Of course, you could just run by your nearest deli and buy some bagels. You could. However, you won't. At least not after you've tried making these. They're so good, and - to be bagels - relatively easy to make. In little more than two hours, you'll have bagels in the oven, just waiting to sliced, toasted and enjoyed. How perfect is that? All you need is flour, yeast, salt and water, and some time to kill - and tah-dah: perfect bagels for you and your beloved ones.
2 tsp dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cup hot water
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Put half of the water, yeast and sugar in a bowl and let stand for five minutes. Meanwhile, mix flour and salt in another bowl, and make a well in the middle in which you pour the yeast mixture and the rest of the water once the five minutes have passed. Mix, and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes. The dough should feel firm, smooth and elastic.
Oil a large baking bowl, and turn the dough to coat. Let it rise under a damp towel for one whole hour, until doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Carefully divide the dough into 7-8 equally big pieces, shape into balls and punch a whole in the middle. Let them rest under a damp towel on a lightly oiled baking-sheet for 10 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and heat your oven to 190 C. Once the bagels are ready, drop one or two of them into the boiling water, careful not to overcrowd the pot. The bagel should float within a couple of seconds. Boil for 1-2 minutes on one side, turn, and boil for another minute or so. Continue with all of the bagels.
Put the bagels into the preheated oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Take the bagels out, turn them, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven, spread on some cream cheese and smoked salmon and take a big bite. You deserve it.