from the Bread Baker's Apprentice- makes six bagels
1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
1 tsp yeast
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
1 3/8 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
sesame seeds or whatever you'd like to top them with
For the sponge: Combine the sponge ingredients in a bowl and allow to rise for around two hours or until the sponge is on the verge of collapse.
When the sponge is ready, add the tsp of yeast and stir until combined. Add salt, sugar and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix until a shaggy dough has formed and begin kneading until a dough ball is formed. Slowly incorporate all of the remaining flour until a tacky, smooth, stiff dough has formed. Adjust the water if the dough is too dry. Immediately portion the dough into six pieces and allow to rest for twenty minutes. Shape the bagels and place on a greased sheet of parchment on a baking tray. Allow to rest for twenty minutes. Cover with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Boil a pot full of water and and about a tbsp of baking soda to it. Drop each bagel into the water and cook for about one minute on each side. While each bagel is in the water, sprinkle cornmeal onto the sheet where it was to prevent sticking. Once the bagel is on the sheet, sprinkle with the toppings of your choice while they are still wet. Bake for five minutes. Reduce the temperature to 450, rotate the pan and bake an additional five minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely and enjoy. Freeze for long term storage.