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  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients, then knead until smooth, using your hands, an electric mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle.

  2. Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl covered with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  3. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.

  4. To prepare the water bath: Put the water into a large, shallow pan; it should be about 3" deep. Add the malt and sugar. Bring the water to a boil while you're shaping the bagels.

  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  6. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape it into a ball. Poke a hole through the center with your index finger, and twirl; the dough will form a ring.

  7. Place the bagels on a parchment-lined baking sheet as they're shaped.

  8. Once all the bagels are shaped, reduce the boiling water bath to a very gentle simmer. Starting with the first bagels you shaped, gently transfer 3 or 4 at a time to the water bath; don't crowd them. Simmer them for about 30 seconds on each side, then return them to the baking sheet.

  9. Bake the bagels for 20 minutes, or until they're a deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool them on a rack.

  10. Storage information: Serve bagels warm or at room temperature. Store at room temperature, well wrapped, for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To make flavored bagels, add ingredients to the dough before kneading. Bits of cooked spinach or fresh chive or garlic, diced onions, cinnamon (up to 1 teaspoon), and raisins are all popular.
  • If you'd like fresh bagels for breakfast, mix and shape the dough the night before. Immediately cover and refrigerate. In the morning, turn on the oven and bring the water to a boil, then remove and follow the boiling and baking as above. The bagels will not need to warm up or rise any further.
  • You can use a doughnut cutter to make bagels; it's an easy, quick method to shape nice-looking bagels. Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough out to a 9" circle, and cut as many bagels as you can. Gather the scraps and cut more bagels; you should end up with 8 to 10. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.
  • After you've boiled the bagels, and before you bake them, you may sprinkle them with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, everything bagel topping, coarse salt, or whatever you wish. Bagels brushed with a bit of beaten egg white before topping will be shinier, and hold onto their topping better.