This is the Bagel recipe that my sis taught me to make bagels with. It came originally from a book on Savory Yeast Breads, and we have modified it to suit our tastes. I hope you enjoy these as much as our families have!!
Your family may never let you buy store bought bagels again!! Mine won't haha
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar and wait 5-10 minutes for yeast to proof (get frothy).
Add salt; gradually add in about 4 cups of flour and beat until a smooth batter. Mix in remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour to make a stiff dough. ( I will sometimes use 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 3 1/2 cups of all purpose to make my bagels a bit healthier)
Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and satiny. (You can also use a stand mixer such as a KitchenAide to mix and knead your dough, I've done it both ways with positive results either way)
Place about 1-2 teaspoons of oil in a large bowl ( I usually just put it in the same bowl I mixed my ingredients in, why not, it's already dirty :) then put your dough back into the bowl and turn to make sure it is oiled all over. Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm draft free place for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured board. I flatten it out into an oblong shape with my fingertips and then cut into 18-20 pieces of equal size. (The easiest way I've found to do this is to divide my dough in half then divide each half in half again and so on and so forth until I have 18 to 20 pieces of dough)
Next I smooth each piece into a ball, pinching on the bottom as I pull the dough around and into itself. Then I gently roll the ball, seams down on the counter, with my hand in a 'claw' over the ball. Set each ball aside and continue until all of dough is shaped as you want it. If you want your bagels to have a 'hole' in them, then this is the time that you will want want to poke your thumb through each of the balls and shape into a traditional bagel shape. We like having more cream cheese surface ha ha. Cover and let balls rise again for another 20-30 min.
Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and then sprinkle with cornmeal.
Bring to a boil, 4-5 quarts of water and add 1 T sugar to water. Place balls in boiling water, using a slotted spoon, being sure not to over crowd the pan. Usually 5 or 6 a pan. Boil for 5 minutes, turning half way through to boil both sides. Remove from water with slotted spoon and drain on clean towel.
Transfer bagels to cornmeal covered cookie sheets and brush egg yolk mixture on each. Sprinkle each bagel with your favorite bagel toppings. Some of ours are:
minced dry garlic
minced dry onions
Bake in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. Serve with cream cheese, butter or eat them plain, we do sometimes.
You can play around with the ingredients and make all of your favorite bagels with this basic bagel recipe. Add Cinnamon and Raisins to the dough, or Blueberries, etc.