This Ingenious Bagel Shaping Hack Is Perfect for This Weekend’s At-Home Brunch

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A hand creates center holes in the bagel dough.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Warm, Chewy Homemade Bagels (Yes, You’ll Be a Hero)

I’m from Long Island, so I know what a good bagel tastes like. And for most of my life, I haven’t had to worry about making one since a bagel shop was always a short drive away. Now that I live in Florida, however, good bagels aren’t as easily accessible. After seeing a very helpful Instagram reel though, it might be time for me to try to make them at home.

First, she divides the dough into five equal pieces using a bench scraper. Each piece is shaped into a ball, pinching the bottom to create a smooth surface on top, then covered with a piece of plastic to rest for 15 minutes. Next, she rolls out a dough ball into an oval using a degassing rolling pin (though a standard rolling pin, preferably on the smaller side, should also work). The stuffing, which looks like cubed ham and cheese, is added to the bottom third of the oval in a line, then rolled up and pinched closed. She uses the small rolling pin to create a fan at one end, then tucks the other end into the fan. 

That’s not all she delivered though. For regular bagels (without stuffing), she rolls a dough ball into an oval. Next, she folds the top and bottom thirds into the center, then folds the dough again and pinches it closed. Like the stuffed bagel, she creates a fan on one end and tucks the other end in to close the loop. “There are many ways to shape a bagel, but this is the best way for me,” she wrote. “Besides, it looks really cute.”

So there you have it; two (easy) ways to form a bagel. I don’t know about you, but this discovery has changed the game for me and opened up even more possibilities when it comes to bagels. Now to just decide what I’ll be making first. What would you put in a stuffed bagel?

Abigail Abesamis Demarest

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Abigail Abesamis Demarest is a freelance contributor for Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn. When she’s not writing she’s reading up on the latest wellness trends, teaching Zumba classes, or reading a book on the beach.

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