:58 AM

                                  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. chefj Dec 14, 2013 10:29 AM

                                  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. Veggo Dec 14, 2013 10:34 AM

                                    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
                                      mucho gordo Dec 14, 2013 10:54 AM

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

                                      1. re: mucho gordo
                                        Veggo Dec 14, 2013 11:05 AM

                                        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
                                          mucho gordo Dec 14, 2013 01:04 PM

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

                                        2. re: mucho gordo
                                          c oliver Dec 14, 2013 01:39 PM

                                          And doesn't everyone have toast tongs?

                                        3. re: Veggo
                                          ipsedixit Dec 15, 2013 10:51 AM

                                          Those weren't bagels.

                                          Them things were dinner rolls.

                                        4. w
                                          wincountrygirl Dec 14, 2013 10:55 AM

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

                                          1. jpr54_1 Dec 14, 2013 01:45 PM

                                            bagels are always best eaten FRESH

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: jpr54_1
                                              c oliver Dec 14, 2013 02:12 PM

                                              Not the question :)

                                              1. re: jpr54_1
                                                pedalfaster Dec 14, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                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. :)

                                                1. re: pedalfaster
                                                  jpr54_1 Dec 14, 2013 02:57 PM

                                                  sorry just a comment

                                              2. m
                                                Maximilien Dec 14, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                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. bagelman01 Dec 15, 2013 02:48 AM

                                                  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
                                                    wincountrygirl Dec 15, 2013 04:50 AM

                                                    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
                                                      joaniesl Dec 15, 2013 06:09 AM

                                                      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
                                                        Karl S Dec 15, 2013 06:30 AM

                                                        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
                                                          wincountrygirl Dec 15, 2013 06:31 AM

                                                          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
                                                            bagelman01 Dec 15, 2013 07:13 AM

                                                            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
                                                              wincountrygirl Dec 15, 2013 08:13 AM

                                                              Sounds like that would preserve the crust.

                                                              1. re: bagelman01
                                                                joaniesl Dec 15, 2013 01:21 PM

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

                                                          2. re: bagelman01
                                                            majordanby Dec 15, 2013 07:15 PM

                                                            "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
                                                              bagelman01 Dec 16, 2013 05:39 AM

                                                              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. Cheflambo Dec 15, 2013 10:44 AM

                                                            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
                                                              lemarais Dec 15, 2013 11:09 AM

                                                              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
                                                                Veggo Dec 15, 2013 01:40 PM

                                                                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
                                                                  Larry Dec 15, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                  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
                                                                    Veggo Dec 15, 2013 05:43 PM

                                                                    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
                                                                      wincountrygirl Dec 16, 2013 03:46 AM

                                                                      I don' t think I could resist that!

                                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                                        Tripeler Dec 16, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                                        I love this little account of napping raccoons.

                                                                2. Motosport Dec 16, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                  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
                                                                    chefj Dec 16, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                    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
                                                                      Motosport Dec 16, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        Motosport Dec 16, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          chefj Dec 16, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                                          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
                                                                            Motosport Dec 16, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                            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
                                                                              chefj Dec 16, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                              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
                                                                                Motosport Dec 16, 2013 01:27 PM

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

                                                                              2. re: Motosport
                                                                                bagelman01 Dec 16, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  Motosport Dec 16, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                                                  What haven't you done???

                                                                                  1. re: Motosport
                                                                                    bagelman01 Dec 16, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                                                    Cimbed Mt Everest

                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                      Motosport Dec 16, 2013 01:52 PM

                                                                                      Can you get a decent pastrami sammich at the top?

                                                                                  2. re: bagelman01
                                                                                    majordanby Dec 16, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                                                    "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
                                                                                      Veggo Dec 16, 2013 04:27 PM

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

                                                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                                                        wincountrygirl Dec 17, 2013 04:03 AM

                                                                                        woo woo woo

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