Here's How You Should Really Be Storing Bagels In The Short Term

If you've ever had a bagel that wasn't freshly baked the day you bought or ate it, then you likely know just how hard and stale the delicious breakfast item can get. In fact, a bagel can completely dry out into a hardened one in as little as two days, according to The Bagel Club. But if you take the time — which bagels don't require much of — to store them well, bagels can actually outlast that 48-hour expiration date so many people run into at some point or another.

The truth of the matter is that air is the greatest enemy of bagels; it dries them out, which is why properly storing them can help keep the texture, moisture, and flavor of them intact in the short term. While you can always wrap bagels with a damp paper towel before microwaving them for about 15 seconds at a time to revive hardened bagels (per Cooking Chew), using one of two storage methods can prevent the need for this trick.

How you should store your bagels in the short term

According to MyRecipes, bagels that you plan to eat within a day or two can be stored in a plain paper bag on your kitchen countertop at room temperature. So long as the paper bag is folded or rolled closed, it can help to preserve the crust and flavor of the bagels in the short term, though they might get a little chewier — they won't, though, go stale and hard.

Further, if you bought extra bagels to have on hand for later in the week, you can still store them this way. But, additionally, you'll need to place the paper bag inside of a resealable, airtight plastic bag or container, per The Bagel Club. This will allow the bagels to keep for up to five days without hardening too much. And if they do harden a bit, you can always use the damp paper-towel trick to soften them up.

So storing bagels in the short term is actually quite easy if you know what they need. Remember: Air is the enemy of the bagel, and putting them in the refrigerator will deprive them of too much humidity. Just keep in mind that freshly baked bagels do have a relatively short lifespan, so don't buy more than you can really eat within a five-day period — unless you have the freezer space.