Giving fresh taste to day-old bagels

Burning Questions


Is there any way to get day-old bagels to taste as fresh at home as they do when they come straight from the bakery?

You can come pretty close. First, there is the matter of storage. When I buy bagels, I store the day's ration in a loosely closed paper bag at room temperature. I put the rest into a large resealable plastic bag, suck out the air using a plastic drinking straw, seal and freeze.

To rejuvenate a frozen bagel, take it out of the freezer an hour or so before you want to eat it. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. When the oven is hot, run the bagel under the tap, get it good and wet - and put it directly on the oven rack. The heat will turn the water into steam, moistening the bagel's interior, and, as it cooks off, forming a good crisp crust on the exterior.

Check it after five minutes or so to see if you have achieved optimum crispness. Depending on the size of the bagel and how defrosted it was, you may have to repeat the wetting procedure once or even twice.

Erica Marcus writes for Newsday.

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