I made these the other morning and my kids DEVOURED them. I don't think they knew what bagels were until now 😆. I topped ours with goat cheese & eggs. So delish! I recommend separating this into 2 days (steps 2 & 3 the night before you plan to bake them!). Recipe adapted from recipe how.
¾ cup bubbly, active starter
1 cup plus 2 tsp warm water
2 tbsp sugar
4 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
1½ tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp honey
Toppings such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or cinnamon sugar (I used @traderjoes everything but the bagel seasoning here!)
A few days before baking, feed your starter until bubbly and active. Store at room temperature until ready to use.
In a large bowl, whisk the starter, water, and sugar together with a fork. Add the flour and salt. Knead on low speed for 5 to 6 minutes to combine (can be done by hand but this dough is stiff so you'll need strong hands!) Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
After the dough has rested, work the mass into a semi-smooth ball, about 15 to 20 seconds. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise until double in size, about 8 to 10 hours at room temperature.
Line a sheet pan with a nonstick silicone mat or parchment paper. If using parchment, lightly coat with cooking spray or oil to prevent sticking.
Flatten the dough into a rectangle and divide into 8 equal pieces, about 4 oz each. Roll each piece into a ball. Let the dough rest on your sheet pan for 10 to 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
Working with one ball of dough at a time, poke a hole straight through the center. Lift up the dough, insert both index fingers through the center hole, and barrel roll to gently stretch the opening to about the size of a walnut. When finished, place the dough back onto your sheet pan. It’s okay if the hole shrinks slightly. Repeat shaping the remaining dough.
Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the honey and whisk well to dissolve. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Add toppings to a rimmed tray or shallow bowl.
Add 2 to 3 bagels into the pot and wait for them to float to the top, about 10 seconds. Simmer for 30 seconds on each side for a thin crust. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bagels back the sheet pan you used earlier, placing them rounded side up. Once slightly cool but still wet, dip the rounded side of the bagels into the seeds to coat. Place back onto the sheet pan and finish boiling the rest of the bagels.
Bake the bagels for about 20 to 25 minutes. Flip them over to briefly cook the bottom side, about 1 to 2 minutes or less. When ready, your bagels will be puffed up and light golden brown, and they will feel light to the touch.
Try not to eat them all in one sitting.