How To Make A Bagel Soft: Our Top Tips

Last Updated on April 9, 2024

Today, we’re going to be taking a look at how to make a bagel soft and our top tips for doing so. Nothing beats the first bite of a fresh bagel. They’re perfect for breakfast or lunchtime, and they work well with so many ingredients. But one thing about fresh bread products is that they can become hard quite fast. This is because the product begins to become stale and this happens to fresh bread quickly. So how to make a bagel soft if it’s started to harden? Let’s take a closer look.

What is a Bagel?

I’m sure you’re probably already familiar with bagels. But of not, they’re a bread product that usually comes shaped like a ring. Bagels are made from dough and yeast. They can often fit in the size of your hand and come in a range of varieties, such as:

  • plain bagels
  • onion bagels
  • poppy seed bagels
  • sesame seed bagels
  • blueberry bagels
  • chocolate chip bagels
  • French toast bagels
  • pumpernickel bagels

The yeasted dough is then baked, and your fresh bagel is ready!

Ingredients in a Bagel

The ingredients in a bagel can vary depending on which variety you’re having. However, the most common ingredients include:

  • wheat flour
  • yeast
  • water
  • sweetening
  • eggs
  • milk
  • butter

It’s important to use flour that contains a high volume of gluten. This is because it helps to keep the bagels light and spongy.

Nutritional Information of a Bagel

You may be curious as to the nutritional value of a bagel. Each bagel contains the following:

  • Calories: 245
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 430mg
  • Potassium: 162mg
  • Carbohydrate: 48g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 10g

How to Soften a Hard Bagel in the Oven

When it comes to softening bagels, there are a few ways that you can do this. Whether you’re looking for the best way, or the quickest way – we’ve got the solution to your problem. Let’s take a closer look at how to soften a hard bagel by using the oven.

Things You’ll Need – How To Make A Bagel Soft

  • hard bagel
  • aluminum foil
  • oven gloves
  • baking sheet

Hamilton Beach 2 Slice Extra Wide Slot Toaster with Bagel & Defrost Settings

How To Make A Bagel Soft


Step 1: Wet the Bagel

Before you begin, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 350F. Next, run your tap until it reaches the highest temperature of water it can. At this point, you can place your hard bagel(s) underneath the tap. Leave under running water for around 30 seconds. The aim is to get the bagel completely soaked through.

Step 2: Bake the Bagel – How To Make A Bagel Soft

Now you’ll need to wrap the bagel in aluminium foil and place on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the center of your preheated oven and leave for around 5-7 minutes.

Step 3: Enjoy!

Remove from the oven and unwrap the bagel from the foil. Serve as desired, and enjoy!

How to Soften Bagels in the Microwave

While softening in the oven is the best way, if you’re looking for a quick fix, the microwave method can work too. Let’s take a closer look at how to soften a bagel in the microwave.

Things You’ll Need

  • hard bagel
  • microwave
  • microwavable plate
  • paper towels


Step 1: Prepare the Paper Towels

Add some hot water to the bowl (ensuring it’s cool enough that you can touch it safely). Now place two pieces of paper towel into the water. Once soaked, wring them out so that they are damp. Now wrap your bagel(s) into the damp towels and place them on your microwavable plate.

Step 2: Microwave the Bagels – How To Make A Bagel Soft

Put the plate into the microwave and heat for around 20 seconds (it may need slightly longer). Now you can remove the bagels from the paper towels. Serve and enjoy your softer bagels!

Microwave the Bagels

How to Make a Bagel Not Stale?

While it isn’t possible to reverse the staleness of your bagels, it’s super easy to help them soften up. You can do this by following one of the methods above. If you’re looking for ease, you can use the microwave method. If you’re looking for the best results, you can use the oven method.

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What to do with Old Bagels?

If you think your bagels are past the point of being revived with water and heat, there are plenty of other ways you can use up your bagels. Here are some of my favorite ideas.

  • Bagel Chips. Chips are my weakness, so making chips out of bagels is my favorite option! All you need to do is cut your bagels into chip-like slices and season them with your preferred herbs and spices, and drizzle them with oil. Place in the oven for around 20 minutes at 360F. Serve and enjoy!
  • Croutons. Croutons go perfectly in salads and soups. All you need to do is tear the bread into cubes and place them into a bowl. Toss with oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for around 15 minutes at 360F. Feel free to flavor it with herbs and spices, if desired.
  • Breadcrumbs. One of the easiest ways to use your stale bagels is by making breadcrumbs. Just place chunks into a blender or food processor. Once blitzed to a breadcrumb consistency, just transfer to a sealed, airtight container and store in a cool, dry place. Use as you would any other breadcrumbs. Bagel breadcrumbs are ideal for breading foods like chicken.
What to do with Old Bagels

Conclusion – How To Make A Bagel Soft

I hope this post has given you some ideas on how to make a bagel soft. I hope it’s also given you other ways in which you can use up your old bagels, so no food goes to waste. You can also make stuffing, pizza bagels, and bread bowls with your stale bagels – the opportunities are endless! Just because your bagels aren’t soft, it doesn’t mean they can’t be revived or reused.

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to how make a bagel soft? If so, please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Sharing is caring!

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