for the dough
2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1 ½ Cups lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon honey
4 Cups bread flour (You may need a little more or less to make a dough that is stiff and elastic)
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg yoke *
for the boiling
2 ½ quarts water in a large pot
1 Tablespoon honey
for the topping
1 egg white mixed with one Tablespoon of water
couple of Tablespoons of either (or all) sesame seeds, poppy seeds, coarse salt, minced onions, or caraway seeds (optional)
To make the dough
Combine the first three ingredients and let set for 5 or 10 minutes until yeast works
Add the salt and egg yoke
Mix and knead in the flour to make a dough that is stiff and elastic
(I use a stand mixer with a dough hook. Anyone who is a serious bread maker should have one. I recommend Kitchen Aid. I burned up a couple of other brands before Kathleen bought me the Kitchen Aid. My first lasted 20 to 25 years.)
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface a, knead it a few times by hand adding flour if necessary so it is not sticky. Shape into a ball, put it in an oiled bowl, turn once so the surface is coated lightly with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours.
(If you have a warming oven it probably has a proofing setting. I don't now so I turn the oven on the the lowest setting for only 3 minutes and turn off.)
To shape and boil the bagels (Time these steps carefully)
Combine the water and honey and bring to a gentle boil
Punch down the dough and knead a little on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 8 balls. Cover these with plastic wrap and let them rise five minutes.
Turn the oven to 425 and preheat. One shelf in the middle of the oven and the other in the top third.
After the five minute rise flatten the balls a little, stick your thumbs through the middle and stretch to make a hole larger than you want the bagel to have. The hole will shrink as the bagels rise and bake.
Let the bagels rise for 12 minutes. You want them to look puffy but not so much so that they fall again when you put them in the water.
Using a wide spatula or skimmer gently drop the bagels into the simmering water. You will probably need to turn the fire up to keep the water boiling gently. After 30 seconds turn them over and boil the other side for 30 seconds. Let them dry on a smooth dishtowel for a few minutes and transfer them to two baking sheets sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. (or use a parchment paper covered baking sheet.)
Brush them with the egg white glaze and sprinkle them with the toppings of your choice.
Bake them 25 or 30 minutes until dark brown and crispy.
* In any recipe that calls for an egg white glaze I add the yoke to the bead dough.
This recipe is based on one in GREAT BREADS by Martha Rose Shulman but this is the way I make them.
If you are a fan of whole wheat you can use up to 2 ½ cups of whole wheat flour in place of an equal amount of white.
I usually make a half a recipe because there are only two of us in the house.