-2 cups (470mL) warm water

-1 tablespoon (20g) honey (or malted barley syrup)

-1 tablespoon (9g) dry yeast

-1 tablespoon (15g) salt (I use Morton Kosher)

-5 cups (650g) bread flour to start with, knead in more

-More honey (or barley syrup), toppings and egg wash (egg beaten with a little water)


In a large mixing bowl, mix together the water, honey (or syrup) and yeast and let bloom for a few minutes until bubbly. Stir in the salt and flour, then start kneading, adding more flour as you go. Knead until you have a very smooth, elastic dough, and add flour until it is just barely sticky, or not sticky at all. The less sticky the dough is, the taller and denser the final bagels will be.

Cover the dough int the bowl and let it rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours. Take it out, punch it down, and divide it into 12 pieces. Role each piece into a smooth ball. For slightly smoother-looking bagels, let the balls rest and proof for 20 minutes before proceeding. Pinch a hole in the middle of each ball and gently stretch the resulting loop until the hole is about 3x bigger than you want it in the end. Place each shaped bagel onto baking sheets dusted with flour, cornmeal, or both.

Cover the shaped bagels and either let them proof on the counter for 20 minutes, or put them in the fridge and let them proof slowly for up to two days. (A long, slow proof results in better flavor.)

Bring a wide pot of water to a boil with a big squeeze of honey/syrup, maybe a tablespoon per quart (950mL). Boil the bagels in batches, 1-2 minutes per side — longer boiling makes chewier bagels with thicker crusts. Make sure the bagels don't stick to the bottom of the pot.

Dip or brush the tops of the bagels with egg wash before scattering on toppings. If possible, position topped bagels on a different pan from plain bagels, because the topped ones might need to bake a little longer.

Bake at 425ºF/220ºC convection, or 450ºF/230ºC conventional until brown and crispy, 20-25 minutes.