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How do I keep bagels from going soft?

I made bagels recently using the following article on Food52:

They turned out so great! Perfect, crisp outside with a chewy center. The only problem was that the leftover bagels that I left out/put in tupperware got soft and somewhat wilt-y after a while. I'm thinking it was excess steam in the bagels and that they should be cooked longer? Did I just store them the wrong way? How do typical artisan loafs of crusty bread stay so crusty for so long??

Thanks for the help!

asked by Matt Sloan 6 months ago
6 answers 379 views
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BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 6 months ago

I freeze whatever I'm not going to eat immediately. I agree with HalfPint and Pierino, they go stake quickly.

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added 6 months ago

I recently froze almost 300 bagels the day they were made. As soon as they were room temperature, I wrapped them all individually in aluminum foil. Even weeks later, they taste delicious when I pull them out of the freezer.

Your other question about how do crusty loaves stay crunchy on the outside is a tricky one. If you want to store your crunchy loaf in a container, I suggest glass or metal, as plastic tends to breathe in a way that lets in humidity. But that super crackly, crunchy crust will fade the longer it's not eaten. If I buy a levain loaf from a bakery and I can't eat it all the day its made, I pack it in a brown paper bag, but it won't be the same the next day, it's true.

Levain made breads do not stale/change quickly, because they have no "commercial yeast" in them. The more yeast that's in a bread, and the more humidity that is in your region, will add to the staling aka - soft/wet/less crunchy exterior of your loaf.

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added 6 months ago

Humidity is a great point. I live in New Orleans so its very humid.

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added 6 months ago

We have done this several times. We wait till the next day, slice them and freeze in freezer bags so we can see what we have.