I fist fell in love with bagels some 10 years ago, during a stay at Kentucky Horse Shoeing School when I took some time out to learn how to shoe horses. At that point, I was seriously considering a change of career to farriery - but decided moving away for 4 years really wasn't for me.
Whilst living in the dorms and very limited cooking facilities, I fell in love with local bagels. I'm sure I remember eating a bagel for at least twice a day for four weeks..... and pining for them when I got home.
Bagels back home were a sheer disappointment. Really tough and tasteless... and likely several days after baking before available in the stores.
A recent post on Pam's Mid West Kitchen Korner rekindled my desire for bagels - and finally I got round to havin a go at making them.
I found a fantastic web page here - John Lee's Bagel Recipe . Do read all the comments - it really is worth it... and it's even easier than it sounds. I followed the recipe and method as listed, but added some poppy seeds and onions into the dough.
My first attempt came out really well ! I had a couple that almost looked spot on.... a few that were passable and a couple that would eaily break windows if thrown.
My tips would be :
Watch the little video of John joining them. It's a big help.