Bagel, I love thee
Topped with cream cheese or fruit jam
1 2/3C warm water (~110 degrees fahrenheit)
3/4tsp active dry yeast
4.5C bread flour
1 1/2tsp kosher salt
Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl. Let sit on counter for about 5 minutes, until a foamy layer starts to develop. If this doesn’t happen, try again making sure the water isn’t too hot or cold (it will kill the yeast). If it still doesn’t form a foamy/bubble layer, you may need new yeast.
Add flour and salt to yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Sprinkle a bit of flour onto the countertop and begin to knead your bagel dough. Knead for about 5 minutes, dusting dough with flour as you go to avoid sticking to the countertop. Transfer dough into a bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm/dry place in kitchen for 2 to 2.5 hours, until dough has doubled in size.
Divide dough into 12-15 evenly sized pieces (the more you divide, the smaller the bagels, the less the cooking time, etc). Roll each piece into a ball. Place on parchment lined baking sheets, cover loosely with plastic wrap/kitchen towel, and allow to rest/rise for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, poke a hole through each ball of dough and make any additional shape adjustments as needed. If you need, you can use a bit of oil on your hands to avoid excess sticking. Place bagels back onto parchment lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Cover loosely and let rise/rest for additional 20 minutes.
While those bagels are resting (again!), bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Also, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Once bagels have rested, drop them into boiling water (1 or 2 at a time) and boil for 30 seconds. Flip bagel over and boil for additional 30 seconds. Remove from water with slotted spoon and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have done this with each bagel. Place bagels (the boiled ones on the parchment lined baking sheets) into oven and bake at 500 for 4 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 and continue to bake for 8 minutes. Flip bagel over and cook for additional 5 minutes. Note: my bagels (for some reason) were done after the first 12 minutes in the oven so I did not flip and continue cooking them.
Allow to cool slightly. Top with your favorite cream cheese, butter, jam, peanut butter, sandwich fixings, or just eat them plain.
Can you believe it? You just made your very own bagels! Congratulations!