Homemade Bagels: The No Fail Method

After many failed attempts of bageling making, I got some pointers from a friend. I developed this two-stage bagel making process that takes the guess work out and is almost fool proof. First, a soft dough is made and then turn the soft dough into a stiff dough. And stiff dough, according to my friend, is the key to making good bagels. Here is my process of bagel making:

(1) Stage 1 dough: For the soft dough: 2 tsp active dry yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 1-1/2 C. warm water, 4C. bread flour (high gluten flour). Mix the water, sugar and yeast together, stir well. Let set until you see yeast bubbles. Add the flour to make a soft spongy dough. Cover the dough and Place it in a warm place until it doubles in size.
(2) Stage 2 dough: 1 tsb active dry yeast, 1 tsb sugar, 1/2 C. warm water, 1 TBSB kosher salt, 5 eggs, 1 TBSB honey, 3C. + 1C. bread flour. Mix sugar, yeast and water together, stir and allow yeast to bubble. Pour the liquid in the soft dough above. Add remaining ingredients except the last cup of flour. Make a dough. Incorporate the last cup of flour, knead until dough develop elasticity, about 10 minutes.
(3) Divid and Proof the Dough: Divided the dough into 12-16 pieces. Place them on a cookie sheet. Cover with a large plastic bag. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place. Dough balls can be proofed covered overnight in the refrigerator.
(4) Baking the Bagels: Remove the bagel rings from the water and dip them in some cornmeal on the bottom. Decorate the top of the bagels as you wish (onion flakes, sesame seeds, egg wash etc etc...). Place the bagels on a baking sheet. Repeat until the baking sheet is full. Bake the bagels in a pre-heated 475F oven for 8 minutes, reduce heat to 450F bake until golden brown, 5-8 minutes.Watch carefully to prevent the bagels from over baking. You may need to change the temperature/timing according to your own oven, but this range should provide you a good guiding point.
homemade bagel dough bagel dough balls fresh bagels

Great with Bagels: Hummus goes great with bagels. Cut the bagel in half, toast it and spread hummus on it. You can add your other sandwich stackers to the bagel. Hummus is easy to make at home and it makes a healthy alternative.