The Shaping Tip To Prevent Your Homemade Bagels From Wrinkling

The key to achieving perfectly round and smooth homemade bagels lies in mastering the art of shaping the dough long before it hits the oven. While it may seem like a simple task, the way you handle the dough can make all the difference between a smooth, round bagel and one that ends up wrinkled and wrecked by common bagel-making mistakes.

It all starts with forming the dough into a tight ball during the shaping process. This step is crucial for a few reasons. Firstly, kneading and shaping the dough into a tight ball helps to distribute and align the gluten strands, resulting in a stronger, more elastic dough. This elasticity is essential for maintaining the bagel's shape during boiling and baking, preventing it from collapsing or becoming misshapen.

Secondly, pre-shaping the dough allows you to gently stretch and smooth the surface, eliminating any air bubbles or pockets that could cause the bagel to wrinkle or deflate during the baking process. By taking the time to ensure that the dough is properly shaped and smoothed, you'll end up with bagels that are not only visually appealing but also have a more uniform texture and crumb.

Take care in how you handle the bagel dough

To successfully shape perfect homemade bagels by hand, there are some additional tips to keep in mind. Start by dividing the dough into equal portions, then use the palm of your hand to gently roll each portion. Once you have formed the balls of dough, allow them to rest for a few minutes before shaping them into the classic bagel shape. This allows the gluten to relax which makes shaping the dough easier.

To achieve the iconic bagel shape, gently flatten each dough ball into a disk, then use your thumb to poke a hole in the center. Gradually stretch the hole to the desired size, taking care not to tear the dough. As you shape each bagel, place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between to prevent them from sticking together before each one gets boiled.

By following these simple tips and techniques, you can ensure each batch emerges from the oven perfectly round, smooth, and free from wrinkles. Get started with one of our delicious bagel recipes like these for cranberry, sesame seed, or Asiago bagels.