The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Dave W's picture
Dave W


We dont do bagels in the UK, its an American thing, whats the point in making a bun with a hole in ! everything will drop out the center! any how in the interests of Anglo/American baking i'm going to have a go. Now Iv'e been working my way through Nancy Silvertons La Brea Bakery book thta I got for Christmas, and very good it is to, now her recipe in fact its (Izy Cohens) he says to form the dough into a rope and wind it around your hand other recipes say stick your thumb through another says stick the end of the rolling pin through and another says some bakers push there elbow through!, Im not going to do that. Anyway im doing the recipe in the La brea book made with a sourdough starter and top them with sesame and poppy seeds and do some plain ones. In fact if I get hooked on them who knows I may have to try all the recipes!!!!!!!!!!


Dave W

sphealey's picture

I tried the various roping and looping techniques for forming bagels, but my meager dexterity wasn't up to it.

Based on Floyd's suggestion I ended up pre-shaping the bagels into 4.5 oz balls, letting them rest 10 minutes. then holding the balls on the tips of my fingers and poking my thumb through from the smoother side toward the rougher side. Rotate the dough a few times smoothing out the hole and gently expand it outward. This method produces my best shaping of any of the recipes I make and I don't see any significant difference between my shapes and the better bagel bakeries around here [which isn't New York or Montreal for sure].


Inkoate's picture

I just made bagels this morning, from BBA, and this is the method I used as well.  I can't imagine using the elbow... that would seem to be a rather cumbersome method.  Anyway, they turned out wonderful, and well shaped.  Perhaps I can post a photo here if I end up taking one.



PaddyL's picture

I use the rope method, wrapping it around my hand, then rolling it back and forth under the palm of my hand until it's a good circle.  You can always pinch them for good measure.