Prep: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey (I use buckwheat honey because it's funky, and closely resembles the ingredient that many recipes call for instead which is barley malt syrup—use whichever you prefer)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 cups of water
1. In a standup mixer fitted with the dough-hook, combine the yeast, and 2 cups water. Give it a quick stir to get the yeast excited. Add the sugar, salt, and honey and stir.
2. Slowly add the 5 cups flour and mix for 5 minutes (stopping to scrape down the sides if need be). After 5 minutes, the dough should be tacky but not sticky. Drop the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with lightly oiled cellophane and set it in a warm place to rise for 2 hours.
3. After 2 hours, the dough should have doubled in size. At this point, you dump your dough onto the counter and either pinch or cut the dough into 12 approximately equal-sized pieces. Roll them into balls and leave on 2 Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheets, topped with a lightly damped towel, for 20 minutes.
4. They will have puffed a bit and now it's time to poke the hole in the middle. Poke your finger through and stretch a 2-inch hole. Throw 'em back down on the cookie sheets and let 'em rise for 20 more minutes.
5. Meanwhile…..pre-heat your oven to 500° degrees F and get your 'everything' toppings together in a bowl, as well as a large (preferably wide) stockpot 3/4 full of boiling water with 2 tablespoons of honey mixed in. Turn it down to a simmer, and when the bagels have finished their second 20-minute proof, plop 3 or 4 in, making sure not to crowd them. Simmer them in the water for 30 seconds on each side, then place them back on the cookie sheets. Immediately sprinkle liberally with toppings.
6. Pop the trays in the oven for 5 minutes then turn the heat down to 350° F degrees. Rotate the pans and let them cook for 10-12 more minutes. They should be golden brown and they should smell like heaven.