How to Freeze Bagels

Written By Acacia Crossley


Bagels can offer a fun take on an otherwise dull sandwich with endless combination possibilities. This round, dense bread comes in way more flavours than it once did, offering a variety of uses. 

However, bagels are noticeably more expensive than a loaf of bread and can be a costly waste if you do not use them before they turn stale. That is why it is always best to freeze your bagels so that you can always have a fresh selection to hand!

To freeze bagels, wrap them in a sheet of cling film before placing them into a good-quality freezer bag. Seal the bag up, removing as much air as possible then pop the bag into the freezer.

How to Freeze Bagels

It takes little to no effort to freeze bagels, but not doing so correctly can result in some foul-tasting, oddly textured bagels when you defrost them to use at a later date. 

There are 2 methods you can use to freeze your bagels, each with proven successful results. 

Which one you use is up to you – some may find one method more convenient than the other – though it does not matter much which way you choose to freeze your bagels. 

Here are the best two methods for freezing bagels: 

How to Bulk Freeze Bags

When you plan to defrost your frozen bagels in larger quantities, bulk wrapping your bagels may be the most useful to you: 

  1. Find A Heavy Paper Bag
    An old gift bag lying around or a reusable paper bag from a recent shopping trip will be the perfect container when you bulk freeze your bagels. Ensure the bag is clean, and then place your unwrapped whole bagels directly into the paper bag. 
  2. Wrap the Paper Bag in a Plastic Bag
    A paper bag will not be enough to keep your bagels fresh in the freezer. You will need to use a heavy-duty plastic bag to wrap around the paper bag. This extra layer will stop your bagels from getting soggy while they are freezing. 
  3. Remove Air
    Before tying up the plastic bag, squeeze all the air out of the plastic. The key to a fresh bagel is removing as much air from its storage bag as possible. Too much air exposure can make the bagels stale.
  4. Time To Freeze!
    All that’s left to do is find room in your freezer for your bagels and let the cold work its magic. 

You do not need to flash freeze your bagels, but try to keep them away from touching the freezer’s walls directly as they stick! Bagels can be frozen for around 2 months. 

How Do You Defrost Bulk Frozen Bagels?

To get back the freshness of the bagels, defrost them by running the still wrapped bagels under cold water. This will allow them to hydrate and soften up so you can slice and toast them. 

How to Freeze Individual Bagels

Essentially, individually freezing your bagels is much like the above method but requires each bagel to be individually wrapped: 

  1. Wrap Bagels in Plastic Wrap 
    If you wish to slice your bagels before wrapping them, do so just before tightly wrapping each bagel in plastic wrap. The tighter you make the wrap, the less air will be trapped in the bagel and the fresher they can be. 
  2. Place in a Secure Plastic Bag
    Like the bulk freezing method, you will still need to place your individually wrapped bagels in a heavy-duty plastic bag to freeze them. This reduces the risk of freezer burn by limiting how exposed the bagels are to the cold. 
  3. Time To Freeze!
    Individually wrapping your bagels will likely take up more room in your freezer. Make sure there is enough space in your freezer so that you can store your bagels for up to 2 months. 
How Do You Defrost Individual Bagels?

You can microwave each bagel with the plastic wrap still on for around 40 seconds if you want to eat your bagel without toasting it. However, frozen bagels will taste fresher when they are defrosted and then toasted. 

How to Freeze Bagels Successfully

Freezing bagels so that you can have a fresh supply whenever you want is a pretty easy task. However, to ensure that you get the best use out of your frozen bagels, try following these tips: 

  • Slice Bagels Before Freezing – Cutting open your bagels is more likely to increase their freezer burn as the soft inside is more exposed to the cold. But if you use your sliced bagels within 2 weeks or so, then the freezer burn will not be that bad, and you can still have fresh bagels. Otherwise, leave your bagels whole before freezing. 
  • Use Environmentally Friendly Wrapping – Individually wrapping your bagels can be wasteful with how much plastic wrap or parchment paper you need. To be environmentally mindful, you can use reusable beeswax wrap instead and achieve the same results. 
  • Don’t Freeze Bagels If You Don’t Like Them Toasted – While freezing your bagels can keep them fresh, they will often be too damp once defrosted to be pleasant to eat unless you toast them. If you are not a fan of toasted bagels, perhaps avoid freezing them all together. 
  • Double Up Your Bags – If you choose to bulk freeze your bagels, using two plastic bags to wrap around the paper bag will help to prevent freezer burn. For the same protection, you can simply use a thicker plastic bag. 

Do Bagels Freeze Well?

Bagels freeze very well, so long as you do not mind using the bagels in a particular way. Once you have frozen the bagels, they will be best eaten lightly toasted to prevent the defrosted water from altering their texture too much. 

Toasted bagels are very delicious in their own right and can really elevate your favourite sandwich. But if you are not a fan of that extra crunch, then do not freeze your bagels. 

Freezing Bagels FAQs

Do you still have a few queries about freezing bagels? Then these quick FAQs might help you out:

How Long Can You Freeze Bagels?

If the bagels are wrapped and kept airtight, you can keep them frozen for around 2 months. They will be safe to consume beyond this but may have dried out a little.

Can You Freeze Bagels in the Original Packaging?

Yes! Bagels can be frozen in their original packaging as most packaging will be airtight. It can, however, be more convenient to freeze them individually so you can grab one at a time.

Should You Slice Bagels Before Freezing Them?

It depends! Slicing bagels before freezing them will increase the risk of freezer burn but it will also make it easier to grab two slices from the freezer and then pop them into a toaster – not something you can do with a whole bagel!

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