Baking a fresh batch of homemade bagels is an absolute delight, filling your kitchen with a deliciously inviting aroma. But what if you’ve made more dough than you can bake? Here, you might wonder, can you freeze bagel dough? The short answer is, yes, you can. It’s a simple solution to keep your dough fresh for later use. Let’s delve into the step-by-step guide of freezing bagels for the best results.
Need an answer right away? You can freeze bagel dough. After dividing the dough into individual bagel portions, tightly wrap each piece in plastic wrap, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn, and then, store them in a sealed plastic bag or airtight container before placing in the freezer.
The Basics of Freezing Bagel Dough
Freezing bagel dough isn’t rocket science. It’s a great way to preserve your yeasted dough for an extended period, whether it’s for your own bagels or store-bought bagels. The trick to keeping the dough fresh and preventing freezer burn is all about wrapping and storing it the right way.
First, divide your dough into equal pieces, each one ready to be shaped into a bagel. Next, wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap tightly, making sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. The wrapped bagels should then be placed in a sealed plastic bag or airtight container for additional protection.
To keep track of the shelf life of bagels, it’s a good idea to write the date of freezing on the plastic bags. Typically, frozen bagel dough can last a long time in the freezer, often up to 3 months without losing its quality. However, always check for signs of freezer burn or expiration date.
Before baking, thaw your frozen bagel dough at room temperature, covered with a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Allow enough time for the dough to rise before you proceed with baking.
Baking Your Frozen Bagel Dough
Before you start baking your bagels, preheat your oven and prepare your baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The dough should have thawed completely and risen before shaping into bagels.
To shape the bagel, roll each ball of dough into a rope, then join the ends together to form a bagel shape. You can even use your index finger to make the hole in the center. You can top your bagels with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or leave them plain – it’s all up to you!
Once the bagels are ready, bake them until they are golden brown. The high protein content of bread flour can lend your bagels that perfect chewy texture and golden-brown exterior that we all love in a New York-style bagel. Enjoy your homemade bagels with cream cheese or your favorite bagel topping.
Freezing Baked Bagels: An Alternate Route
Not just uncooked bagel dough, but baked bagels can also be frozen for later. This is a quick method for when you want a freshly baked bagel at a moment’s notice.
Once your bagels have cooled after baking, use a serrated knife to slice the bagel halves. Wrap each half in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or place them in a freezer bag. Again, be sure to remove any excess air from the bag to maintain the texture of the bagels. You can then place the wrapped bagels in an airtight bag or container for long-term storage.
To thaw, you can simply toast the frozen bagel halves in a toaster oven on the bagel setting. There’s no need for them to thaw beforehand. Your bagel will be warmed through, and the surface will be nicely toasted, all ready to be spread with a generous layer of cream cheese.
Freezing bagels, be it the dough or the baked product, is a convenient and easy way to extend the shelf life of bagels. The process isn’t complicated, and the outcome is always rewarding – delicious, warm bagels anytime you want.
So, the next time you plan to bake your own batch of bagels, don’t hesitate to make some extra. Be it for breakfast, snack, or an accompaniment for your soup, a frozen bagel can be a lifesaver. Remember, the best part of baking your own bagels is having them fresh whenever you crave them.
For additional reading and tips on freezing dough, you can visit these helpful pages:
- Can You Freeze Pretzel Dough?
- Freezing Yeast Guide
- Can Bread Be Frozen Twice?
- How to Freeze Sourdough Dough
Happy bagel making and freezing!