Phew, I did something good. Honestly, I was a little afraid after my last disaster.
I discovered this recipe online a while back from the company that makes the yeast I have, and I've made them a few times now. They are really tasty!
The key to bagels is that they are boiled then baked. A bagel that hasn't been boiled is a biscuit with a hole in the middle.
Of course you have to have cream cheese with bagels! But I just realized my spreading job was a mess. I guess I was in a hurry to eat it.
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 C warm water
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp sugar (divided)
3 C flour
In a mixer, combine yeast, 1 cup flour, salt and 2 Tbsp sugar. Add warm water to dry mixture and stir on low speed. Beat for 2-3 minutes more on medium. By hand, stir in remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turn, and cover. Allow it to rise until it is doubled in size and your fingers leave an imprint if pushed into dough (I find that 30-45 minutes is good and I like to set it in the oven over a shallow dish of warm water). Turn onto floured surface and punch down. Divide into 4ths and each of those into three parts-12 total (I actually found that I like to make mine a little bigger than that, but it is up to you). Shape each part into a smooth ball. Punch a hole with your finger and pull a little. Heat a pot of water to boiling and add 2 Tbsp of sugar. Place a few bagels in and simmer 3 minutes, turning once. Remove and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
You may have noticed that my bagels aren't exactly smooth. I think they are cute and "rustic" but maybe I just haven't been patient enough to roll my dough into smooth balls. Let me know if anyone has any luck.