This recipe is easy and fairly fast for a yeast/bread recipe, especially if you happen to have a mixer since it does all the kneading for you!
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon oil (I use olive)
1 3/4 cup warm water
Get all of the dry ingredients into the mixer and start it up on the lowest speed. Slowly drizzle in the oil and warm water. Let mix for about 5 minutes, it should make a nice elastic ball that shouldn't be sticky or crumbly.
Drop it onto your work table, pat it into an even shape and cut into 8. I'm doing 6 regular sized bagels and 4 mini ones to freeze for Alice to chomp on. Toss the pieces back into the mixing bowl and let them rest with a towel over the top for 15 minutes.
Now it's time to shape your bagels. Roll each piece of dough into a rope, overlap the ends and tuck and pinch. You can give each one a squish to even it out a bit so you don't have one side of the bagel that's all misshapen. It will get easier the more bagels you do. You don't really have to be gentle with this dough.
Once all the bagels are assembled let them sit another 15 minutes. Get a big pot of water on to boil and set your oven to 400.
Now you're going to boil your bagels. It seems weird but you're pretty much mostly cooking them this way and then finishing them off in the oven. If you have a big enough pot you should be able to do 4 at a time. Boil them 30 seconds per side and then plop them back onto their baking sheet with a slotted spoon. Pop them into the oven for 15-20 minutes, they should be just starting to turn a bit golden. You don't want them to brown or they will be too dry and hard.
There you go! Tasty bagels. Sometimes I like to substitute 1/2 cup of the regular flour with whole wheat flour, I'm sure you could add oats or flax seed or whatever else you like. If you want toppings such as poppy or sesame seeds just do an eggwash and sprinkle them on.