4 cups bread flour
1 Tab. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tab. vegetable oil
2 tsp- instant yeast (I use a little less than a tablespoon)
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water.
Pre heat your oven to 425. Spray and lightly flour baking sheets.
Mix all the ingredients (except water) in a bowl. Add the warm water. The dough should feel a little stiff, but add the extra water if it's really stiff, or you can't get all the dry flour incorporated.
Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
Cut the dough into 8 equal sized sections. Tuck ends under and form flat balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
Now, take each of the dough balls and press your finger into the center to make a hole. Take you other finger and push it through the underside. Roll both fingers back and forth, stretching the dough to make a bigger hole.
Let your bagels rest on the (lightly floured) counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it's time to get them boiling!
Add 1-2 tsp. of baking soda to your boiling water. Add as many bagels at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them.
Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute (I don't boil for the full minute. I normally boil them for 30 - 45 seconds on each side).
Take them out a let dry on a rack for a minute and then place them on your floured baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
Note:If you wanta add topping, now is the time to do it because the bagel is still moist from boiling which will make it stick. You can add any toppings you like to these, sesame seeds, onions, poppy seed, caraway, garlic, etc. etc. If you want to do cinnamon and sugar bagels, leave them plain for the time being.
Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they're done!
Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, get the cream cheese ready, and feast on what's got to be one of the best weekend brunch treats possible!
For Cinnamon and Sugar Bagels:
1 cup sugar
1 tab. cinnamon
2-4 tab. butter, melted
Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small mixing bowl.
Brush top of baked bagels with the melted butter. Press bagels firmly into the cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat well.