Toasted bagels on wooden surface with cream cheese and knife
Hot Water Is The Key To Bring Your Stale, Dry Bagel Back To Life
If you end up with a stale bagel, you don't have to settle for a dry and brittle breakfast. Since bagels dehydrate when they go stale, all you need to do is add some water back.
Dip your stale bagel in a bowl of hot water, then toast it to bring it back to life. You could also run the bagel under hot water for 30 seconds prior to toasting.
As the bagel reheats, the water evaporates into steam and moistens the stale, dry crumb, rehydrating the crystallized starch molecules and creating a pleasantly crispy exterior.
Don't slice your bagel before wetting it, since that can ruin the contrast between the crispy exterior and soft interior. For extra crispness, wrap it in foil before toasting.
For the best results, place the bagel directly on the wire rack of your oven and heat for 5 minutes at 350 F. Unfortunately, there is one drawback to this method.
Submerging your bagel can mess up the toppings, so if you're working with a sesame, poppyseed, or everything bagel, work carefully or try another method.