These bagels were so delicious! If they didn't consume so much flour, and if I had lots of money I would make them every day. This recipe makes about 12 large bagels or 24 mini bagels. They have a great consistency and they're better than store-bought bagels. Maybe even in New York. That's maybe not true. They're so good!
1 tsp instant yeast
4 cups unbleached bread flour
2 1/2 cups water at room temperature
1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour
2 3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp malt powder or 1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking soda
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds or kosher salt
1. Stir the yeast into the flour in a bowl. Add the water and stir until it forms a sticky batter.
2. Cover with plastic wrap for about 2 hours. It should double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.
3. In the same mixing bowl, add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all the salt and malt. Stir until the ingredients form a ball.
4. Knead on a countertop for about 10 minutes. The dough should be firm, all the ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should feel satiny but not tacky.Divide the dough into 4 1/2-oz pieces for standard bagels, or smaller if desired. Form the pieces into rolls and let sit, covered with a towel for 20 minutes.
5. Form the bagels by either a) poking a hole into a ball, or b) rolling the ball into a snake and gluing the ends together. Spray oil on the bagels and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for another 20 minutes. Put the pans in the refrigerator overnight (they can be in there for up to two days).
6. The following day, preheat the oven to 500 F (260 C).
7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the better), and add the baking soda.
8. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit. After one minute, flip them over and boil for another minute. For chewier bagels, extend the boiling time to 2 minutes per side.
9. Put the boiled bagels on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water.
10. When all the bagels have been boiled place the pans on the two middle shelves in the oven.
11. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pans (switching shelves and given the pans a 180-degree rotation. After the rotation lower the oven temperature to 450 F (230 C). Bake until golden brown.
12. Let the bagels cool for at least 15 minutes before eating.
Recipe from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice