Bagels — especially Montreal-style bagels — don’t stay fresh for long. If you leave them on the counter for more than a day or two, they transform into dense hockey pucks that are best left untouched. But fear not — these breakfast time heroes can easily be revived — just follow the simple steps below.
How to revive stale bagels and baguettesNewsflash! It’s Totally Fine To Store Your Bread In The Fridge (And The Freezer Is Even Better)
First, preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 350 F. Place your whole bagels (there’s no need to slice them just yet) on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with water. You don’t need to
get fancy and bring out pastry brush — literally dip your hand in a cup of water and then make it rain over your bagels. (But don’t soak them — a gentle drizzle will do.) Let your slightly damp bagels sit in the oven for about five minutes. When you take them out, they should look noticeably puffier, and, if you’re lucky, your home will fill with the smell of freshly baked — or at least revived — bread.
I like to eat my bagels fresh from the oven, but at this point, you could slice and top ’em with your choice of schmear.
Best of all, this treatment’s not just for bagels. Senior associate food editor Carolyn Chua’s used it to bring French baguettes back to life. After spending a few minutes in the oven, she says the the formerly stale baguettes were indistinguishable from freshly baked loaves. You can try this revitalization method on any bread with a relatively hard-but-thin crust
The freezer is your friend
If you buy a dozen bagel or only make it halfway through a baguette at dinner, freeze them before they even have the chance to go stale. For the sake of convenience, pre-slice your bagels before your freeze them — you’ll be thankful come breakfast-time.