What Are the Rules Behind Toasting a Bagel?

I used to think that toasting a bagel was all about preference -- but, apparently, there's a lot more that goes into it. Chefs and bakers across the board agree: If a bagel is fresh, toasting it is unnecessary and actually changes its flavor and overall texture. "If you are buying fresh-that-day bagels that still retain their moist interior and pleasantly chewy-yet-crisp crust, I would definitely caution against toasting," Chef Dan Souza, editor-in-chief of America's Test Kitchen's Cook's Illustrated magazine, told Insider. Once the bagel is stale, though (three-ish hours after it comes out of the oven), toasting actually enhances the taste. Now, I've heard New Yorkers and New Jerseyans vehemently agree that bagels shouldn't be toasted, but I find it hard to believe that people are ever going around eating non-toasted bagels. Time to investigate.

Brigitte Carreiro
by Brigitte Carreiro
Sep 18, 2019