In the interest of never tossing an awesome bagel just because you couldn’t eat them lightning fast, here’s my little hack for steaming day old, stale bagels at home, using just a sprinkling of water!
While in Canada, we have eaten more pastries, bagels, and other awesome baked goods, than I can recall eating before in my life. There are two prominent bagel shops here in the Mont-Royal neighborhood of Montreal. Fairmount Bagel and St-Viateur Bagel are both known for their piping hot sesame seed bagels served 24 hours a day. Locals and tourists alike debate which one is best, so naturally, I felt the need to sample both. Twice. Leading to many bagels eaten out of hand while wandering the neighborhoods, and many extra bagels purchased to go as well, because you never know when the craving might hit again.
First and foremost, Montreal’s bagels are absolutely amazing, and I do mean AMAZING when you first carry them out of the shop; piping hot, nutty and crisp on the outside, chewy and slightly sweet inside. They bear little resemblance to the big, fluffy, New York style bagels I’ve eaten in the past. Montreal bagels are much thinner and not nearly as doughy as their American counterparts. For what it’s worth, I had a very hard time choosing a favorite. I loved the hint of sweetness with the Fairmount bagel, but the slightly thinner St-Viateur was my favorite straight out of the oven. (If you are planning to keep them overnight, I found that the Fairmount bagels were softer the following day, but really? If you are in Montreal, just go back to the shop in the morning. It’s worth the walk!)
When we bought bagels this past weekend, I brought a few extra bagels back to our loft to enjoy with breakfast the following morning. Let’s just say that 24 hours later they were sadly lacking in chewiness. Lucky for me, that was easily fixed! Did it bring them back to exactly the same fresh-out-of-the-oven-awesomeness? No, not entirely, but it was very very close! We happily finished the bagels and decided that moving to Montreal just for the ability to add more carbs in our life really could be a reality. (Not really, but it was a lovely little dream.)
How To Soften Stale Bagels
Place the hard bagel on a plate. Sprinkle the plate around the bagel with 8-10 drops of water. Microwave for 30 seconds. Pause and wonder at the awesomeness of a once again soft bagel. Enjoy!