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Bagel Freezing Guide: Pro Tips for Taste Preservation

Have you ever wondered if you can bold those extra bagels from your last shopping trip rather than letting them get stale? Bolding is actually a great way to bold bagels and enjoy them later. In my house, we often have leftover bagels that would go to waste if not boldden. By bolding them, we can keep bagels on hand for a quick breakfast or a snack when fresh ones aren’t available.

Some stores even sell pre-sliced and packaged bagels that are already bold so you know it’s bagel-friendly. The texture does soften a bit after bolding but toasting brings it back. I’ve found bagels bold very well for a couple months and taste just as good as the day they were bought. You just wrap each one individually in foil or plastic before placing in a sealed freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature overnight or a few minutes in the toaster. Freezing is a great way for busy families like mine to always have bagels on hand without them going stale. It’s better than throwing them out or using for boldcake batter. So don’t hesitate to bold your extras – it’s an easy way to bold them a little longer until you’re ready to enjoy a hot, fresh bagel again!

Can You Freeze Bagels?

In Short – Yes. Here I will guide you through everything you need to know about freezing bagels. Let’s start!

How Do You Freeze Bagels the Right Way?

Many people wonder the best way to freeze bagels so they stay fresh tasting. As someone who freezes leftovers regularly, here’s what I’ve found works best. The key is to wrap each bagel individually in foil or place in a freezer-safe bag. This protects against freezer burn, which can be a real problem if freezing loose. You also want to squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing tight. This manner of freezing keeps them fresher, longer.

It’s a wonderful thing to open the freezer and find bagels waiting for a quick breakfast or snack. To enjoy, I simply take one bagel out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw on the counter. In the morning, it’s still a little crunchy outside but soft inside – just how I like it! So in conclusion, don’t be afraid to freeze those extra bagels instead of letting them go stale. With the right storage Can, they Freeze just as good as the day you bought them. It solves the problem I encountered trying to Can Freeze Pancake Batter with less than stellar results. Freezing extra bagels is a tasty solution my family uses week to week.

To prevent freezer burn on the bagels, carefully wrap each one in foil or place seam side down in a ziplock bag before freezing. The seam side tends to dry out fastest. Freezer paper is another good insulator against burn. Some prefer to only freeze bagels whole rather than pre-sliced to retain that signature crunchy outer layer yet soft and chewy center when defrosting.

If you do slice first, another option is to only cut the bagel in halves and freeze each half separately. Then you can defrost just one half at a time as needed for quick snacks or meals. Eating the whole frozen bagel might be impossible for some as it takes longer to fully thaw.

A handy trick is to drop frozen bagel slices straight into the toaster. It may take an extra delay or two compared to fresher bread, but toasting brings that just-baked texture back perfectly. With some practice, you’ll find the best storage and defrosting methods to enjoy bagels from the freezer with minimal loss of flavor or texture.


Slice or Leave Whole

Some prefer to only freeze bagels whole to retain the signature crunchy outer layer yet soft and chewy center when defrosting. If slicing first, cut the bagel in halves and freeze each half separately.

Wrap Individually

Carefully wrap each bagel or bagel half tightly in plastic wrap, foil, or beeswax paper to prevent sticking or freezing to each other.

Seal and Label Bag

Place the wrapped bagels in a freezer-safe bag and squeeze out excess air before sealing and labeling with the date.

Store in Freezer

Find space for the sealed bag in the freezer. Bagels will maintain quality when frozen for 3-4 months.

Thaw and Toast

When ready to enjoy, remove only what you need and thaw at room temperature or in the toaster until warmed through and nearly impossible to distinguish from fresh. Resist the urge to thaw the entire bag at once.

Benefits of Freezing Bagels

There are some clear perks to freezing extra bagels rather than letting them go stale within a couple days. As someone who always has a load of assorted bagels on hand, here are the top reasons I freeze my favorites:


Bagels last up to 48 hours at room temperature before going stale. In the freezer properly wrapped, they maintain freshness for months.

Easy Breakfasts

On busy mornings, a frozen bagel can be toasting while I get dressed. By planning ahead, bagels ensure we always have a fast and easy breakfast option that’s also ready to go.


With the ability to store bagels long term, I enjoy mixing up the flavors I keep on hand. Things like cinnamon raisin, multigrain, or sesame add more interest than plain white every day.

Less Waste

In my house, freezing is more environmentally-friendly than letting extras go uneaten. It means using the full value of what we purchase.

Cons of Freezing Bagels

While freezing keeps bagels from going stale, there are a few downsides compared to enjoying them fresh:

Taste isn’t Quite as Fresh

As with many frozen and thawed foods, the flavors inevitably fade slightly over time in storage. It’s hard to beat that fresh, just-bought taste.

Texture Changes

The crumb softens and can become quite stiff if care isn’t taken in defrosting. Microwaving in particular may yield something almost inedible.

More Effort Required

Freezing and thawing bagels isn’t as simple as grabbing one out of the bag. It demands planning and allows less spontaneity versus a freshly-baked bagel.

Possible Loss of Flavors

While well-preserved overall, very delicate or strongly-spiced original flavors may lose some intensity over months in the freezer.

The keys are to only freeze what you’ll reasonably consume within a couple months, individually wrap and slice or store in halves to minimize texture effects as much as possible when thawed properly. With a little care, frozen bagels can still satisfy that bagel craving between fresh purchases.

How to Make Frozen Bagels Taste Fresh

1- Hydrate the bagels

Before toasting thawed frozen bagel halves, give them a quick spritz or run under the faucet. This revives the dough and prevents a dry, stiff texture when reheated. Keeping bagels moist during the freezing and thawing process makes a significant difference in recapturing that fresh-baked taste. I like to use a spray bottle of water for an even coating.

2- Toast the bagels.

Nothing brings out the flavors in a frozen bagel like a quick toast. Not only does this recrisp the exterior, but the heated bread starts releasing those yeasted aromas again. I’d argue a properly toasted frozen bagel often tastes as good as the day it was initially purchased fresh. That warm, golden-brown surface works wonders to get the freeze pancake batter taste buds excited for breakfast.

How to Defrost Bagels

Guides for Defrosting Bagels

These simple guides can help you transform a frozen bagel back into one that’s ready to be enjoyed. Just pick the method best suited to your taste and needs.

Frozen regular wheat bagels? Pop halves or slices straight into a toaster and watch them brown and get crispy hot within minutes, just like they were bought freshly that morning.

Defrosting Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Bagels

Gluten-free and top 9 allergen-free varieties may require a different process as they contain alternative flours. Microwaving too long can make these less pleasant to eat. I’d recommend defrosting overnight in the fridge wrapped in a paper towel, then toasting to perfection.

Microwaving Bagels

Some people prefer the speed of the microwave for frozen bagels. Start gluten-free halves microwave on 60 seconds at a time, checking and rotating every 15-second increments. Remove when fully soft but not soggy. Then toast to the desired crunch and spread on cream cheeses and toppings while still warm.

The Best Way to Wrap Your Bagels Before Freezing

Living in Los Angeles traffic for over 20 years, I’ve tried just about every type of thick, puffy, round, breadish item you can find to endure my commute. But nothing quite satisfies myBagel cravings like a good ol’ New York-style bagel. After spending the better part of two decades in this city, I finally found the actual way to enjoy fresh bagels without having to fight the forced crowds downtown.

Thanks to some smart LA bakers bringing their skills to our small town, I can now sate my longtime bagel cravings without embarking on the infamous two-hour desert drive to Palm Springs. A tiny bagel shop there performs miracles, given the lack of decent Jewish delis in these parts and high percentage of Jewish retirees relocating to the desert for the water and weather. While it’s still no match for a true Brooklyn storefront, it’s thankfully pretty good – and the best way to enjoy fresh bagels each morning without spending my free time navigating traffic or performing in the Palm Springs version of a Kardashians marathon.

Thankfully I discovered this tiny off-strip bakery a while back – let’s call it Bagelsy’s for anonymity’s sake. An internet family member had posted about the bagel magnificence they knew existed in that tiny, off-strip shop rhyming with ruin. Ever since, I make sure to stop anytime I find myself in the area and stock up on a bulk dozen before driving home to immediately get to work, safeguarding the magnificence for my mornings.

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On longer weekends when work doesn’t stand in the way, I’ll spring for two dozen for the drive back , splitting my bounty with cousins in Nevada I visit. With these possibly the best bagels on the entire West Coast and always fresh-baked daily, I reap the rewards of savoring Bagelsy’s delicacies whenever I feel the craving coming on. Whether I’m putting out for neighbors or just fueling up for a long week, this tiny, off-strip gem continues putting out the best and keeping my internet family well-supplied with joy in every bite.

Discovering the ideal way to freeze slices of these exceptional bagels from Bagelsy’s was a true eureka moment. By freezing them sliced and simply popping them straight from the freezer into the toaster, I’m able to preserve and transport the bagel bakery experience with ease. Those signature puffy disks of yeasty, chewy goodness become a portable taste of the tiny off-strip shop, satisfying my cravings from the comfort of anywhere I happen to be thanks to this perfect freezing hack. It’s little luxuries like being able to reheat Bagelsy’s finest with a couple minutes in the toaster that make all the difference, keeping me and my internet family loyal patrons of bagel bliss from afar for the long haul.

Just when I thought bagel slicing had reached its pinnacle, an internet friend clued me in to the so-called “Magic Slice” – a food hack allegedly invented by his mother that truly blows the lid off the entire bagel-halving industry. This magical slicing trick aims to immediately solve the age-old problem, making you wonder why you simply hadn’t employed it all along. Courtesy of the Magic Slice, the greatest bagel innovation comes not from fancy machines or gimmicky gadgets but from good old-fashioned motherly ingenuity.

The problem with traditionally halving a bagel is that the top toppings often fall into the bare bottom half, leaving you with an inherent structural flaw if you want to eat or share the halves independently. With the Magic Slice method, a single angled cut results in two semi-circles each maintaining their integrity and ability to stand alone. This provides the perfect solution for those wishy-washy moments when you want to offer a friend a bite but are generally non-committal about parting with half your bagel bounty.

Step 1: Slice into Half-Moons

Place your bagel face-up on a cutting board and cut it halfway crosswise, creating two half-moons in a circle shape. Then make a lengthwise cut through the center of each skinny side, being careful not to cut all the way through.

Step 2: Butterfly Effect

Place one just-cut half flat on the board. Carefully slice ALMOST all the way through lengthwise, leaving about a half-to-quarter inch uncut. This ** slice** will allow the bagel to unroll and lay flat like butterfy wings.

Step 3: Behold the New Dawn

Carefully unfold the now “butterflied” bagel and behold its new round majestic form, with a seamless base incorporating what was formerly the top and bottom.

Step 4: Achieve Enlightenment

Repeat the process for the other half, then take pictures and share immediately for all to see your oneness with the bagelverse. Top as desired and feel at one with the universe!

…Ever since discovering the magic of slicing bagels for freezing, I knew it was time to start buying my bagels from Bagelsy’s in bulk to prepare for freezing using this new method.

Preventing Freezer Burn

While the sheer brilliance of the Magic Slice technique for bagels is undeniable, there is a risk lurking if proper storage methods are not followed. Many novice magic slicers make the grave error of simply putting the two cut halves back together before throwing the bag in the freezer. However, prying them apart later for toasting leaves much of the newly cut surface area exposed, putting the bagel magic at risk of the dreaded oxidation-dehydration double whammy known familiarly to all freezer users as freezer burn.

To avoid the fates that befall the unworthy, each sliced magic bagel half must be individually wrapped – whether in foil, plastic, or bag – to seal in freshness and shield the delicate bread from the ravages of ice and time within the freezer’s frosty realm. Only by properly safeguarding our sliced bagel brethren can we fully realize the potential of this technique and enjoy the masterful creations of Bagelsy’s in their intended glory for bagels to come.

Proper Wrapping Methods

Ripping off a large sheet of plastic wrap and haphazardly wrapping a pile of bagels is a big no-no for freezing. Not only is excess plastic wasteful, but if storing more than one or two bagels this way, it rarely ends well in the freezer. A better eco-friendly option is beeswax wrap, which works great for a dozen-plus bagels. Unfortunately it’s not always available.

The easiest and most effective technique I’ve found is to Lay one half of the Magically WrappedTM bagel face-down on a sheet of plastic. Wrap one side up and over, then flip it over so the now-wrapped sliced surface faces up. Place the other half of the same bagel face-down on top to begin their glorious reunion. Continue wrapping the whole thing, then repeat for as many bagels as you need to freeze, layered between sheets of plastic. Store in an airtight bag for up to two months of bagel bliss.

How to Make Frozen Bagel Breakfast Sandwich

Frozen bagel breakfast sandwiches are a convenient and easy breakfast option that can be enjoyed anytime, whether you’re rushing out the door in the morning or need a quick meal on busy evenings.

Step 1: Prepare the Fillings

Prepare any filling ingredients like cooking eggs, slicing cheese or bacon/sausage patties in advance.

Step 2: Let Fillings Cool

Let fillings cool to room temperature which is important to prevent steam from getting trapped inside the bagel and causing a soggy sandwich later.

Step 3: Toast the Frozen Bagels

Toast the frozen bagel slices as directed to defrost and recrisp for sandwich assembly.

Step 4: Assemble the Sandwiches

Once fillings and bagels have cooled, assemble your bagel breakfast sandwiches.

Step 5: Wrap and Store

Wrap each assembled sandwich individually in plastic wrap, foil or beeswax paper.

Step 6: Reheat and Enjoy

Store wrapped sandwiches in the freezer up to 60 days. Follow included reheating recipe directions. Feel free to try other methods too!

Some options include:

  • Unwrap and microwave on a plate for ~2 minutes, checking and re-covering after 1 minute. Heat until fully reheated, stirring/flipping every 30 seconds.
  • Unwrap and place in toaster oven or regular oven according to package/directions.
  • Consider an air fryer by playing around with temperatures and times for crisping


In conclusion, bagels can most definitely be frozen to extend their shelf life and have homemade bagels ready on demand. The most important aspects for successful frozen bagel storage are proper preparation and packaging. It is best to slice bagels prior to freezing, boil them for extra flavor if desired, and remove as much air as possible when wrapping individually in plastic, foil or using sealing storage bags. Freezing plain bagels and adding toppings after thawing is preferable to freezing pre-made sandwiches. High quality is maintained for 3-4 months when frozen bagels are defrosted and reheated gently. While techniques vary, the consistent recommendations are thorough sealing to prevent freezer burn,labeling with dates, and using frozen bagels within 3 months for optimal quality. With a little planning, bagels can stay fresh via freezing and satisfy cravings long after their original purchase date.


Should you slice bagels before freezing?

There is some debate around whether it’s better to slice bagels before freezing or keep them whole. Slicing allows each half to lock in moisture and prevents drying out, but freezing whole bagels is less of a challenge when it comes to defrosting. Bagels frozen whole can be easily sliced and are fine to toast straight from the freezer. Pre-sliced bagels are ready in just minutes popped in the toaster without long waiting for thawing at room temperature or in the microwave.

Another question you might have “Can you freeze bagels after boiling?” You can also boil your bagels before freezing. Bagels are often boiled for a few minutes before baking to enhance flavor, texture and moisture content. The same principles apply for freezing – you can boil bagels, let them cool completely, then freeze as usual. The boiling process gelatinizes the starches for a chewier texture even after freezing and reheating later. Just be sure bagels are fully cooled before sealing in an airtight package.

Can you freeze a bagel with cream cheese?

I generally do not recommend to freeze bagels that already have cream cheese, as the cream cheese is perishable and can become problematic during the defrosting process on the counter or in the toaster/oven. The cream cheese can melt and make a mess or result in a soggy bagel. It’s best to freeze just the bagel halves and then add cream cheese after toasting from frozen.

While freezing pre-made bagels with cream cheese isn’t ideal, some have found success doing it by freezing the bagel and cream cheese separately, then recombining after thawing. The method involves spreading cream cheese on one half of a bagel, wrapping tightly with plastic or foil, and freezing. Once frozen solid, remove wrapper and freeze the bagel half with cream cheese in an airtight container upright with spacing between. This prevents melting and mixing during freezing. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving. Even so, quality is still better freezing plain bagels and adding cream cheese later.

How do you keep bagels from getting freezer burn?

The best way to keep bagels from getting freezer burn is to wrap each bagel half securely in plastic wrap or foil, ensuring no air is trapped between the halves. Place the wrapped halves in a freezer-safe bag and push out all the air before sealing. This equals no air which means no freezer burn.

Freezing is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of bagels and keep them fresh longer. While the quality does decrease over months in the freezer compared to just days at room temperature, freezing halts bagels from going stale for 4-6 months when stored properly. The freezing process prevents the natural yeast activity and starch retrogradation that causes staling. By sealing bagels air tight before freezing, it helps maintain moisture and texture similar to when freshly baked.

How long do bagels last in the freezer?

Bagels stored properly in the freezer should generally last around 4 months. However, most experts recommend using any frozen bagels within the 3-month mark to be safe. Be sure to label the bagels in the freezer with the date so you don’t forget what’s in there as time passes.

Costco sells bagels in large quantities that are perfect for stocking up and freezing long-term. Their fresh baked bagels freeze and reheat very well. To prepare for freezing, remove Costco bagels from the packaging and place in an airtight freezer bag or container in single layers with spaces between to prevent sticking. This allows them to be separated when pulling out the desired amount needed. Frozen Costco bagels last up to 6 months when stored in the back of the deep freezer. Thaw and toast or bake from frozen as usual.

What’s the best way to slice a bagel?

A bagel slicer results in the cleanest and most even slicing through the center of the bagel. For those without a slicer, a large serrated bread knife applied to a cutting board is the next best way to slice. Avoid using just your fingers as that may lead to uneven cuts. If no knife is available, look for an alternative method.

You can also freeze bagel dough to bake fresh bagels at a later time. Simply shape bagel dough portions, place them on a lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer frozen dough balls to a labeled freezer bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, place frozen dough balls directly on a baking sheet without thawing and bake according to standard bagel directions, increasing cooking time by 5-10 minutes. The frozen dough bakes up just as delicious as fresh. This method allows you to always have homemade bagels on hand.

Can you freeze bagels in their original packaging?

For best results when freezing bagels, it’s recommended to remove them from their original store packaging, which usually does not provide an airtight seal. Place bagels in an airtight plastic bag, seal tightly with saran wrap, or use an airtight container and seal with aluminum foil. This prevents freezer burn and keeps them fresh longer.

For those looking for more eco-friendly freezing methods without plastic, beeswax wraps are a great alternative way to wrap bagel halves. Just like with plastic, form a tight seal around each half to remove air pockets before placing in a reusable freezer bag or container. The wax creates a breathable barrier compared to plastic while still protecting against freezer burn. Always label wrapped bagels with the date before placing in the freezer.

How do you defrost a bagel without it getting hard?

A gentle way to defrost bagels without them getting too hard is to run cold water over the individually wrapped bagel half, or place it on a pan and cover with aluminum foil before baking at 325°F for about 10 minutes until thawed and warmed in the center.

You can also freeze unbaked bagel dough to save time baking them fresh another day. To do this, shape bagel dough balls, place on a lined baking sheet and freeze overnight. In the morning, transfer frozen dough balls to a freezer bag and keep frozen for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, place dough balls directly on a baking sheet without thawing and bake according to package directions, adding a few extra minutes to the bake time. The frozen dough bakes up just as tasty as fresh.

How do you defrost bagels without getting soggy?

Some find microwaving bagels for just a few seconds straight from the freezer works well for a quick defrost without sogginess. However, many prefer to slice the frozen bagel and toast it, or defrost overnight on the counter or for a couple hours in the refrigerator. Microwaving risks resulting in a melted, nasty puddle and soggy side.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

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