If you have ever experienced a real New York bagel, you will know that the bagels sold in the frozen food section of most supermarkets pale in taste and texture. Boiling the bagels in water before baking is what gives them their distinctive, chewy texture.
1cupwater(120-130º F; very warm, but not too hot to touch)
2tablespoonsgranulated sugar(brown sugar or molasses can be substituted)
1largeegg white(slightly beaten)
1/4cupSesame seeds, poppy seeds, or your favorite flavors
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add 1 cup flour, yeast, salt and sugar to mixer bowl; whisk to combine. Add warm water to flour mixture. Mix for 4 minutes on medium speed. Switch to dough hook attachment. Gradually add remaining flour and knead 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until indentation remains in dough after poking with finger down to second knuckle, about 1 hour.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Divide dough into 4 equal parts and each part into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Poke a hole in the center with a finger. Pull dough gently to make a 1 to 2-inch hole. Place on parchment paper or silicone-lined cookie sheet. Cover, let rise for 15-30 minutes.
Water bath: In a large pot, heat water and sugar over medium heat to a boil.
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Place a few bagels at a time in the boiling water. Cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side (3 minutes total.) Remove with a slotted spoon and place back on prepared cookie sheet. Brush tops with 1 slightly beaten egg white; sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if desired.
Bake in oven 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire rack.
Serve with your favorite spread.
If an egg bagel is preferred, reduced water to 3/4 cup and add 1 egg at room temperature.