1/2 cup (2 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cool water
pinch of instant yeast (I used active-dry yeast and it worked great)
4 cups (17 ounces) unbleached bread flour (I used half white and half whole wheat four)
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) cool water
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (again, I used active-dry yeast and it worked great)
water to fill a 10″-diameter pan about 1″ deep
1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder or brown sugar (I used brown sugar)
Combine the starter ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into 12 pieces. (I divided the dough into 10 pieces since I like my bagels a tad big larger.) Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up very slightly.
Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole till it’s about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 3 ½” across). (Again, mine were a bit larger than this.) Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, or the end of a wooden spoon, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes, or until they’re as deep brown as you like.
Recipe slightly adapted from here