Bagels taste amazing with both sweet and savory toppings or no toppings at all! The question is: can you freeze bagels? Yes! A surplus of these donut-shaped bread treats will be kept fresh for longer in the freezer. Even better, we’ll go through the best methods for freezing bagels, as well as thawing and reheating so they’ll taste as good as fresh!
Whether you purchased a package of bagels from the grocery store and have some left or you baked a large batch of homemade bagels, freezing extras is an excellent way to preserve them and enjoy them at a later date.
🥯 Can You Freeze Bagels?
Yes! All types of bagels freeze well as long as they are stored correctly. The biggest issue with freezing bagels is most people don’t do it right, and they become susceptible to freezer burn.
🗄️ How Long Do Bagels Last In The Fridge?
Homemade bagels will last up to 5 days in the fridge. The store-bought bagels will have a longer shelf life of 5-7 days.
At room temperature, homemade bagels should be consumed within 2 days, and store-bought bagels last for 3-5 days. If you keep the bagels you brought home from the grocery store or bakery in a brown paper bag, they’ll only last for 2 days.
How you store them will have a big impact on the shelf life of bagels. If you want to keep them on the counter, I recommend you place them in an airtight container or wrap them in cling film.
🧊 How Long Do Bagels Last In The Freezer?
Bagels last for 3-4 months in the freezer. With proper storage, they stay safe to eat for longer although their taste and texture won’t be the same. This applies to all types of bagels and bread products: store-bought, bakery, or homemade.
✔️ Can You Freeze Bagel Dough?
You bet! Bagel dough retains its best qualities for up to 3 months in the freezer. Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
There’s no better way to enjoy a bagel than freshly baked, and freezing raw bagel dough means you’ll always have this option.
❄️ How To Freeze Bagels
- Slice the bagels on a cutting board. A bagel slicer, bread knife (serrated knife), or a sharp kitchen knife will ensure you get a nice, even cut.
- Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (freezing sliced bagels will ensure faster thawing but it’s optional). Make sure they don’t touch each other.
- Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer. This method is called “flash freezing”. Let it sit in the freezer for 3-5 hours.
- Once the bagels are frozen solid, wrap each half in several layers of Press-n-Seal, regular plastic wrap, or aluminum foil, then place them in a sealable freezer bag or airtight container. Try to squeeze out as much air as possible if using a freezer bag. You can do the same for freezing whole unsliced bagels.
- Label with date and contents.
- Freeze for up to 3-4 months.
Tips: Never freeze store-bought bagels in the original packaging. It’s not as insulating as freezer bags and containers. It often results in freezer burn and early spoilage. To ensure maximum freshness, your best bet is to freeze the bagels as soon as possible.
💦 How To Thaw Frozen Bagels
To thaw frozen bagels, use one of the following options.
In The Refrigerator Overnight
This is perfect when you want freshly baked bagels for breakfast as it will give you the best taste and texture!
At Room Temperature
Let the frozen bagels sit on the counter for 2-3 hours to bring them back to room temperature.
This method is also time-consuming although the excellent flavor and texture are worth the wait.
In The Microwave
If you use this technique, you’ll have thawed bagels in a few minutes but they won’t taste as good. Also, the bagels can turn hard if microwaved for too long.
- Remove frozen bagels from the plastic or aluminum foil wrap.
- Wrap them in a paper towel and place them on a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds, then in 15-second increments, flipping the bagels in between. It usually takes me only two 15-second turns for the bagels to become perfectly soft.
In The Toaster
If you sliced the bagels in half before freezing, you can even skip the thawing process. Pop them in your toaster or toaster oven and they will thaw and crisp up at the same time!
Use a lower setting than you would for toasting room-temperature bread, since these are frozen and need some time to thaw all the way through.
In The Oven
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Spritz some water on your bagels (or run them under a faucet). This will help them stay moist and protect the crust from burning as they thaw.
- Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until they crisp up.
In The Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Spritz or sprinkle the frozen bagels with a little water(or run them under a tap).
- Place them whole in the air fryer, and cook for 5-6 minutes.
Tip: Try these air fryer frozen bagel bites when you want a quick snack!
♨️ How To Reheat Thawed Bagels
If you thawed bagels in the fridge overnight, or on the counter, here’s how you can reheat them. These methods also apply to bagels that are already sliced in half but the cooking time will be shorter so keep an eye on them.
In The Oven
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Place bagels on a baking sheet or wire rack.
- Transfer to the oven and let them reheat for 4-5 minutes.
Note: If your bagels are a bit stale or you want to get a nice crispy outside and a soft inside, run the bagels under hot water, then bake them using the instructions above. This extra moisture will turn to steam in the oven and will soften the bagel.
In The Air Fryer
- For whole bagels, place them in the air fryer and set it to 350°F.
- Allow the bagels to air fry for 4-5 minutes.
Another option is to toast sliced bagels in the air fryer.
- Preheat the air fryer to 370°F.
- Place bagel halves in the air fryer and toast for 3 minutes.
In The Microwave
I recommend this method only if you like your bagels SOFT. Bagels reheated in the microwave oven will lose all their crispiness. Even fresh bagels!
With that said, the microwave is fast, convenient, and will work even for stale bagels. A soft bagel would make an excellent bun for a light air fryer chicken burger or a pulled pork sandwich.
Just make sure you eat those reheated bagels right away. When the microwave is used for reheating, they’re best served immediately.
- Place the bagels on a microwave-safe plate.
- Cover them with a damp paper towel.
- Microwave in 15-second intervals until the bagels are warm.
💠 How To Freeze Bagel Dough
Making bagel dough at home is so easy! I did it many times for these incredible air fryer everything bagels. Homemade bagel dough is made with basic ingredients. Only water, flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and a short kneading are the requirements for this simple recipe.
My recipe is for the air fryer, although you can go through the same steps of preparing the bagels and bake them in a preheated oven at 425°F (220°C) for 20-25 minutes. Be sure to rotate the sheet pan halfway through the cooking time so they will brown evenly.
Another option is to freeze the bagel dough for later use or even make an extra batch for a later time. In this case, there are two methods you can use.
How To Freeze A Bagel Dough Ball
This method is useful if you know you’ll need to make a larger batch of bagels.
- Prepare the bagel dough using your favorite recipe (or use my recipe which you’ll find linked above).
- Once the dough is proofed, knead it a little to push out the air and roll it into a ball.
- Wrap it tightly in clingfilm and optionally add an extra layer of aluminum foil to protect against moisture and freezer burn.
- Place the wrapped dough ball in a freezer bag or airtight container and label it with the date and contents.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
How To Freeze Already-Shaped Raw Bagels
This is great for enjoying small portions of bagels!
- Start by making the dough according to your recipe, and shape the bagels.
- Place the bagels on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for 3-5 hours or until frozen solid.
- Wrap each bagel in plastic wrap and transfer them to a ziplock freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Label it with the date and contents.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
💧💧How To Thaw Bagel Dough
Whether you froze a ball of dough or shaped bagels, thawing the bagel dough will be done the same.
As usual, the slowest methods are the best and we’ll discuss them below. When it comes to yeasted dough, refrain from thawing it in the microwave or exposing it to any heat source. There’s a good chance the dough might cook a little on the outside.
Overnight In The Fridge
It’s a good idea to plan your bagel cravings! This is the safest way to thaw bagel dough, and pretty much anything else.
- Let the frozen bagel dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- If the next day you need to speed things up, remove it from the fridge and keep it on the counter for up to 1 hour.
- Use it as you would fresh bagel dough once it’s fully defrosted.
In Cold Water
Short on time? This method will work faster, especially if you already formed the bagels before freezing.
- Transfer the frozen dough ball or bagels to a resealable plastic bag and place it in a bowl of cold water. Make sure there is enough water to cover the dough.
- Let it sit for 1-2 hours. You can change the water every 30 minutes to speed up the thawing process. Just make sure to always use cold water!
- As the dough softens, it will start to rise.
- At this point, remove it from the water and the bag, and put it in a dry bowl.
- Keep on the counter for 1 hour so it fully thaws and returns to its original state.
Bagels not only exist in an endless number of versions, but they also pair well with various foods and dishes.
Before baking I like to sprinkle sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion powder, everything bagel seasoning, and other seeds or aromatics on my bagels. You can also mix cinnamon and raisins, chocolate chips, or nuts to make sweet bagels.
Some of my favorite bagel toppings include cream cheese, butter, jam, chives, honey, pecan, and of course, peanut butter and jelly.
Bagels also make excellent sandwiches and are a versatile side dish. We love them next to soup, scrambled eggs, a dip, or a chicken salad. If you have other suggestions, we’d love to hear them!
Yes! Bagels will taste great after thawing as long as they are stored wrapped in a protective layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, placed in a freezer bag or airtight container, and kept at temperatures of 0°F (-18°C) or under.
You can freeze any kind of bagel, and even raw bagel dough.
Not unless you purchased them frozen. Fresh bagels sold in bakeries and grocery store bagels found on shelves don’t have freezer-friendly packaging.
You can wrap each bagel in clingfilm or aluminum foil, place them in a ziplock freezer bag, transfer to the freezer, and enjoy them at their best for the next 3 months.
Assuming they were frozen fresh (on the same day they were baked), thawed bagels will last up to 4 days in the fridge if homemade, and no longer than 5-6 days if they are storebought.
It’s recommended to freeze them in individual wrapping so you don’t have to thaw more than you can eat.
This is optional. Thawing frozen bagels before toasting will make for a fresher-tasting bagel but you can throw them in the toaster straight from the freezer if you’re in a rush. This method is best for bagels that have been sliced before freezing.