My mother never made bagels. In fact, I don't think we had ever heard of them when I was growing up. She made yeast rolls or bread, but never a bagel. It was in the early 70s that I discovered bagels and I've been making them ever since. This morning, I not only treated the guys to bagels, but I went a step further and smoked a couple of salmon fillets with alder wood for them to have with their bagels...yes, I do spoil my family!
5 to 6 cups King Arthur Bread Flour
1 T granulated sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
2 pkgs (about 2 T) active dry yeast
1 tsp. honey
1 to 1 1/2 cups warm warm (in addition to the 1/2 cup used with the yeast to proof)
In a 1 cup measure, add 1/2 cup very warm water (105-110F-degrees)
Sprinkle the yeast over the water and add the honey. Use a mini-whisk to stir the yeast completely into the water. Set aside to proof, about 5 to 7 minutes (depends on the warmth of your kitchen).
Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, using the bread hook, measure out the flour. (I have a 6qt. bowl, so I measured out 6 cups of flour--if you have a 5 qt. bowl, you may want to do 4 1/2 or 5).
Add the sugar and salt and mix slightly to combine on low speed.
Add the proofed yeast to the bowl and turn the speed up to #2 to start the process. Measure out another 1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water and slowly pour it while the mixer is running. As the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl, you've added enough water.
Continue to knead in the mixer about 2 minutes more. Stop the mixer and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead by hand a few times to create a smooth dough.
Place this ball in a bowl (or dough bucket) that has been lightly sprayed with a non-stick baking spray. cover top with plastic wrap (or the lid) and allow to rise until doubled--about 40 to 45 minutes.
Bring about 3 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Lower to a simmer. Preheat oven to 400F-degrees and spray a large sheet pan with a non-stick baking spray.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board again and divide into 12 pieces (if you've done 6 cups of flour) or 10 pieces (if you've done 5 cups of flour).
To make the signature hole in the middle--poke your thumb through the dough and then your fingers to stretch the opening, keeping the bagel shape round.
Simmer for about 3 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to flip them over. Simmer about 1 minute more, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Quick Shine to spray the tops so the sesame or poppy seeds will adhere and it gives the tops a finished look that you find in bakeries. Alternatively, you can brush the tops with an egg mixed with 1 T water to adhere seeds with.
Bake 20 to 22 minutes. Let rest in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.