Should a Bagel Ever Be Toasted?
Bagels are a popular breakfast food that can be prepared in countless ways and can be grabbed on the go. A great debate has raged for years over one vital question: Should a bagel be toasted?
Die-hard bagel enthusiasts say absolutely not. They believe that it is always unacceptable to toast a warm, fresh bagel. They say that a bagel fresh out of the oven has the perfect amount of crispiness and chewiness and toasting is completely unnecessary. Purists say that toasting a fresh bagel can detract from its flavor and make a great bagel taste mediocre.
If you buy pre-packaged, day-old, or frozen bagels, toasting may make more sense. An older bagel can be a little tough, but toasting can restore the crispiness that it had fresh out of the oven and improve its taste, although it will still not be as good as a fresh one.
Toasting a bagel that is not fresh out of the oven can improve its flavor. It can also make it firmer to support toppings. However, some people don’t like a toasted bagel with lox, whitefish, or sable.
Don’t microwave a bagel. That will not give it the crispy texture you are seeking. If you have an older bagel, put it in a toaster oven.
Obviously your best choice is to buy a fresh bagel straight out of the oven that has no need for toasting. If you don’t have the chance to visit a bagel shop like Between Rounds every morning and buy pre-packaged bagels at the supermarket, toasting can make them taste better, although nothing can rival the taste and crispiness of a fresh, warm bagel.