Easy to make, yummy to eat!
Here's the recipe from this recipe book (which I love... lots of tips and troubleshooting):
These chewy, ring-shaped white rolls were once the everyday bread of Eastern European Jews, but have since become equally associated with New York City and the classic breakfast of bagels and cream cheese. Before baking, the bagels are poached; this gives them their characteristically shiny, chewy exterior and dense, tender interior.
2 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cups water
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1/2 tsp salt
1. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into 1/2 cup of the water in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the dissolved yeast.
2. Pour about half of the remaining water into the well. Mix in the flour. Stir in the reserved water, as needed, to form a firm, moist dough.
3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. As you knead the dough, gradually work in as much additional flour as you can comfortably knead- this dough should be very stiff and firm.
(Dough is sufficiently kneaded if you gently press your finger into the top of the dough and it springs back immediately- if it does not, continue to knead)
4. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat, and cover with a dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down, then let rest for 10 minutes.
(To make sure rising is complete, test the dough by gently pressing it with a fingertip. When rising is complete, the indentation made will spring back gradually. If the dough is under-risen the indentation will spring back at once. If the dough is over-risen the finger will create a permanent mark that will not spring back at all.)
5. Cut the dough into eight equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball (see directions below). Form each ball into a ring by inserting a floured finger into the center of each one.
To form dough into a ball: press gently down on each piece of dough to expel any air bubbles. Cup the palm of your hand over each piece and roll it over a floured work surface until it forms a smooth ball.
6. Work the finger in a circle to stretch and widen the hole. Then twirl the ring around the index finger of one hand and the thumb of the other hand until the hole is about 1/3 of the bagel's diameter.
7. Place the bagels on a lightly oiled baking sheet, then cover with a damp dish towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
8. Bring a large pan of water to a boil (I used a pot), then reduce the heat to allow the water to simmer. Use a perforated skimmer to carefully lower the bagels into the water in batches of two to three at a time. Boil each batch of bagels, uncovered, until they rise to the surface, about 1 minute, turning them once. Remove the bagels from the water using a perforated skimmer, and drain.
9. Transfer the drained bagels to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake in the oven (preheated to 425°) for 20 minutes, until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Then cut in half, spread with cream cheese and enjoy! I'm going to experiment with cinnamon and raisins, and maybe asiago cheese. My sister Erin already tried some with diced onion and black sesame seeds (after boiling she spread the top of each bagel with egg white and then sprinkled on the onion and sesame seeds before putting them in the oven- she said it was delish!). If you guys try these and do some variations, let me know how they turn out!